Medicare Prescription Drug Costs, 4 Ways to Lower Your Costs:

4 Ways to Help Lower Your
Medicare Prescription Drug Costs

Are you a person with Medicare who’s having trouble paying for prescription
drugs? Joining a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan may help, even if you have to
pay a late enrollment penalty.
There are other ways you may be able to save. Consider switching to drugs that
cost less. Ask your doctor if there are generic, over-the-counter, or
less-expensive brand-name drugs that could work just as well as the ones
you’re taking now. Switching to lower-cost drugs can save you hundreds or
possibly thousands of dollars a year.
You can also help lower your Medicare prescription drug costs by:
1. Exploring national and community-based programs that might offer
assistance (like the National Patient Advocate Foundation or the National
Organization for Rare Disorders) that may have programs that can help with
your drug costs. Get information on federal, state, and private assistance
programs in your area on the Benefits Check Up website,
The help you get from some of these programs may count toward your true
out-of-pocket (TrOOP) costs. TrOOP costs are the expenses that count toward
your Medicare drug plan out-of-pocket expenses—up to $4,750 for 2013.
These costs determine when your catastrophic coverage will begin.
2. Looking at State Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs (SPAP) to see if
you qualify. SPAPs in 22 states and 1 territory offer some type of coverage
to help people with Medicare with paying drug plan premiums and/or cost
sharing. Find out if your state has a State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program
or calling 1-800-MEDICARE. SPAP contributions may count toward your
TrOOP costs.

3. Looking into Manufacturer’s Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs
(sometimes called Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs)) offered
by the manufacturers of the drugs you take. Many of the major drug
manufacturers offer assistance programs for people enrolled in a
Medicare drug plan. Find out whether the manufacturers of the drugs
you take offer a Pharmaceutical Assistance Program by visiting or calling 1-800-MEDICARE
(1‑800‑633‑4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. Assistance
from PAPs isn’t part of Medicare Part D, so any help you get from this
type of program won’t count toward your TrOOP costs.
4. Applying for Extra Help paying for your Medicare prescription drugs.
If you have Medicare and have limited income and resources, you may
qualify for Extra Help paying for your prescription drugs. To apply for
Extra Help, contact Social Security at or by calling
1-800-772-1213. TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778.
If you need help finding resources, like the ones described above, call your
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for free personalized
counseling to people with Medicare. Get their phone number by visiting, or calling 1-800-MEDICARE.



Shared by:

Robert W. Bache aka “MedicareBob™”

President / Producer

Senior Healthcare Direct

Direct Toll Free: 1-800-525-0299

Company Toll Free: 1-855-368-4717

Luzerne County Pennsylvania Medicare Supplement Insurance

Luzerne County Pennsylvania Medicare Supplement Insurance

Medicare Supplement Plan N offers the best overall value in Pennsylvania. Medicare Supplement Plan N offers the same coverage as Medicare Supplement Plan F, except for the following gaps:

  1. You are required to pay the Medicare Part B Deductible. (which is only $147.00 in 2014)
  2. You will have a $20 copay per Doctor visit. ($20 is the most, even for a specialist)
  3. You will have a $50 copay for an ER visit. (This is waived if your admitted and then it pays the same as Medicare Supplement Plan F)
  4. Part B Excess Charge. In Pennsylvania, Doctors/Providers are not allowed to charge Part B excess charges.

Agents want to sell you Plan F because it is easy to explain and agents make the more money selling Plan F over Plan N. Lets look at an example:

Pricing for a 70 year Non-tobacco male that lives in the zip code 18222:

The top three Plan F pricing:

  1. Stonebridge Life: $153.14 per month
  2. Manhattan Life: $156.50 per month
  3. Philadelphia American: $157.31

***Companies you have heard of: Cigna: $160.64, Humana: $165.26, Aetna: $168.66, Mutual of Omaha: $170.77.

Now the top three Plan N pricing:

  1. United Healthcare $108.07
  2. Philadelphia American: $110.12
  3. Manhattan Life: $110.25

***Companies that you have heard of: CSI: $111.08, Cigna: $111.34, Aetna: $120.25, Humana: $120.36.

I am not “Anti-Plan F”, but we all know that all of these premiums increase every year. If you add in the fact that you will typically have to medically qualify to switch Medicare Supplement Plans in the future, why would someone not start with a Medicare Supplement Plan N in Pennsylvania?

