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How To Reduce Medicare Drug Costs

Learn about all the new Medicare Plans for 2025, costs, benefits, deadlines and more. From Supplement Plans (Medigap) and Rx Prescription Drug plans, to Medicare Advantage Part C, you can find them here.  And best of all, Medicare is all I do!

Medicare Broker Peter Palmiotto
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How To Reduce Medicare Drug Costs

Many seniors are concerned with rising costs of prescription drug costs. Here are my top 8 ways to help reduce those costs.

  • Ask Your Plan To Lower The Cost – You can ask your insurance plan for a “Tier Exception” for any of your high-cost medications. Each insurance company has a formulary of medications, and places each medication on a Tier level, the higher the Tier, the more expensive the medication. If your medication is a Tier 4, you can ask your insurance company to lower the Tier down to Tier 3. Your copayment would then be lower. You can ask about multiple medications at one time.
  • Shop Around – Just because you have a Medicare drug plan, doesn’t mean you have to use it. Often, sites like SingleCare or GoodRx , will sell you the same drug for much less than your copayment. You will need to pay cash, and you do not show your insurance card.  Just ask your pharmacist to compare prices then next time you refill.
  • Hockey, Maple Syrup, Jim Carrey – While Canada is well known for many things, cheaper medications isn’t on most people’s minds. Head over to www.pharmacychecker.com and enter your medications. You may find that the “international” price is much less than your plan or US based pharmacy prices. This site is certified, safe, and very easy to use. Just think of this as a “pharmacy” that your doctor calls the prescription into. Refrigerated medications are not available through this service.
  • Call Big Pharma – The manufacturer of your medications (Eli Lilly, Pfizer, AbbVie etc) will often times have deep discounts or programs for seniors. Often times these programs are set dollar amounts (like $10) on a monthly basis for their medications. It’s worth a quick Google search and a few phone calls.
  • Call Uncle Sam – Yes, Uncle Sam offers flat rate costs on medications for those on Medicare, it’s based on your income, and you do need to apply.  Typically you must make less than $22,000 per year (single) or $30,000 per year (married) to qualify for this. Call Medicare at 800-633-4227 and ask to apply for “Extra Help for my Medicare Part D.”  They will guide you through the application process.  Most medications will be set at $0,  with high cost medications capping out at around $11/mo for a 30-day supply.  This program is also known as “Extra Help.”
  • Ask Your Doctor – Perhaps the medication you’re taking has a less expensive alternative, like a generic version, or a version that doesn’t cost as much. Also ask your doctor for samples, they often get free samples from the local pharmaceutical reps. This may help stretch your supply avoiding the dreaded ‘gap’ or doughnut hole.
  • Buy in Bulk by Mail – Buying in 90 or 100 day supplies may give you a small discount at the store or when ordering by Mail Order. You should check your plan’s summary of benefits. It should show you what price you pay when you buy in bulk at physical pharmacies, or through Mail order.  Larger quantities will often result in a discount. Some medications cannot be purchased in large quantities, such as opioids. You’ll need to ask your doctor to prescribe these larger quantities.
  • Up The Dosage & Split – I’m not a doctor, but this seems logical, so ask someone with a Medical Degree if this is right for your situation.  Some pills you can split in 1/2.  Let’s say you’re currently taking a 10mg pill once per day, you may want to research buying a 20mg pill and splitting it in ½.  A 30-day supply would actually last 60 days. This often results in savings, especially when you buy a 100-day supply through mail order.  Be warned though, this might actually result in higher costs as higher potency pills may be more than 2x the price of your normal medication.  This strategy requires a little extra research, but may result in substantial savings. Always follow your doctor’s orders concerning dosage, I am not advocating for lowering your dosage or changing your doctor’s orders, just offering a potential money saving tip.
  • Ask Your State – Maryland has a fantastic program called the SPDAP which stands for the Senior Prescription Drug Assistance Program.  Income limits are much higher than the “Extra Help” and this program has several benefits. First it pays up to $75 per month towards your Drug Plan premium or your Medicare Advantage Plan premiums. This does not lower your copayments, but does help with monthly costs. Secondly, it allows you to change your Drug Plan or your Medicare Advantage Plan throughout the year (rather than just once per year).  Last, it would allow you to join a Medicare Advantage Plan mid-year, instead of waiting until the Annual Enrollment period.  Head over to www.marylandspdap.com to learn more.
  • Generic Discount Plans – Most insurance plans give you Generic Tier 1 or even Tier 2 medications at little or no cost. If you’re spending more than $4 per month on generic Tier 1 or Tier 2 medications, you may want to ask your pharmacy directly if they have any discount plans for Generics, like Walmart and Target do.  Here’s Walmart’s Program >>> , Sam’s Club Program >>> , and no, you do not need a membership to use the Sam’s Club or Costco pharmacy!

