With more than two dozen Medicare Part D prescription drug plans to choose from, retired Iowans have some great options when it comes to their Medicare health insurance coverage. 

All Iowa residents who have worked for 10 years and paid into the Medicare system through their taxes, or are eligible in another way, such as via their spouse, can sign up for Medicare at age 65. Your Initial Enrollment Period starts three months before your birth month and ends three months following it, giving you seven months to enroll in Medicare. 

Once your enrollment has been processed, it’s time to choose between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Keep reading to learn about how Medicare Part D works so that you can choose the Medicare prescription drug coverage that meets your healthcare needs. 

Did you know the Insurify Medicare comparison tool helps you compare Medicare Part D plans confidentially? Just enter your ZIP code to uncover options in your area in less than two minutes!

 

 

What Are the Best Medicare Advantage Plans in Iowa?

This is a question that most Medicare beneficiaries ask themselves, but there’s no one correct answer that applies to everyone. The plan that’s best for you is probably not the best one for your brother, your best friend, or your boyfriend. Knowing your budget and your prescription needs is key to choosing a plan that keeps you and your bank account healthy!

When you look for a Part D plan, you need to consider the monthly premium and the presence, or lack of, a deductible. Many plans that have a $0 deductible come with a higher monthly premium. None of the plans on this list have a deductible of more than $445, so it’s a good idea to budget that amount into your annual medical spending. 

Here’s a look at the top eight plans for Part D coverage as they rank based on their star rating, pricing, service area, and customer service. 

#1: MedicareBlue Rx Premier

    • Monthly Premium: $104.70
    • Deductible: $0
    • Tier 1: $0
    • Tier 2: $0
    • Tier 3: 17 percent coinsurance 
    • Tier 4: 40 percent coinsurance
    • Tier 5: 33 percent coinsurance

With no deductible and $0 co-pay for Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs, you start saving on your prescriptions from the moment you join this MedicareBlue plan. The savings continue even when you go into the gap coverage phase after you pay $4,130 out of pocket for the year. Rather than a flat 25 percent coinsurance rate, you still have a $0 co-pay for Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs. 

#2: MedicareBlue Rx Standard

    • Monthly Premium: $66.40
    • Deductible: $445
    • Tier 1: $1
    • Tier 2: $7
    • Tier 3: $29
    • Tier 4: 31 percent coinsurance
    • Tier 5: 25 percent coinsurance

This second MedicareBlue plan costs about one-third less per month and also has a four-and-a-half-star rating. Although the co-payments for Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs are higher, the monthly premium savings will likely offset the cost. Tier 4 and Tier 5 drugs are considerably less expensive with this plan than the previous one. 

#3: WellCare Classic

    • Monthly Premium: $28.20
    • Deductible: $445
    • Tier 1: $0
    • Tier 2: $3
    • Tier 3: $31
    • Tier 4: 33 percent coinsurance
    • Tier 5: 25 percent coinsurance

This is the first of three WellCare plans on this list, all with a four-star rating. With a low monthly premium and low to mid-range prescription pricing, it’s hard to go wrong with this plan. Be sure that your prescriptions, or an acceptable alternative, are included in the formulary as you look into this plan. 

#4: WellCare Value Script

    • Monthly Premium: $15.70
    • Deductible: $445
    • Tier 1: $0
    • Tier 2: $7
    • Tier 3: $43
    • Tier 4: 47 percent coinsurance
    • Tier 5: 25 percent coinsurance

Do you need a prescription drug plan to avoid the late-enrollment penalty? This might be the one for you. It gives you coverage and reasonable pricing on most tier levels. It’s also worth considering if you take medications in the lower tier levels since Tier 1 has a $0 co-pay

#5: WellCare Wellness Rx

    • Monthly Premium: $15.30
    • Deductible: $445
    • Tier 1: $0
    • Tier 2: $4
    • Tier 3: $40
    • Tier 4: 47 percent coinsurance
    • Tier 5: 25 percent coinsurance

If the previous health plan caught your attention, check out this one as well. It’s slightly cheaper and also has lower pricing for medications in Tier 2 and 3. Again, this is a good one if you aren’t taking medications now but want coverage to avoid paying the late-enrollment fee in the future.  

#6: AARP MedicareRx Preferred

    • Monthly Premium: $86.50
    • Deductible: $0
    • Tier 1: $5
    • Tier 2: $10
    • Tier 3: $45
    • Tier 4: 40 percent coinsurance
    • Tier 5: 33 percent coinsurance

From a trusted name in the retirement community, this plan from AARP has no deductible so that you can enjoy tiered pricing from day one. Once your prescription spending puts you in the gap coverage phase, over $4,130, co-pays for Tier 1 and Tier 2 remain at $5 and $10, respectively. 

