What Is The Medicare Drug Deductible for 2023?
January begins a new calendar year for Medicare. What does that mean for your Medicare drug deductibles in 2023?
For most Medicare members with a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, you have a deductible. The Medicare drug deductible for 2023 is currently $505. The Part D drug deductible for 2022 was $480, which means a 5% increase. The deductible is the amount you initially pay out of your pocket before the insurance plan begins paying for the prescriptions. Deductibles are vital because they keep the overall cost of medications low. Deductibles also prevent members from overusing Part D drug plans for trivial or unnecessary purposes.
2023 Medicare Drug Deductible Shock!
I mention the Medicare drug deductible for 2023 because I get distressed phone calls at the beginning of the year. Clients go to the pharmacy in January, February, and March and are shocked. They have a huge unexpected bill. I hear cries of ‘I can’t afford $500 every month for their medications!’
I remind clients that they are in the deductible phase of their Medicare drug plan. Once they meet their drug deductible, the medication cost will decrease significantly to around $45 per month per medication.
Since it is an entire year from the last time clients paid their drug deductible, it is understandable they forget.
For those paying the deductible all at once in January and for the first time, the deductible experience will be a new and eye-opening surprise.
Plan For the Unexpected
I don’t know about you, but $505 is a lot of money to pay out all of a sudden, especially if you were not planning on it. I’m usually all tapped out by January. My trophy wife, high-maintenance step-children, and grandchildren require a lot of maintenance around Christmas time.
Once you have met your Medicare Part D deductible for the year, your Tier 3, 4, & 5 medications will be the amount listed in your handbook during the initial phase before the Gap. Please, consult my other blogs about the GAP / Donut Hole.
Most people, however, will not fall into the Gap and will simply pay minimal copays for the remainder of the year. It is the deductible that is the big obstacle.
Clients ask, ‘Are there other Part D plans without a deductible?’ There are a few, but the monthly premiums are much higher, like $100 per month, and the copays are generally higher too.
Lowest Total Annual Medicare Drug Cost
When I run clients’ drugs through the Medicare Part D medication calculator, I look primarily at the total annual cost. The winning drug plan is the plan with the lowest total annual cost and with at least a 3 Star Medicare rating.
The calculator combines the monthly premium, deductibles, copays, and gap–if applicable–and spits out a total number for the year. That is the plan you want to use.
Look For Stars
As for the Medicare star rating, you want to have at least three stars. More stars are better. There is no point in having the cheapest Medicare drug plan if you never get your medications or the insurance company is so painful to deal with you need additional drugs to handle them.
Most Have A Medicare Drug Deductible
January to March is when Part D plans remind most people they have a deductible. Don’t be upset. There is nothing wrong. You must meet the Medicare drug deductible to get to the lower cost for your medications for the remainder of 2023.