On this page we help consumers: Compare Blue Shield Rx Plus, a 2020 Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) available in California for $40.70/month with a $435.00 deductible, with all Medicare Part D Plans in CA.
Blue Shield Rx Plus is a 3.5 Star Medicare Part D Plan for Medicare Beneficiaries in California
CMS gave this prescription drug plan a quality rating of 3.5 out of 5.0 stars (Average).
These are the areas of the plan that are important to compare and review:
- Premium & Deductible: The premium is the amount you will pay monthly. Plud, many plans have an annual deductible that must be met before cost sharing begins.
- Coverage Phases: Part D plans have an initial coverage limit, followed by a coverage gap, and then catastropic coverage. Some plans offer some coverage in the gap.
- Co-pays & Co-insurance: If you have regular prescriptions, it's critical to verify that your drugs are covered and to know what you will pay at the pharmacy.
- CMS Ratings: Important measurements across 4 different areas that will help you understand how well this plan will care for you.
Blue Shield Rx Plus does not pay all costs; it's a cost sharing plan. If you join, you share in the overall costs with Blue Shield of California by paying a monthly premium, an annual deductible (if applicable), and copayments and/or coinsurance at your pharmacy.
This plan's annual premium is $488.40 ($40.70 paid monthly). It's priced as follows:
This plan is not available to people receiving full Low Income Subsidy (LIS) benefits.
This plan has a $435.00 deductible (annual).
For 2020, the maximum Part D deductible is $435. A plan with the maximum deductible does not necessarily mean that it is more expensive than a plan with a lower deductible or no deductible at all. You need to consider all costs.
You Pay the Premium + Deductible + Copayments
Here's a rundown of your shared costs. Like all other types of insurance, you must pay your premium. The premium has nothing to do with how many prescriptions you have filled. If the plan has a deductible, you must pay one hundred percent of your prescription costs until you reach the amount of the deductible. When the deductible is met, then you pay the copayment amount at the pharmacy. All other costs are paid by the plan until you hit the donut hole (initial coverage limit)
What You Pay Could Be Different
There are two situations that can change your monthly premium. If your income is low and you are accepted into the Extra Help program administered by Social Security, your premium could be lower. It's also possible that your premium could be higher due to a late entry penalty. Be sure to speak with an authorized California Medicare Insurance Agent to get an exact quote for your situation.
Blue Shield Rx Plus is a Basic PDP. At a minimum, Blue Shield of California must offer a "standard benefit" package mandated by law. The standard benefit includes an annual deductible and a gap in coverage, aka, donut hole. Carriers may also offer plans that:
- are actuarially equivalent to the standard benefit; or
- are enhanced, offering benefits in addition to the standard benefit.
Typically, enhanced plans offer additional coverage during the coverage gap. If you fell into the donut hole last year, shop enhanced plans.
Initial Coverage Limit
Confused about the initial coverage limit? Don't be, because it's straight forward. If you enroll in the Blue Shield Rx Plus PDP, you share the cost of your prescriptions with Blue Shield of California. You each pay your share until the amount spent at the pharmacy reaches $4020.00 (retail spending amount). That's the initial coverage limit in California for plan year 2020. After that, you are not covered (coverage gap) until your actual out-of-pocket costs qualify you for catastrophic coverage. Keep reading, because you are entitled to automatic discounts.
Coverage Gap (aka, Donut Hole)
When you reach the coverage gap, commonly called the donut hole, you pay for your medications yourself. Most seniors never go into the coverage gap, but it is possible to hit it quickly if you have expensive long-term prescriptions.
In the coverage gap phase you are responsible for the full cost of your prescription drugs up until your total out-of-pocket expenses reach $6,350 (excluding premiums and expense paid by insurance) minus a 75% discount on both brand-name prescription drugs and generics. Once you reach $6,350 in out-of-pocket expenses, you're out of the coverage gap. At this point, you automatically get catastrophic coverage through Medicare, which assures you only pay a small amount for covered drugs for the remainder of the year.
Additional Gap Coverage
Blue Shield Rx Plus does not offer additional assistance in the coverage gap. If you reached the coverage gap last year and were not able to afford your medications, be sure to check with your local California Medicaid office. You may qualify for additional assistance. The Social Security Administration's Extra Help program is another opportunity for seniors on Medicare who are not able to afford their prescriptions.
Copayment & Coinsurance Details
In addition to the monthly premium and annual deductible, the Blue Shield Rx Plus prescription drug plan has copayments (fixed dollar amount) and/or coinsurances (percentage) that you must pay when you pickup your medications. Here's the schedule for this plan:
|1 (Preferred Generic)||$2.00 copay||$8.00 copay|
|2 (Generic)||$6.00 copay||$15.00 copay|
|3 (Preferred Brand)||$35.00 copay||$42.00 copay|
|4 (Non-Preferred Drug)||40%||43%|
|5 (Specialty Tier)||25%||25%|
IMPORTANT: In order to determine if this is the best PDP for you, it's critical that you look up your prescriptions in the plan's formulary.
Medicare Part D Star Ratings
In this section we show you the quality rating for this plan. Each year the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) rates prescription drug plans in four broad categories. We do not recommend joining a plan with an overall rating less than 3.0. The following marks will give you an idea of the level of care you will receive if you join this Blue Shield of California plan.
|2020 Overall Rating|
|Drug Plan Customer Service|
|Complaints and Changes in the Drug Plan|
|Member Experience with the Drug Plan|
|Drug Safety and Accuracy of Drug Pricing|
Contact Blue Shield of California
Here's the new member contact information for Blue Shield of California:
For assistance 24 hours a day, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048 or visit www.medicare.gov
This stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan is compatible with traditional Medicare (Part A and Part B), and all California Medicare supplement plans. It is also compatible with Medicare Advantage plans in California, so long as the plan does not include Part D.
If you are entitled to Medicare Part A (enrolled or not) or currently enrolled in Medicare Part B you may join the Blue Shield Rx Plus prescription drug plan. Unless you also receive benefits from Medicaid, enrollment in a Part D plan is voluntary. This plan is available in Los Angeles, Long Beach, Anaheim, San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ontario, San Diego, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Sacramento, Roseville, San Jose, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara, Fresno, Bakersfield, Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Ventura, Sonoma, Napa, Stockton, Irvine, and all other towns and cities in California.