Take a look for yourself, CLICK HERE FOR A FREE QUOTE:

Also, please call me and I would love the opportunity of being your Luzerne County Pennsylvania Medicare Supplement Insurance Agent. (DIRECT PHONE LINE: 1-800-525-0299)

P.S. I also help with Medicare Part D.

I represent all of the top Medicare Supplement Companies, I save you money by helping you shop.

Robert W. Bache aka “MedicareBob™”

President / Producer

Senior Healthcare Direct

Direct Toll Free: 1-800-525-0299

Company Toll Free: 1-855-368-4717

Discover what is the best Medicare Supplement Plan in Pennsylvania.



Pennsylvania Medicare Supplement Plan N offers the Best Value

Hello Pennsylvania,  I am Robert W. Bache. I own Senior Healthcare Direct and I really can help you.  I am the best option to help you because I am licensed and approved with all of the major Medicare Insurance companies, so I can help you understand your Medicare options and help you shop for the best value.

My goal is simple:

  • Educate you about all of our Medicare options.
  • Help you Shop and Compare all of those options.
  • Customer Service: When you call me, I call you back!

In Pennsylvania the Medicare Supplement Plan N is often the most cost-effective Medicare Supplement Plan. Plan N pays all the big bills that Medicare would normally charge you, and has a lower premium than Plan F and Plan G.

Plan N: Fills in all of the gaps to Medicare except.

Deductible: $147.00 annual

$20 copay for Doctor visit (you will never pay more than the $20 even for a Specialist)

$50 copay for ER (Waived if your admitted, and then pays all hospital bills)

Any Doctor and/or Hospital that accepts Medicare

 I represent all of the top Medicare Supplement Companies, I save you money by helping you shop.


Robert W. Bache aka “MedicareBob™”

President / Producer

Senior Healthcare Direct

Company Toll Free: 1-855-368-4717

Discover what is the best Medicare Supplement Plan in Pennsylvania.

Medicare Advantage Cuts Proposed for 2015

(MedicareBob™) – The U.S. government on Friday proposed a cut in payments to private health insurers for 2015 Medicare Advantage plans, a move Republican lawmakers said would hurt benefits for the elderly and disabled.

The proposal, released in a document by a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, appeared to cut payments by more than the 6 to 7 percent the insurance industry had expected, one Wall Street analyst said.

“Now the lobbying begins: can the plans get Congress to help make the cut less severe?” CRT Capital analyst Sheryl Skolnick said, adding that her assessment of the hundreds of pages of information was preliminary.

Friday’s notice of proposed rates opens a window for negotiations on the final ruling, due April 7.

Insurers and lawmakers have said cuts will mean smaller networks of doctors and hospitals and higher out-of-pocket costs. Insurers have said they could only maintain benefits if there was no change in payments for 2015 from 2014.

Many factors go into determining the government’s total reimbursement to insurers. These payments are based in part on the assumption that Medicare Advantage spending per person will fall 3.55 percent in 2015. Total reimbursement to insurers, however, is influenced by factors such as payments for patients who are sicker than average.

An executive at one company that manages Medicare Advantage plans said that insurers are facing cuts in the 8 percent to 10 percent range when factoring in the per capita spending decline and other planned reductions. These include a new health insurance tax under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law as well as other risk adjustments.

Other industry officials said they were still reviewing the Medicare notice to determine its full impact. Republican lawmakers said any additional cuts to the program were unacceptable.

“These Medicare Advantage cuts are misguided, threaten a successful program for seniors, and must be overturned,” Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said in a statement.

“Medicare Advantage is extremely popular for a reason – run through the private market, seniors gain access to high-quality and coordinated care with additional benefits that they otherwise wouldn’t get,” he said.

The criticism from Hatch and other leading Republicans adds to pressure from the party over Obama’s signature domestic policy achievement. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which aims to extend health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, includes provisions to cut Medicare spending.

UnitedHealth Group Inc, Humana Inc and Aetna Inc are among the insurers who manage private Medicare plans for about 15 million of the 50 million Americans eligible for Medicare.

