Dr. Michael Lee graduated from Stanford University with honors and received his medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1996. Dr. Lee completed his internal medicine residency at Mount Auburn Hospital, a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital.

How do I choose a Medicare Part D Prescription Plan for 2012?

It’s a pain, but every year (between October 15, 2011 to December 07, 2011 for Plan Year 2012) you should enter your medicines and see which plan is the least expensive for you.

Here are a few tip to make the process a little less frustrating.

1. Click on Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder.

2. Scroll down to the Personalized Search and enter your information.

3. As you enter your medications, copy down the Drug List ID and Password when the window pops up. This will come in handy should that list suddenly disappear which happened to me.

4. If you’re only interested in Medicare Part D Prescription Plans, check the first option Prescription Drug Plans (with Original Medicare).

5. If you take medications consistently and don’t mind mail order, scroll down to Prescription Drug Plans, Sort Results By and choose “Lowest Estimated Annual Mail Order Drug Costs”

6. From there, I’d compare the least expensive plans, comparing the plan ratings and making sure they cover your particular drugs and in the quantity that you take monthly.

7. If money isn’t a limitation, choose a plan with no Drug Restrictions.

If you take mostly generic drugs, I found Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan to be the cheapest.

If you take a few brand name drugs, Blue Shield Medicare Basic Plan might be a good option.

Update: For some reason, when I checked again on Dec 5 Medco was coming up the best plan for generics and brand name drug. Perhaps there was a plan update.

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