Q1Medicare.com Brings the Finalized 2014 Medicare Part D Defined Standard Benefit Parameters Online

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The finalized 2014 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan defined standard benefit parameters are now online at Q1Medicare.com/2014, along with a chart illustrating how these plan values have changed each year since 2006. Q1Medicare.com has also launched their 2014 PDP-Planner or Donut Hole Calculator to help the Medicare community visualize how these 2014 changes could impact next year’s prescription drug spending.

To help the Medicare community visualize how the 2014 [defined standard] plan changes might impact their prescription drug spending, we have launched our 2014 Q1Medicare.com PDP-Planner tool or Donut Hole calculator.

Q1Medicare.com now has the final 2014 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan defined standard benefit parameters online, along with a chart illustrating how these plan values have changed each year since 2006. The 2014 prescription drug plan values and accompanying chart can be found at Q1Medicare.com/2014.

The defined standard benefit parameters are released each year by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and set minimum limits for standard Medicare Part D prescription drug plan coverage. Medicare Part D plan providers are permitted to deviate from the CMS defined standard benefits when they design their 2014 plans and, with Medicare approval, can offer Medicare Part D prescription drug plans with more enhanced features.

As a departure from past years, most of the 2014 defined standard benefit plan parameters show a decrease from the same values last year and more closely resemble the values from the 2011 plan year. For example, next Autumn Medicare beneficiaries enrolling in a 2014 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan modeled after the CMS defined standard benefits will find their 2014 initial deductible decreasing from the current value of $325 to $310.

However, next year the standard initial coverage limit will also decrease to $2,850 from the current 2013 value of $2,970. This means that Medicare beneficiaries will be entering the Donut Hole earlier in 2014 and anyone using medications with an average monthly retail value of over $238 can expect to enter the Donut Hole sometime in 2014.

Beneficiaries who do reach the 2014 Donut Hole will again receive a 52.5% discount on their name-brand drug purchase, the same as the 2013 discount. The Donut Hole discount for generic medications will increase to 28% discount from the 21% discount provided in 2013. Changes in the name-brand and generic Donut Hole discounts over the next years can be found at: Q1Medicare.com/DonutHoleDiscount.

People with higher prescription drug spending will actually spend less in the 2014 Donut Hole as the out-of-pocket threshold or Donut Hole exit point will decrease from the current 2013 value of $4,750 to $4,550 in 2014. Once a person leaves the 2014 Donut Hole, they will enter the Catastrophic Coverage portion of their 2014 Medicare Part D plan where they will pay roughly 5% of the retail cost for their medications.

“The importance of next year’s Medicare Part D defined standard parameters is often overlooked, so to help the Medicare community visualize how the 2014 plan changes might impact their prescription drug spending, we have launched our 2014 Q1Medicare.com PDP-Planner or Donut Hole calculator,” notes Dr. Susan Johnson, Technical Director and co-founder of Q1Group LLC. “Our PDP-Planner allows users to enter their estimated retail prescription drug costs based on current spending and along with their estimated initial deductible to preview what they can expect to pay throughout the different phases of their 2014 Medicare Part D plan coverage.”

The 2014 PDP-Planner can be found at PDP-Planner.com/2014 and like all Q1Medicare.com tools, the PDP-Planner is available to all site visitors at no cost and designed to be accessible on PC, smartphone, and tablet platforms. The results of the PDP-Planner can be printed or emailed to the user for offline review.

About the Q1Medicare.com Website
Q1Medicare.com is one of the largest independent online resources for Medicare Part D prescription drug plan and Medicare Advantage plan information. Q1Medicare offers a large selection of Frequently Asked Questions, online tools,Medicare Part D blog, and a free Medicare Part D Newsletter all designed to help Medicare beneficiaries, healthcare professionals, advocates, advisers, caregivers, and insurance agents better understand both the Medicare Part D prescription drug and Medicare Advantage programs. Q1Medicare.com is operated by Q1Group LLC (Saint Augustine, Florida).

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Lynnea Christner

Susan Johnson MS-MIS, MBA, PhD
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