WellCare Value Script PDP Review
When you start shopping for a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, WellCare is sure to be a company that enters the realm of possibilities.
Over the last several years, WellCare has become one of the most competitively priced Medicare drug plans available in the central Illinois area. Many of our clients here at Sams/Hockaday have a WellCare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP).
Before we get into our full WellCare PDP review, we’d like to share that prescription drug plans are not one size fits all. Just because someone you know loves their WellCare drug plan doesn’t not means it’ll be right for you.
The prescriptions you take will have a huge impact on which drug plan we recommend. It has a lot to do with each plan’s drug formulary, but before we get into the weeds, let’s quickly go over what WellCare is.
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What is WellCare?
WellCare Health Plans, Inc is headquartered in Tampa, FL, and the company focuses primarily on providing government-sponsored managed care services.
Seniors are included in the long list of individuals WellCare provides plans for, and the types of plans offered include Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.
WellCare serves over 6 million members nationwide as of mid-2019!
How is WellCare Rated?
Medicare uses a Star Rating System to help consumers understand how well different companies perform. Every Medicare Prescription Drug Plan company is going to have one of these Star Ratings, which range from 1 (worst) to 5 (best).
The Star Rating is a reflection of how well these plans perform in many different areas, including:
- Customer service
- Member complaints
- Members that choose to leave the plan
- Overall member experience
- Drug prices
- Patient safety
Every year, Medicare reviews how each plan performs, and it releases brand new Star Ratings in the fall.
While the star rating isn’t everything, it's one piece of the puzzle when looking at which drug plan will be right for you.
WellCare was given a 2019 Star Rating of 3.57 (an increase from the previous year’s rating of 3.43). This is their best rating to date!
Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans Offered by WellCare
WellCare currently offers 3 PDP options in Illinois:
- 2019 WellCare Extra
- 2019 WellCare Classic
- 2019 WellCare Value Script
Medicare Part D plans do change every single year, and the 2020 plan details won’t be available to the public until October 1, 2019. After that date, the new plan details can be viewed on WellCare’s website.
When looking at these 3 plan options, they range from the lowest premium to the highest premium, and each plan is going to suit different individuals with different prescription regimens.
2019 WellCare Extra
This is the plan with the highest premium. In Decatur, IL, this plan is $72.30 per month, and it has a $0 drug deductible.
2019 WellCare Classic
This WellCare PDP plan has a $28 monthly premium in Decatur, IL. It comes with a $415 drug deductible.
2019 WellCare Value Script
WellCare’s lowest premium plan is the Value Script, which has a $14.50 monthly premium in Decatur, IL. It also has a $415 drug deductible.
If you don't take any drugs and are trying to avoid the penalty for not choosing a drug plan, a low-premium plan like this can be a great option.
How Different Are The 2019 WellCare Plans?
You might be wondering why the Extra plan has a $72.30 premium while the Value Script is only $14.50 per month.
The difference becomes clear when you start entering your prescription medications. As a test, we entered three random medications – two are generic (Atorvastatin and Simvastatin) and 1 is a brand name medication (Lyrica).
What we find is that the total copays are slightly less with the higher premium plan (WellCare Extra).
WellCare Extra has no deductible, which means the plan starts paying much sooner.
In addition, the WellCare Extra plan has slightly lower copays, but really not by much. For example, at CVS, Lyrica is $40 on the Extra plan. The same drug is $43 (after deductible) on the lowest premium plan, Value Script.
(Copays vary depending on the pharmacy you choose. With WellCare, preferred pricing is given to CVS.)
Ultimately, it’s a math game. When you add up the premium, the deductible, and your copays, which plan has the lowest annual cost?
That is going to vary depending on the specific drugs you take. Also, WellCare may not have the best plan for you once you enter in your medications. That's why we do free drug comparisons here at Sams/Hockaday.
How Does a WellCare Medicare Drug Plan Work?
All Medicare Part D drug plans follow an outline:
- Yearly deductible
- Copayments or coinsurance (one or the other)
Every plan is going to have all three of these elements – it’s just a matter of what they are, and what drugs you’re taking. That will determine your annual price.
In addition, most companies – including WellCare – develop a formulary. A formulary is a list of drugs the Part D company chooses to cover.
Within that formulary, you have drug tiers.
Here's an example of a Medicare drug plan's tiers (your plan’s tiers may be different):
- Tier 1: lowest copayment: most generic prescription drugs
- Tier 2: medium copayment: preferred, brand-name prescription drugs
- Tier 3: higher copayment: non-preferred, brand-name prescription drugs
- Specialty tier: highest copayment: very high-cost prescription drugs
Different companies put different drugs in different tiers (can you say different one more time?!). That’s why it’s important to shop around!
If you can get your drug priced as a Tier 1 with WellCare, and it’s a Tier 2 with a different company, it’s going to cost you less with WellCare.
What We Think of WellCare Drug Plans
There are 27 drug plans to choose from here in Decatur, IL, and these three from WellCare represent a good selection.
Because drug plans aren’t one-size-fits-all, it’s important to run your own drug comparison with your exact list of medications. Many times, we find that a WellCare drug plan is the best plan for our clients. Other times, it’s not – it's very personalized.
Overall, these plans are generally some of the most competitive, and we have many clients that enjoy them!
To find out if a WellCare PDP plan is the best plan for you, schedule an appointment online with one of our local agents. We’d love to run a free drug comparison for you!
You can also call our office at 217-423-8000.
You can purchase a drug plan or make changes to yours during the Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare. This begins on October 15 and ends December 7, so schedule your appointment today!
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