Use the Medicare drug plan calculator | Health and Fitness

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6. When you are done with the pharmacy list, the tool will list the plans, from least expensive to most, based on annual premiums and estimated cost of prescriptions.

7. You can compare, on your screen, side by side, up to three plans. I usually compare the two least expensive and the current plan a person has. There is a “compare” tab to click.

8. Check out which pharmacies are least expensive for the plan you choose.

9. You can go deeper by clicking on the plan details. This gives you the cost of each drug at each pharmacy you listed, as well as your drug costs per month. Sometimes one drug is the least expensive at one pharmacy, and another drug is less expensive at another pharmacy. If you don’t mind using a couple of pharmacies, you may save even more money.

10. Preferred pharmacy and standard pharmacies offer the best prices and are different with each plan. For example, one drug a friend takes, alendronic acid, is $12 a year at preferred providers, but $963 a year at out-of-network providers under her least expensive drug plan.

11. There are a couple of plans where using the mail order pharmacy is much less expensive. But most plans don’t have an incentive for mail order.

12. Once you find a plan that works best for you for next year, you can enroll on the computer. All you need is your Medicare number. If your current plan is still your favorite, you don’t need to do anything.

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