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Medicare Prescription Drug Plan FAQs

When will I be billed or charged for my plan? 

  • Most carriers don’t charge for their plans until the beginning of January, after new plans are activated. It could be the middle of the month before you see your billing and much later before you see a bank draft. Keep an eye on your bank account, your drug plan portal, or call the number on the back of your card to get exact dates.   

I asked that my payment be withdrawn from my Social Security check, when will that happen? 

  • It usually takes 1-2 months for Social Security to send the money to Medicare for your plan. During that time, you will get a bill from the carrier, and you should pay it until you see a statement that it is being withdrawn from Social Security.  If any duplicate payments are made, they will be refunded.  

I set up a coupon book or billing from my drug carrier and haven’t received it yet.  When will that come? 

  • The carriers send out billing after the first of the year and you have a grace period to get your plan paid. If you haven’t received your billing by the 15th of the month, call the number on the back of your card and ask them when it was sent. You can also request another coupon book.  

My drug plan premium is so low, can I pay more than one month at a time? 

  • Yes! You can pay for the entire year or as many months as you need by asking for a coupon book or billing.   And for 2024, the WellCare Value Script plan has a $0 premium, which you know if you signed up for it, so enjoy the year of no premiums.  

I want to change my payment method for my drug plan. Can I do that? 

  • Yes! You will need to call the number on the back of your card, and they can take payment over the phone and/or change your payment method. Some carriers allow a credit card payment, but you must call to set it up.  

  • Or if you have access to their customer portal, you can usually make changes there.  

I went to the pharmacy, and I was charged a huge amount for my refill(s). Why? 

  • Deductibles reset every year in January, so the first time you refill a brand name drug (usually tiers 3-5), you are charged the retail cost until that deductible is met. For 2024, the deductible is $545. Sometimes those medications are cheaper by using a store coupon, such as with or a manufacturer coupon such as with  

I take an expensive medication and reached the “donut hole” last year. How will I know when to expect that this year? 

  • You will reach the donut hole or coverage gap in 2024when you have satisfied the $545 deductible and then the retail cost reaches $5,030, which was $4,660 last year, so will take longer.  This threshold is the retail costs, so includes what you pay and what the drug company pays. You will get statements from your carrier showing what that cost is and when you are approaching the gap (donut hole) phase or you can look at your online portal for your cost information.   

  • This year, some diabetic mediations are a set price for the entire year, and you will not pay more during the gap phase. There are generally specific insulin that the carriers allows and not all drug companies have every insulin at a reduced cost.  Be sure to check your formulary for the discounted insulins that your plan covers.  

I changed my drug plan and want to use the same mail order service. Can I do that? 

  • If you have the same carrier, then yes. If you changed carriers, then no. You will need to use your current carrier’s mail order service. Sometimes there are lower costs by using mail order, so it may be worth investigating. Also, pharmacies often have their own mail order programs that offer 90-day pricing, so check with them to see what your costs would be. 

I don’t like my drug plan.  Can I drop it or change it? 

  • You can only change your plan during the Annual Enrollment Period which is from Oct. 15 – Dec 7th every year and the new plans run for a calendar year.  There are many strategies to lower costs and we work with our clients to help them implement an appropriate strategy.  Sometimes it means changing medications, using a manufacturer coupon or government subsidies such as Medicaid or the Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program. And then changing your plan during AEP to one that covers your medications.   

  • If you drop your drug plan in the middle of the year, you will be penalized for all the months.

If you have any additional questions, contact our team today! 

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