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When most people start looking at Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans, they focus on the premium and the deductible.
However, when researching prescription plans it's essential to take into consideration the formulary tables for the Plans you are comparing.
To see the formulary specifics of a plan on the Medicare Web site, click in an individual Plan. After entering all of your medications, the Plan details the costs of your medications. Next to some of your medications you may see an asterisk (*) or double asterisk (**). These marks refer to limitations in the formulary. For example:
* a single asterisk indicates that there may be restrictions to the medication, in terms of how many pills you can have each month, other medications that you may need to try first, or other restrictions. These medications may not be available to you, if you don't meet the criteria, or you may not be able to get the prescribed dose, due to the pill count restriction. This can apply to diabetic medications, too.
** a double asterisk indicates medications that are not on that particular Plan's formulary. You will pay 100% of the cost for these medications, which can be substantial, depending on the medication. Currently, all diabetic medications have some level of coverage, but you need to check the individual formularies to see which one covers the most.
You may wish to look at another Plan, if you find that the Plan you are considering looks good in terms of premiums and deductibles, but has a lot of * or ** in the fine print.