#7: AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus

    • Monthly Premium: $32.10
    • Deductible: $445
    • Tier 1: $1
    • Tier 2: $6
    • Tier 3: $34
    • Tier 4: 40 percent coinsurance
    • Tier 5: 25 percent coinsurance

With the AARP MedicareRx Saver Plus plan, your monthly premiums are near the lower end of the spectrum, costing you about a dollar per day. With this plan, Tier 3 drugs are less expensive than four other plans on this list. 

#8: AARP MedicareRx Walgreens

    • Monthly Premium: $35.60
    • Deductible: $445
    • Tier 1: $0
    • Tier 2: $6
    • Tier 3: $40
    • Tier 4: 40 percent coinsurance
    • Tier 5: 25 percent coinsurance

For this plan, AARP has partnered with Walgreens as one of its preferred pharmacies to offer affordable prescription drug prices, including $0 co-pays for Tier 1 drugs. Once you get to the gap coverage phase, Tier 2 generic drugs remain a $6 co-pay, rather than 25 percent coinsurance

Ready to find the right prescription drug plan for you? Use the Insurify Medicare comparison tool to find plans in your area. Try it now!

Compare Part D Plans Side-by-Side

Compare Plans Now

How Much Do Medicare Part D Plans Cost in Iowa?

The average monthly premium for a Medicare Part D plan in Iowa in 2021 is $32. Some plans cost more than $100 a month, while others are less than $20. There are 28 Part D plans in Iowa, so you’re likely to find a plan that fits your budget. 

While you enjoy low-cost pricing with Medicare Part D prescription drug plans, you should know about the three coverage phases. After reaching your deductible, the initial coverage phase is where you pay co-pays and coinsurance according to the tier levels. This phase continues until you hit $4,130 in annual spending.

You generally pay 25 percent coinsurance on all drugs in the gap coverage phase, unless specified by your plan. This coverage gap lasts until you exceed $6,350 in annual spending. 

The catastrophic coverage phase begins when your annual spending is over $6,350. During this phase, you pay $3.70 for generic drugs and $9.20 for brand-name drugs or 5 percent coinsurance, whichever is higher. 

As you consider your Medicare expenses, remember that your monthly expenses are more than just your premiums. Costs associated with Original Medicare include:

    • Part B premium
    • Part D premium
    • Part D deductible
    • Drug costs
    • Co-pays and coinsurance for doctor visits

You may be eligible for Extra Help, a program that gives financial assistance for Medicare costs. Your local Social Security office can provide you with eligibility guidelines.

What Is Medicare Part D?

A Medicare Part D plan is a stand-alone prescription drug plan used together with Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B. Together, they are Original Medicare. Typically, Part A plans are free, while Part B and Part D plans both have monthly premiums. Part A covers your hospital expenses, Part B covers doctor’s visits, and Part D is prescription drug coverage

The alternative to Original Medicare is Medicare Advantage. These stand-alone insurance plans give you the same basic coverage for hospital, medical, and prescription drug insurance. They often come with some extras like vision or dental coverage.

 

 

FAQ: Iowa Medicare Part D

Is Medicare Part D free?

No, Medicare Part D plans are not free. Plans come in a variety of price points, and Iowa has 28 plan options. You can contact your Social Security office to learn about Extra Help and see if you qualify.

When should I enroll in a Part D plan?

You should enroll in Part D when you enroll in the Medicare program around your 65th birthday. While you are not required to choose a prescription drug plan at that time, you should know that there is a late-enrollment penalty, which is assessed monthly, when you finally sign up for a Part D plan. 

Can I have a prescription drug plan if I also have a Medicare Supplement plan?

Yes, you can have Medicare Supplement Insurance and a PDP plan together. In the rare situation that your Medigap plan offers prescription drug coverage, you need to contact your Medigap provider to remove the drug coverage once you enroll in a Part D plan. 

Can I switch from Medicare Advantage to Original Medicare? 

Yes, you can leave an MA plan during the Open Enrollment Period (October 15 through December 7) by calling the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1 (800) MEDICARE and TTY call 1 (877) 486-2048.

Conclusion: Compare Plans Online to Save Time and Money

Technology has changed a lot over your lifetime, and shopping for insurance is one thing that’s become easier thanks to the internet. No longer do you have to spend hours on the phone with an insurance agent or play phone tag with an insurance company. Most insurance-related tasks can be done online, anywhere and anytime.

It takes just a few minutes to find potential Medicare Part D plans when you use the Insurify Medicare comparison tool. Just put in your ZIP code, and you’ll get a list of plans to look at and choose from. Uncover Medicare prescription drug plans in your area at no cost to you. Try the Insurify comparison tool now!

Affordable Medicare Part D Plans Just A Click Away

Get Started
 

Updated May 16, 2021

Charlotte Edwards is a freelance writer with a passion for educating others in the areas of personal finance, health, and education. An educator-turned-writer, she has written for publications worldwide over the past decade. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, watching classic movies, and spending time with her husband and two children. You can learn more about her work and life abroad at www.livinginchinawithkids.com.