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Choosing Medicare drug coverage can be tricky

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Thinking About Health

Karen R., a 70-year-old Medicare beneficiary living in a mid-size town in Indiana, contacted me recently about her Part D drug coverage. She and her husband both have traditional Medicare, a Medigap policy, and what’s called a stand-alone plan for their drugs. For a long time, her stand-alone plan offered through Humana worked well for them. Her out-ofpocket costs for most drugs was only $8.

This summer Karen, who takes 11 drugs for a variety of illnesses, including atrial fibrillation and kidney disease, was diagnosed with a new ailment – psoraisis. Not only did the diagnosis catch her off guard but so did the high price tag for Otezla, one of the newer drugs for treating this ailment. It was the only psoriasis drug that worked well with other medications she was taking.

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