Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Open

REAL POSSIBILITIES

AARP Real Possibilities

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 

CHECK OUT OUR
NEW IPAD APP!

ATM Mobile App for iPhone and Ipad

Enjoy the best of AARP’s award-winning publications

on the go with the new

AARP ePubs iPad App

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP Books

Medicare for Dummies book cover

Get the answers you need, from Patricia Barry, AARP's Ask Ms. Medicare

Most Popular

Viewed

Commented

share your Thoughts

Reader stories help us fine-tune our education efforts and strengthen our calls for action on issues that matter most to you. We read and learn from every story and may use yours (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire other readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Medicare Open Enrollment: Oct. 15 - Dec. 7

What You Need to Know About Medicare Plans in 2012

Save money by taking the time to comparison shop

Figuring out your best deal

So how do you figure out what you'll pay for your own unique set of medications?

The most effective way is to use Medicare's online plan finder program. If you enter your ZIP code, the names of the drugs you take plus their dosages and how often you take them, this program automatically does the math to find the plan in your area that covers your drugs at the least overall out-of-pocket cost — including premiums, deductibles, copays and costs in the coverage gap known as the doughnut hole. You can also call the Medicare help line at 1-800-633-4227 and ask a customer representative to do this search for you.

When comparing plans, keep in mind that costs aren't always the only consideration. On the plan finder you can also find out:

  • What kind of service to expect from any plan by looking at the quality rating Medicare gives it
  • Which pharmacies in any plan's network are convenient for you
  • Which plans offer pharmacies nationwide if you travel a lot
  • Which plans offer mail-order service
  • Which plans place "restrictions" on any of your drugs, meaning they require you to ask permission (with your doctor's help) before they will cover it.

Also, if you don't take any drugs right now, selecting the plan with the lowest premium will give you the protection of coverage at the least cost.

Next: Ways you can save on drugs in 2012. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Discounts & Benefits

bring health To Life-Visual MD

AARP Bookstore

AARP Bookstore - woman reaches for book on bookshelf

VISIT THE HEALTH SECTION

Find titles on brain health, drug alternatives and losing weight. Do