Q1Medicare.com Provides the Medicare Community with a Quick Way to See Changes in all 2012 Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans

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Q1Medicare.com now has their PDP-Compare tool online, helping seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries quickly see how their current 2011 stand-alone Medicare Part D plan is changing in 2012. Annual changes in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans can result in higher prescription drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries. Using PDP-Compare, Medicare beneficiaries can review changes in prescription drug plan costs and features such as monthly premiums, initial deductibles, co-payments, and donut hole coverage with just one click. Caregivers and Medicare advocates can also use PDP-Compare to quickly see whether a Medicare beneficiary's 2011 Medicare Part D plan still qualifies for the 2012 state-specific Low Income Subsidy $0 premium.

We developed PDP-Compare as a simple tool that helps people see how their current Medicare prescription drug coverage and plan costs are changing next year.

Medicare Part D prescription drug plan costs and coverage usually change every year and 2012 will be no exception. In 2012, seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries can expect changes in monthly premiums, initial deductibles, prescription drug co-payments, and even changes in the specific prescription medications covered on their plan's formulary.

Understanding the annual changes in Medicare Part D prescription drug plan coverage should be important to every cost-conscious senior. If a 2011 Medicare Part D plan member does not choose to enroll into a new 2012 Part D prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage plan, the beneficiary will be, in most cases, automatically re-enrolled into the same Medicare Part D plan for the next year -- along with the 2012 plan changes -- that can mean an increase in prescription drug costs.

For example, the 1,048,876 people currently enrolled in the First Health Part D Premier (PDP) plan will see their 2011 initial deductible of $150 increase to $250 and some members will see their monthly premium increase as much as 10% (for instance, in Arkansas).

To help the Medicare community visualize their 2012 stand-alone Medicare Part D plan changes, the Q1Medicare.com website has the newest version of their PDP-Compare tool online and updated to include changes in monthly premiums, initial deductibles, drug co-payments, donut hole coverage, and each plan’s Low-Income Subsidy qualification status. PDP-Compare can be accessed directly at PDP-Compare.com, and for new users, the PDP-Compare tutorial provides screen shots and tips on how to use PDP-Compare.

"We developed PDP-Compare as a simple tool that helps people see how their current Medicare prescription drug coverage and plan costs are changing next year", notes Dr. Susan Johnson, co-founder and technical director of the Q1Medicare.com site. "We also designed the PDP-Compare tool for Medicare advocates and support groups so they can quickly see the changes in Medicare Part D plans qualifying for a state's $0 premium Low-Income Subsidy."

PDP-Compare users can also review Medicare Part D plans that are new for 2012 or see 2011 prescription drug plans that are discontinued in 2012. Members of discontinued plans particularly need to review their options for next year’s prescription drug coverage.

For instance, Aetna has chosen to discontinue the Aetna Medicare Rx Plus Plan in 19 Medicare regions and the Aetna Medicare Rx Costco Plus plan in all 15 regions. Members of these Aetna plans can expect automatic re-assignment to a new 2012 Aetna Medicare Part D plan. As another example, the 2011 Advantage Star Plan by RxAmerica is being discontinued in all regions and plan members will need to select a new Medicare Part D prescription drug plan for 2012.

Medicare beneficiaries can also review their new 2012 Medicare plan’s complete drug list or formulary using the Q1Medicare.com/FormularyBrowser. All Medicare Prescription Drug and Medicare Advantage plan formularies across the country are included in the Formulary Browser.

PDP-Compare users need only to select their state for a complete list of 2012 Medicare Part D plan changes. More advanced users can choose a specific Medicare Part D plan provider from the drop-down list and see a comparison of how a company's 2012 Medicare Part D plan selection changed. Users can also search plans by specific Medicare Part D plan features, such as type of Gap Coverage, by selecting from drop-down boxes within the PDP-Compare search form. PDP-Compare shows the annual changes in every stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan across the United States and is available free to all Q1Medicare.com users. As with all other Q1Medicare.com tools, PDP-Compare is designed for use on PCs, tablets, and smartphones.

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 section of Frequently Asked Questions online tools, and a free Medicare Part D Newsletter all designed to help Medicare beneficiaries, health care professionals, advocates, advisers, 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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