Saint Augustine, Florida (PRWEB) April 24, 2014
Q1Medicare.com now has the recently-released 2015 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan defined standard benefit parameters online, along with a chart illustrating how these coverage values have changed over the past years. The 2015 prescription drug plan values and accompanying chart can be found at Q1Medicare.com/2015.
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. With CMS approval, companies providing Medicare Part D plans are permitted to offer drug plans with more enhanced coverage features, such as $0 deductibles or gap coverage. Still, over the past few years, about half of the available stand-alone Medicare Part D plans are modeled after the CMS defined standard plan.
The 2015 defined standard benefit plan parameters will all increase over 3% and loosely parallel the increases last seen between the 2011 and 2012 plan years. For example, when the 2015 Medicare Part D plans are released in October, Medicare beneficiaries enrolling in a 2015 Medicare Part D prescription drug plan modeled after the CMS defined standard benefits will find their initial deductible increasing $10 to $320 from the current 2014 value of $310.
The standard initial coverage limit will also increase $110 to $2,960 from the current 2014 value of $2,850. This means that Medicare beneficiaries with average monthly retail prescription costs of over $247 can expect to enter the 2015 Donut Hole.
Beneficiaries who do reach the 2015 Donut Hole will receive a 55% discount on their name-brand drug purchase, an increase over the 2014 discount of 52.5%. The 2015 Donut Hole discount for generic medications will also increase from the current 28% discount to a 35% discount. 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 may spend more in the 2015 Donut Hole as the out-of-pocket threshold or Donut Hole exit point will increase $150 from the current 2014 value of $4,550 to $4,700 in 2015.
Once a person leaves the 2015 Donut Hole, they will enter the Catastrophic Coverage portion of their 2015 Medicare Part D plan where they will pay the higher of $2.65 or 5% of the retail cost for their generics. For brand-name medications, beneficiaries reaching catastrophic coverage will pay the higher of $6.60 or 5% of the brand-name retail drug cost.
To help the Medicare community visualize how the 2015 plan changes might impact next year’s prescription drug spending, Q1Medicare.com has launched their 2015 Donut Hole calculator. The Donut Hole Calculator or PDP-Planner allows site visitors to enter their current drug spending and see an estimate of what they can expect to pay throughout the different phases of their 2015 Medicare Part D plan coverage.
The 2015 PDP-Planner can be found at PDP-Planner.com/2015 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).