The shares of insurers fell in after-hours trading. Humana posted the biggest loss with a 4 percent decline.


The proposed payment rates are a key factor in how insurance companies plan theirbusiness for the coming year, including in which markets they will offer health plans, what their medical and administrative costs will be and at what level to set premiums and doctor visit co-payments.

Insurers have said that 2014 was a difficult year for Medicare Advantage because of cuts to payments estimated at about 6 percent overall by the industry group, called America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).

“As 2015 payment rates are finalized, we urge the Medicare agency to protect seniors from facing higher costs and fewer benefits by keeping Medicare Advantage payment rates flat,” AHIP Chief Executive Karen Ignagni said in a statement.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said in a statement that the proposed changes for 2015 are smaller than those implemented in 2014.

It also said in the statement that it planned to calculate risk scores in 2015 with the same methodology as in 2014. It said it would change a part of its risk payment formula to account for the increasing proportion of baby boomers entering Medicare, who tend to have better health.

It was not immediately clear how these and other formula changes in the document would affect the industry overall or specific insurers.

Medicare Advantage and other government paid-healthcare services like Medicaid are among the insurers’ fastest growing businesses.

But if the costs to insurers of providing the healthcare services outpace the payments from the government, the difference is paid by the insurers, undermining their ability to profit from these plans.

“Medicare Advantage plans are fully at risk under this program. So if their estimate is off, for better or for worse, they are at risk for that,” said Anne Hance, a lawyer at McDermott Will & Emery in Washington, D.C. who focuses on regulation.

Robert Bache’s thoughts:

This is the trend that we have seen over the past 6 years, and it will continue. I anticipate less and less Medicare Advantage Plan options every year for at least the next 3 years.

Medicare Supplement Rate Changes February 2014

Medicare Supplement Rate Changes
February 2014

By CSG Actuarial on February 3, 2014 — Robert Bache 800-525-0299 aka MedicareBob™.

Effective Date
Average Increase
Aetna Life Insurance Company 1/1/14 7.0% New Jersey
American Continental Insurance Company 3/1/14 6.3% Arizona
American Progressive Life and Health Insurance Company of New York 1/15/14 6.0% Connecticut
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield – Colorado 2/1/14 4.1% Colorado
Anthem BlueCross – California 3/1/14 6.0% California
BlueCross BlueShield of Delaware 1/1/14 4.2% Delaware
CareFirst BlueChoice, Inc. 1/1/14 -4.1% Virginia
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield 1/1/14 1.4% Maryland
Central States Indemnity Company of Omaha 4/1/14 1.0% Arkansas
Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company 1/1/14 3.0% 0% – 12%; Varies by state
Combined Insurance Company of America 1/1-5/1/2014 8.6% 4.6% – 12.5%; Varies by state
Equitable Life & Casualty Insurance Company 12/1/2013-1/1/2014 5.5% 5% – 6%; Varies by state
Excellus Health Plan Inc. 1/1/14 -6.2% New York
Family Life Insurance Company 2/1/14 14.0% Oregon
Gerber Life Insurance Company 2/1/14 20.0% Nebraska
Heartland National Life Insurance Company 2/1/14 6.0% 3% – 9%; Varies by state
Humana Insurance Company 3/1-5/1/2014 5.8% (7.4%) – 14.9%; Varies by state
Loyal American Life Insurance Company 1/1/14 9.0% New Hampshire
Medico Insurance Company 2/1/14 1.9% Texas
Paramount Insurance Company 1/1/14 11.6% Ohio
Regence Blue Cross BlueShield of Oregon 1/1/14 3.7% Oregon
Standard Life and Accident Insurance Company 1/15/14 2.2% Missouri
Sterling Life Insurance Company 1/1/14 9.5% (7.7%) – 25%; Varies by state
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans 4/1/14 5.4% South Carolina
United American Insurance Company 1/1-3/15/2014 2.2% (12%) – 18.5%; Varies by state
United Commercial Travelers of America 1/1/14 8.5% 7% – 10%; Varies by state
UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company 1/1-4/1/2014 4.0% (3.1%) – 10%; Varies by state