You've finally got the hang of things with this Medicare "stuff". At least you think you do. You walk into your local pharmacy to pick up your Eliquis prescription on January 8, for example, and BAM, the cashier rings you up and says "that will be $552.00".
And your brain says "What? My agent said that I'm going to pay $13.50 per month for my plan?"
In this example, the person signs up for a plan with a large carrier that has a monthly premium of $13.50. That's the amount he will pay each month to have the plan in place. Does that mean that there are no further costs? Of course not. If that were the case, no one would be complaining about Part D costs!
In this case, the plan also has a $505.00 deductible that applies for Tier 3, 4 and 5 medications. This plan also considers Eliquis a Tier 3 medication. This plan also will charge this person $47.00 per 30 day refill for Eliquis.
And, since the deductible is $505.00 and the 30 day charge is $47.00 if you add those two costs together, you'll equal the $552.00 that was rung up at the register.
So, there are a few key points to always understand about Part D plans.
So, nothing went wrong, you were enrolled into the proper plan, you're just dealing with your deductible "out the gate" in the new year.
Some folks will then argue "I should have enrolled into a plan with a low or no deductible". Not so. When you select your plan, you are enrolling based on actual medications taken, actual dosages that you consume, the pharmacy that you select and your zip code. The planfinder system with Medicare.gov will sort based on lowest out of pocket costs for the year based on those parameters. You may find yourself paying $700 more annually, for example, if you choose a plan with no deductible. So, don't fall into the "I want a plan with a zero deductible" trap.
Again, this is an annual event we all have to go through.