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2020 Medicare Part D Plans in NYS

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Posted: 07 Oct, 2019
by Hayley Rein (New York Legal Assistance Group)
Updated: 07 Oct, 2019
by Hayley Rein (New York Legal Assistance Group)

The annual coordinated election period ("open enrollment") for Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans for 2020 runs from October 15 through December 7, 2019.    Every year, you should review your plan and see if it still meets your needs - whether it covers your drugs, whether costs have increased, and, if you are in a Medicare Advantage plan, whether it still covers your preferred doctors and other providers, at the same costs. 

CMS has released the nationwide 2020 landscape of Part D and Medicare Advantage plans.  Here are the lists of plans for New York State:

  1. Stand Alone Part D (PDP) - 27 Plans for people in Original Medicare. Nine of these are "benchmark" plans that are free for people with Medicaid, the Medicare Savings Program, or others with Extra Help.  See more here.   

  2.   Medicare Advantage Plans offered in NYS  Will be posted soon, please check back

    •  For those with Full Extra Help, the premium is subsidized up to $36.55 of the BASIC Part D premium (the benchmark rate in 2020).  None of the Enhanced Part C premium is subsidized.

NINE BENCHMARK STAND ALONE PLANS HAVE A FREE PREMIUM FOR PEOPLE WITH FULL "EXTRA HELP" (Low Income SubsidyAll of the benchmark plans from 2019 will be benchmark in 2020:

  • NINE of the 27 stand-alone PDPs in NYS are "benchmark" plans that are free to people with FULL Extra Help in NYS  (no monthly premium). Benchmark plans are "Basic" Part D plans with premiums below the benchmark amount, which is  $36.55 in 2020.  "Enhanced" Part D plans cannot be "benchmark" plans even if their premium is below the benchmark amount. In an enhanced plan, the premium is subsidized for people with Extra Help but not always fully.   See this article.

    • All of the 9 plans have premiums below or within a sufficient margin of the benchmark amount 

    • The 2019 benchmark amount in New York State is $36.55 (down from from $39.33 in 2019). 

    • See Chart of NINE Benchmark Plans in NYS in 2020 with Changes from 2019 to link

  • People with Extra Help, such as people newly approved for Medicaid or a Medicare Savings Program, will be assigned to one of these NINE Plans if they don't pick their own plan. They can pick a plan that is not one of the 9 benchmark plans, but they'll be charged the difference between the benchmark premium of $36.55 and the plan's full premium listed on the chart of stand-alone Prescription Drug Plans.

  • All plans that were benchmark in 2019 will still be benchmark in 2020:

  1. Aetna Medicare Rx Saver (PDP) is now WellCare Medicare Saver Rx (PDP) 
  2. Cigna-Healthspring Rx Secure (PDP)
  3. Express Scripts Medicare - Value (PDP)
  4. Humana Basic Rx Plan (PDP) (formerly Humana Preferred Rx plan (PDP))
  5. SilverScript Choice (PDP) 
  6. WellCare Classic (PDP)
  7. EnvisionRxPlus (PDP) 
  8. Magellan Rx Medicare Basic (PDP)
  • In addition, there is one new benchmark plan for 2020:
  1. Journey Rx Standard (PDP) from MII Life Insurance, Inc. 

Helpful information about 2020 Medicare Part D -

NYS Plan Changes from 2019 -

People without Medicaid, MSP or Extra Help have choice of 27 PDP plans (last  2 columns of chart shows how much premium and deductible went up or went down since 2019, other than deductibles that remained at the maximum ($415 in 2019 to $435 in 2020)

  • 14 plans will have increased premiums in 2020 (Biggest increase is Wellcare Medicare Saver Rx (PDP) - formerly Aetna Medicare Saver Rx (PDP)) increased from $17.10 to  $35.70/month   ($18.60 increase)

  •  6 plans will have the same or lower premiums in 2020, with reductions ranging from 10 cents to $11.40/month). 

  • Several plans are changing their names

    • Humana Premier Rx Plan (PDP) was formerly Humana Enhanced Rx Plan (PDP)
    • WellCare acquired Aetna plans:
      • Aetna Medicare Rx Saver (PDP) is now WellCare Medicare Rx Saver (PDP)
      • Aetna Medicare Rx Select (PDP) is now WellCare Medicare Rx Select (PDP)
      • Aetna Medicare Rx Value Plus (PDP) is now WellCare Medicare Rx Value Plus (PDP)
  •  7 new plans open -- "Basic" and "Enhanced" plans --
    • "Basic"
      • EmblemHealth VIP Rx (PDP
      • Envision Rx Secure (PDP)
      • Journey Rx Standard (PDP
    • "Enhanced"
      • EmblemHealth VIP Rx Plus (PDP)
      • Humana Walmart Value Rx Plan (PDP)
      • Journey Rx Value (PDP)
      • WellCare Wellness Rx (PDP)

Look to see if your plan’s premium and other costs are increasing, and if it still covers your drugs.  There may be a better plan for you. 

The lists posted here are extracted from nationwide charts on the CMS website at  http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Prescription-Drug-Coverage/PrescriptionDrugCovGenIn/.    Sanctioned plans are also available at that link. 

EPIC REMINDER:

Reminder:  EPIC - NYS Drug insurance subsidy for people age 65+ -- does not provide coverage during the Part D deductible phase. EPIC members without Extra Help will want to try to find Part D plans with no deductible, if possible. In 2020, EPIC can pay the premium up to $36.55/month for people in the EPIC FEE plan, and will credit EPIC deductible members $36.55/ month ($438.60/year) toward their annual EPIC deductible. For more on EPIC see this article and go to EPIC's website.

Attached files
item Benchmark Plans 2019-2020 Comparison.docx (24 kb) Download
item 2019-2020 Comparison NYS Part D Stand Alone Prescription Plans.xls (220 kb) Download

Also read
item Medicare Part D - Overview (2019)
item 2019 Medicare Part D Plans in NYS - Stand-Alone and Medicare Advantage

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