Open Enrollment is about 100 days away, so we decided to hand down some surprising new ways you can help your pharmacy before, during and after Open Enrollment.
1) Perform Nearby Pharmacy Comparisons
It’s possible that as a pharmacist, you’ve caught yourself wondering how other pharmacies compare to yours. Do patients come in asking you how your prices differ from the pharmacy down the road? iMedicare offers you the tools to examine a patient’s out-of-pocket costs and pricing at other local pharmacies or competitors. By clicking “Options” on the “Compare Plans” page, select “Select nearby pharmacy for comparison”, and you’ll have access to this information. For the patient who comes in adamant that they would save money by switching pharmacies, you have the knowledge to either confirm or deny that claim in just seconds.
2) Quickly Search Plan Formulary Information
With access to complete formulary information for all plans in one tool, you’ll notice how much time you’ll save. Using the Formulary Lookup, just type a specific medication into the search bar, and remove any extended research associated with finding specific coverage information across Part D plans. For example, let’s imagine that your patient is going to start filling Novolog, and wants to make sure that their current Part D plan covers it. Most of the time with this prescription, we know that about half of the plans cover it fully. Use the Formulary Lookup and view all plan names, restrictions, formulary tier, and copays across the various phases of drug coverage for that medication.
3) Run Plan Comparisons for Potential New Customers
So, you’ve been marketing iMedicare both inside and outside of the pharmacy using the flyers and plan consultation cards you received when first signing up. Perhaps you’ve been presenting this information to potential patients at health fairs, or you’ve had a walk-in inquiry about how your pharmacy can help with choosing a Part D plan. Adding a new patient who doesn’t regularly fill prescriptions at your pharmacy to iMedicare takes just a couple of steps, and is incredibly useful in bringing in new business. Even if a patient has never picked up a prescription at your pharmacy before, pharmacists or technicians can quickly run hypothetical plan comparisons by clicking “Add new patient” on the “Find Patient” page. Only his or her zip code, birthdate, and prescription list is needed to determine out-of-pocket costs for the year across in-network plans. Just like you would for any of your current patients, you can send these possible new patients home with a printout plan comparison to look over and discuss with their family.
4) Evaluate Part D Advantage Plan Options
Chances are that you primarily deal with regular Medicare Part D plans, but occasionally, it’s best to consider an Advantage Plan for certain patients. iMedicare can help you with this. To view Advantage Plans (MA-PDPs) when performing a plan comparison, check off MA-PDP plans to show on the “Compare Plans” page. For a bit more clarity on which patients might benefit more from an advantage plan versus a regular Part D plan, refer to an older blog of ours here. When comparing advantage plans for a patient, the extra health benefit coverage associated with that specific plan will also be broken down at the bottom of the page.
5) Explore Therapeutic Alternatives with Ease
The more plan comparisons you complete with your patients, the more opportunities will present themselves for exploring therapeutic alternatives. You might want to explore these options when a drug isn’t covered on a formulary, or if your patient is looking to move off of a high-risk medication to something more affordable and safe. You’ll never have to add/delete drugs off the patient’s medication list to evaluate different out-of-pocket costs. Simply activate and deactivate drugs by clicking the switch next the medication on the “Compare Plans” page to include them in the plan comparison or not.
We hope that by using these tips you can prepare to have a more successful Open Enrollment.