Q1Medicare.com Now Offers an Easier Way to Compare Drug Coverage Details Across all Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans

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Q1Medicare.com now provides their updated PDP-DrugFinder to help Seniors and other Medicare beneficiaries compare medication coverage across Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in their area. The PDP-DrugFinder is available free of charge and provides users with prescription drug plan features, medication cost-sharing information, and details of the drug’s utilization management or usage restrictions.

Often we find that the specific quantity limits for a medication are almost as important as whether or not the drug is covered by the Medicare Part D plan

Q1Medicare.com now offers their updated PDP-DrugFinder, an easy to use online tool designed for Seniors, Medicare beneficiaries, and caregivers who want to quickly find details on drugs covered by the Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) in their area. The PDP-DrugFinder is offered at no cost and provides users with prescription drug plan features, cost-sharing information for both 30-day preferred pharmacy and 90-day mail order prescriptions, and detailed drug utilization management or usage restrictions. The PDP-DrugFinder can be found directly at PDP-DrugFinder.com.

The PDP-DrugFinder provides site visitors both basic and advanced search capabilities. Users first select their state and can enter at least the first three letters of their prescription drug name, click on “Search” and choose the medication from the list of possibilities. Users can also browse medications alphabetically by choosing the first letter of the drug name in the PDP-DrugFinder preference box. Alphabetical searches will list the medication name along with the strength and packaging information for the drug, its National Drug Code (NDC), and the number of Medicare Part D plan formularies nationwide that include the drug. As a convenience, users can also browse through a list of the top 10 Medicare drugs or they can browse through a longer list of over one hundred of the most popular Medicare drugs. For pharmacies, prescribers, or more advanced users, the PDP-DrugFinder also allows searching by National Drug Code.

One of the most important features of the PDP-DrugFinder is the inclusion of the drug usage management (or drug utilization) restriction details for the medication. The drug utilization management information includes prior authorization, step therapy, and quantity limit restrictions. Quantity limits are shown in the format of units (such as tablets) per time period, for example Q:4/30Days (meaning 4 tablets per 30 days).

“Often we find that the specific quantity limits for a medication are almost as important as whether or not the drug is covered by the Medicare Part D plan,” notes Dr. Susan Johnson, Technical Director and co-founder of Q1Group LLC. “If a beneficiary is prescribed two pills per day, and their medication has a quantity limit of one pill per day, they will be charged full price for half of their medication, unless they request a formulary exception and their exception is approved.”

As an example, users can view a comparison of all 2011 California plans with details of how they cover Nexium® 40MG (NDC:00186504054) at Q1Medicare.com/PDP-DrugFinder/CA/00186504054. In this example, Advantage Star by RxAmerica and the CVS Caremark Value plans have a quantity limit of 90 tablets per year (shown in the PDP-DrugFinder as Q:90/365Days), while the AARP MedicareRx Preferred plan has a quantity limit of 2 tablets per day (shown as Q:62/31Days). Users will note that in this example the Sterling Rx plan has no quantity limit. However, the Sterling plan is the only stand-alone Medicare Part D plan in California requiring step therapy for this same medication (shown in the PDP-DrugFinder as “S”).

If a Medicare beneficiary finds the resulting list of Medicare Part D plans covering their medication too long, the PDP-DrugFinder offers users several ways to refine their search. Users can narrow their search based on specific stand-alone Medicare Part D plan features, such as maximum monthly premium, maximum initial deductible, type of gap (or Donut Hole) coverage, Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) qualification, or drug usage management restriction options.

The resulting PDP-DrugFinder comparison chart includes a link to browse each plan’s full drug list or formulary. The Q1Medicare formulary browser can also be accessed directly at Q1Medicare.com/FormularyBrowser, where a user can select their state and their desired Medicare Part D plan to browse electronically through their chosen Medicare Part D plan’s entire formulary.

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 comprehensive section of Frequently Asked Questions, online tools, and a free Medicare Part D Newsletter all designed to help Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, advocates, advisers, and insurance agents better understand the Medicare Part D 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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