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About Me.

My name is Peter Palmiotto, an independent Medicare insurance broker.  As a San Diego native, I attended California State University at Long Beach and have worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies in sales, marketing and brand management.  Self-employed since 2002, I began my Medicare journey in 2011 by creating San Diego Medicare Options and later created a training program to help train new brokers. 


In 2018 we moved to Annapolis, Maryland where I created Maryland Medicare Options. I'm hyper-focused on serving the Maryland market, but also carry licenses in VA, DE, PA, DC, FL, TX, AZ and CA.


I've been married to my wife Kim since 2003 and together we are raising four beautiful daughters.

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Top Plan Changes For 2025 Medicare Plans

Each fall, starting on October 15th and running through December 7th, is what we call the Annual Enrollment Period, or "AEP."  This is when you'll see the most 2025 Medicare Plans in Maryland change.

I'm going to cover the 5 most common changes to lookout for and what deadlines you need to be aware of for Medicare Advantage Part C plans and Drug Plans.

  • CHANGES TO BENEFITS:  Be on the lookout for your 2025 Medicare Plan ANOC letter mailed by your carrier sometime in September. This stands for Annual Notice of Change. This letter will show you, side-by-side, 2024 Medicare Plans vs 2025 Plan benefits.  This will clearly show if your benefits are going up, or down, or being eliminated. 
  • NETWORK CHANGES:  Most network negotiations occur in the late spring and into the summer months, with final contracts typically coming down to the wire each year. Most doctor networks won't change, but you might want to ask your providers if your 2025 Medicare Plan will be accepted by the physician. Be sure to call in November to ask, so you have time to change in the rare case your physician group leaves the plan.
  • PRICING:  You can be sure that prices for your plans, and copayments will change each year.  Some are very subtle and you may not even realize (or care) that they changed.  Big changes to look for would be the monthly premium, the hospital stays, and the doctor visits.  These can add up over time. Pricing changes will also be listed in your ANOC letter.
  • Rx COVERAGE:  Rx plans change each year, and so will your insurance companies drug formulary.  This is a list of all the medications your plan covers. Each company negotiates rates, and sometimes medications are dropped completely in favor for less expensive alternatives.  It's best to ask your broker to rerun your Rx list each fall to ensure you're fully covered.
  • SUPPLEMENTAL PERKS:  If you plan on having a 2025 Medicare Advantage Plan, be sure to check the "perks" you get to see if they are being changed (for better or worse).  Things like Dental, Vision, Hearing, Transportation and Gym memberships often change. The biggest changes will be in the "Over The Counter" quarterly benefits.  These are adjusted based on usage, and plans often time move around money to bolster benefits that are being utilized, and sunset benefits that are not. 
Where Do I Get My ANOC Letter?

Every Medicare insurance company that offers a Medicare Advantage Plan in 2025 is required to send you a letter in September.  If you misplaced this letter or simply did not get one, you can call the customer service number on the back of your membership card and ask for another letter.  You can also contact me to request one, and I'd be happy to send you a copy. Just let me know which Advantage Plan you currently have:

  • peterpalmiotto@gmail.com
  • (410) 896-1212
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The small print...

Maryland Medicare Advantage Part C Disclosure: I do not offer every plan available in your area. Currently I represent 8 organizations which offer 39 products in your area. Please contact Medicare.gov, 1–800–MEDICARE, or your local State Health Insurance Program to get information on all of your options.

THIS IS A SOLICITATION TO SELL INSURANCE.

Peter Palmiotto is an independently licensed insurance broker and receives compensation when insurance policies are issued. He is not sponsored or endorsed by any insurance company. This is a proprietary website and is not associated with, endorsed or authorized by the state of Maryland, Social Security Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services or the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This site contains decision-support content and information about Medicare, services related to Medicare and services for people with Medicare.

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