Rumor has it that plans with lower premiums may initially seem more attractive. Understanding why this **is not** the case is very important to help in understanding and evaluating all of your available plan options, and ultimately find the lowest cost plan!

Picking your best plan option involves a number of factors, and is not solely based on the plan's premium! A few things to consider include: deductibles, CMS star ratings, copays, restrictions on a plan, and, arguably the most important, your total out of pocket cost. The list may seem a little overwhelming, but your local pharmacist can help you navigate and understand your options.

Plans with lower premiums may be less advantageous compared to ones with higher premiums. iMedicare lists plans in order by cheapest out-of-pocket cost for you, not by premiums. While a plan may have a lower premium, it may also have higher copays on a monthly basis. For example, a plan with a premium of $10 and a total monthly copay of $100 is more expensive than a plan with a premium of $30 and a total monthly copay of $50. The best indicator of the price to the patient for a plan will always be the total out of pocket cost.

However, there are factors that would influence whether the plan would be right for you. A plan with a high deductible and a lower total out of pocket cost would mean you need to pay a much higher dollar amount in the beginning of the year, compared to the second half. Furthermore, if you need a daily or weekly dosage of sleeping medication, and there is a quantity limit on a plan, it may be more appropriate to find an alternative where there is no restriction associated with the respective drugs.

When picking the right plan for you, these different factors should always be taken into consideration. Blindly picking a plan just because it has a lower premium is not in your best interest! If you would like to see a visual breakdown of costs, just book an appointment with your nearest community pharmacy here. The pharmacist can help you with a customized plan comparison specific to your medications.

It is important that you understand all of the options available to you, and see which plan is most fitting to your specific medications and needs. As always, we welcome you to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have throughout the process. Give us a call at (704) 769-0540 or email us at