The Most Competitive 2024 Medicare Part D Drug Plans in Decatur, IL
If you're turning 65 this year, you'll soon be eligible for Medicare, which means you'll be faced with choosing a Part D drug plan for the first time.
It might feel like a big decision, but we're here to guide you through it.
In this article, we'll go over everything you need to know about signing up for Part D Medicare including some Part D updates for 2024, and our top picks for the most competitive Part D carriers.
Disclaimer: We do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently we represent 4 organizations which offer 41 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov, 1‑800‑MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program to get information on all of your options.
Get Your AEP To-Do List
This easy-to-understand list for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period will help you save money, ensure your benefits are the best they can be, check that your doctors are still in network, & more.Get My To-Do List
Signing Up for Medicare at Age 65
Before we offer up our recommendations for the most competitive 2024 Medicare Part D drug plans in Decatur, IL, let’s go over the basics of signing up for Medicare at age 65.
Your initial enrollment period (IEP) for Medicare lasts for seven months: Three months before your 65th birthday, the month of your birthday, and three months after your birthday.
During that time, you will be eligible to sign up for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Medical Insurance), and Part D (Drug Coverage).
Medicare Part C, also known as Medicare Advantage are plans offered by private companies contracted with Medicare to provide you with Part A, Part B, and sometimes Part D benefits. You may also choose to enroll in one of these plans during your IEP.
If you miss your initial enrollment period, you might end up facing penalties later on and could go without health insurance until the following year’s Annual Enrollment Period (AEP). Make sure you don’t miss that window!
Do I Have to Sign Up for a Medicare Part D Plan?
You have the option to refuse Part D drug coverage, but there are some penalties attached to that when you do decide to enroll in the future.
Each month you go without creditable drug coverage, you’re penalized 1% of the national base beneficiary premium, and the final sum is added to your monthly Part D premium.
If you want to avoid penalties and like the idea of having a drug plan just in case, Wellcare offers a plan with a $0 premium.
What If I Choose a Medicare Advantage Plan?
Most Medicare Advantage plans come with Medicare drug coverage (Part D). So if you decide to sign up for one of these plans, there’s no need to sign up for a separate Part D plan.
However, some plans, like Medical Savings Account Plans and some Private Fee-for-Service Plans don’t include drug coverage. In that case, you can opt to join a separate Medicare Part D drug plan.
If you’re unsure if signing up for a Medicare Advantage Plan or sticking with Part A, B, and C separately fits your individual needs better, give us a call here at Sams/Hockaday.
We’ll help evaluate your situation so you can make an informed decision.
Do I Have to Reenroll in Part D Every Year?
Once you have selected a Part D drug plan, you’ll need to stick with it until the following Annual Enrollment Period (AEP), which runs from October 15 to December 7 every year.
At that time, you’re welcome to either change it or keep it for the following year. But even if you love your drug plan, we recommend reviewing your plan every year because drug plans can change.
Benefits and prices can and do change every year, not to mention the prescriptions you take might have changed as well.
Drug plans have formularies, and you want to make sure the drugs you take are in your plan’s formulary. If not, you’ll pay much more than you need to on prescription drug prices.
Medicare Part D 2024 Updates
There are a few changes coming to Medicare Part D plans in 2024.
Affordable Insulin and Vaccines
The $35 per month price cap for insulin, which kicked in back in 2023, is sticking around through 2024.
And, starting in 2024, all recommended adult vaccines covered by Medicare will be available with no cost-sharing.
Higher Catastrophic Coverage Threshold
Once your total drug costs hit $8,000, you enter the catastrophic coverage phase in Part D of Medicare. This phase means you won't have to pay any more copayments or coinsurance for covered Part D drugs for the rest of the year.
That is a $600 increase from last year, but once you reach it, copayments and coinsurance drop to $0, rather than the 5% copay you had to shell out in past years.
Expanded Extra Help
Extra Help is a Medicare program that helps those with limited income cover Part D costs.
No more partial Extra Help in 2024. If you're eligible, you automatically get the full Extra Help package, meaning:
- $0 for your Plan D premium.
- $0 for your Plan D deductible.
- Reduced prescription costs: Up to $4.50 for each generic drug, and up to $11.20 for each brand-name drug.
The income limit to qualify for Extra Help in 2024 is going up to 150% of the federal poverty level, compared to the 135% limit in 2023.
Most Competitive Medicare Part D Plans in Decatur, IL
Each year, the most competitive drug plans change, because the plan benefits and premiums also change.
This year, the most popular Part D carriers in Decatur, IL are SilverScript, Wellcare, and Cigna. These are the three companies we’ll be recommending the most when we run drug comparisons for our clients.
Our recommendation is always tied to the drug comparison you can run on Medicare.gov.
Wellcare has a $0 premium plan for 2024, which is ideal for those who don’t have any prescriptions and want to avoid the Part D penalty.
While the deductible of $545 is significantly higher than the SilverScript plan we’ll recommend next, it has a $0 copay for preferred generics and only a $2 copay for generic drugs.
Wellcare's preferred pharmacies include Amazon, Walgreens, CVS, and most grocers.
SilverScript also has a plan with a low premium in Macon County, Illinois– just $9.90 per month.
Their drug deductible is also lower than Wellcare’s this year at $280.
Preferred generics have a copay of $0, however, and for generics, you’ll pay a $5 copay.
It's always best to run a comparison to see which plan will cost you the least when considering premium and copays.
Cigna is another contender as they have an economical plan with an $18 per month premium, low copays, and savings on generic drugs.
Depending on which prescriptions you take, this plan could be your most compatible option. Cigna's preferred pharmacies include Walgreens, Walmart, and Sams Club.
Run a Drug Comparison
Using the recently updated drug comparison tool on Medicare's website, you can enter the exact prescriptions you take, and the system will show you the plan options in your zip code.
Plans are automatically sorted by 'lowest drug + premium cost', so your least expensive option will be at the top!
Rest assured you don't have to do this on your own if you aren't comfortable with it.
Your agent here at Sams/Hockaday can assist with running your Part D drug plan comparison and will either walk you through the enrollment process or complete the enrollment for you.
If you're not currently a Sams/Hockaday client, give us a call at 217-423-8000 to schedule an appointment!
If you need help with your drug plan, please contact us at 217-423-8000!
We are your local, trusted Medicare agents and will go above and beyond to make sure you have the best coverage for the lowest price.
Get a Prescription Drug Plan Comparison
Whether your premiums change or not, there's a good chance that the medications covered by your plan change yearly. Let us help you choose the best plan.Get Started