Survey Shows, 34 Percent Aren’t Reviewing Part D Plans Before Renewal

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

One of the most important and, for some, puzzling times of year is the Medicare annual enrollment period, when more than 55 million Americans are able to evaluate and enroll in Medicare Advantage or prescription drug plans. Among the top concerns for Medicare beneficiaries today is prescription drug costs, according to a new Walgreens survey. However, more than one-third (34 percent) say they aren’t taking time to review their prescription drug plan prior to renewing it and almost one-in-five (19 percent) don’t have a good understanding of their plan. In addition to the 34 percent of beneficiaries who said they don’t review any aspect of their current Part D plan:

  • Twenty-two percent look at just one component, checking, for example, to see if their own medications are covered, yet not looking at any other important considerations.
  • One-in-five (21 percent) of people surveyed falsely believes that all pharmacies charge the same copay.
  • One-third (33 percent) don’t know they can switch pharmacies outside of the enrollment period, at any time of year.

The survey of 1,000 Medicare Part D beneficiaries was conducted during Medicare’s annual enrollment period. Other findings of the survey include:

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Health

  • When choosing a pharmacy, 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries said copay costs are the most important factor, followed by pharmacy location (18 percent) and the opportunity for one-stop shopping (18 percent).
  • The cost of health care remains a chief concern to respondents, and prescription costs slightly outrank other costs as being of greatest concern (35 percent). Just below drug costs are expenses associated with assisted living (33 percent) or hospital and emergency room services (32 percent).
  • In an effort to manage costs, 12 percent of survey respondents said that they’ve delayed filling a current prescription, and another 9 percent have skipped occasional doses to stretch medication supply.

Medicare beneficiaries can also consult 1-800-MEDICARE and to review and compare plans. The survey was conducted by Market Insights Group ( on behalf of Walgreens.

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