Humana Medicare Part D 2023 Review

Humana offers $0-deductible and $0-copay options for generic drugs, but coinsurance for brand-name drugs could get expensive.
Alex Rosenberg
By Alex Rosenberg 
Edited by Dawnielle Robinson-Walker

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Humana is the fourth-largest company offering Medicare Part D plans

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. PDP Plan Directory. Accessed Oct 25, 2022.
. About 3.5 million Medicare beneficiaries have Humana Part D plans as of October 2022.

Humana’s Medicare Part D plans have below-average star ratings from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, falling short on nine out of 12 Medicare Part D quality measures.

While Humana Medicare Part D plans generally make generic drugs affordable with low copay and deductible requirements, coinsurance for brand-name drugs could lead to higher out-of-pocket costs.

Here’s what you should know about Humana Medicare Part D prescription drug plans.

Humana Medicare Part D pros and cons

Medicare prescription drug plans from Humana have advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

Cons

  • $0-copay and $0-deductible options. Humana offers multiple options for plans with no copays or deductibles for generic drugs.

  • Medication therapy management program. Humana gets above-average ratings for its program to help members manage their medications — a category where many competitors struggle.

  • Coinsurance requirements. Humana charges coinsurance rather than copays for many drugs, which can get expensive.

  • Low quality ratings. Humana gets below-average ratings on nine out of 12 Medicare Part D quality measures.

Humana Medicare Part D prescription drug plans

Medicare beneficiaries with Original Medicare (Part A and/or Part B) can purchase a Medicare Part D plan for prescription drug coverage. Part D plans are sold by private insurance companies. The costs and coverage can vary significantly, so it’s important to compare options.

Humana offers three stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans for 2023

:

  • Humana Walmart Value Rx: According to Humana, this plan is best for “shoppers looking for a plan with an affordable premium that also features copays as low as $0 and a $0 deductible on Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs.”

  • Humana Basic Rx: According to Humana, this plan is best for “shoppers who qualify for Extra Help, which may cover the entire cost of the premium on this plan and people who want affordable basic coverage with access to a preferred cost-sharing network.”

  • Humana Premier Rx: According to Humana, this plan is best for “shoppers who want the security of our most comprehensive [prescription drug plan], with copays as low as $0 and $0 deductibles on over 900 Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs.”

Humana Medicare Part D service area

Stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans from Humana are available in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 2023 PDP Landscape Source File (v 10 14 2022): State; Organization Name; Plan Name. Accessed Oct 25, 2022.
.

Humana offers all three of its Medicare Part D plan options in all U.S. states and Washington, D.C. In Puerto Rico, there are two options: Humana Basic Rx and Humana Premier Rx (Humana Walmart Value Rx is unavailable).

Humana Medicare Part D cost

Humana Medicare Part D premiums and deductibles

Average premiums for all three of Humana’s Medicare Part D plans have gone up for 2023. The lower-cost Walmart Value Rx plan has the biggest increase in its average premium: It’s over $10 per month more expensive than last year. On average, the mid-level Basic Rx plan is a couple of dollars per month more expensive in 2023, and premiums for the high-end Premier Rx plan have gone up by about $6 per month.

Here are the 2023 premiums and deductibles for Humana’s stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 2023 PDP Landscape Source File (v 10 14 2022): Monthly Drug Premium. Accessed Oct 25, 2022.
:

Plan

Pricing

Humana Walmart Value Rx

Monthly premiums:

  • Lowest: $30.50.

  • Average: $33.01.

  • Highest: $44.50.

Annual deductible: $505.

Humana Basic Rx

Monthly premiums:

  • Lowest: $25.80.

  • Average: $38.

  • Highest: $64.30.

Annual deductible: $505.

Humana Premier Rx

Monthly premiums:

  • Lowest: $72.90.

  • Average: $82.50.

  • Highest: $96.40.

Annual deductible:

  • Lowest: $200.

  • Average: $311.63.

  • Highest: $505.

» If you have concerns about affording Medicare Part D, look into Medicare Extra Help

Humana Medicare Part D drug formulary tiers

A formulary is a list of the prescription drugs covered by an insurance plan. The plans often organize different kinds of drugs into tiers according to the cost of the drugs.

Humana’s prescription drug plans use a five-tier formulary

:

Drug tier

Description

Tier 1: Preferred generics

More common, lower-cost generic prescription drugs.

Tier 2: Generics

Higher-cost generic prescription drugs and some lower-cost brand-name drugs.

Tier 3: Preferred brand

Brand-name drugs with no generic drug equivalent.

Tier 4: Non-preferred drug

Higher-priced brand-name and generic drugs with no preferred cost sharing.

Tier 5: Specialty tier

High-cost drugs that meet Medicare’s definition of a specialty drug.

Each tier has copay or coinsurance requirements. You’ll generally pay more for drugs listed in higher tiers up to Tier 4, but Tier 5 specialty drugs have a lower coinsurance requirement than Tier 4 drugs.

The drugs included in tiers and what you’ll pay for each tier depends on your choice of prescription drug plan and what kind of pharmacy you use. For example, Humana plans sometimes have the lowest copays for prescriptions you fill through Humana-preferred mail-order pharmacies. For retail pharmacies, preferred (in-network) pharmacies can have significantly lower cost-sharing requirements than non-preferred pharmacies.

$0-deductible options

Deductibles can also apply differently depending on the formulary tier. For example, the Humana Walmart Value Rx and Humana Premier Rx plans have no deductible for Tier 1 and Tier 2 drugs. The Humana Basic Rx plan has a deductible for all tiers.

$0-copay options

Humana’s $0-copay options vary by both plan and region:

  • Humana Walmart Value Rx: Copays of $0-$3 for Tier 1 drugs from preferred mail-order pharmacies and $0-$1 for Tier 1 drugs from preferred retail pharmacies, depending on state/region.

  • Humana Basic Rx: $0 copays for Tier 1-2 drugs from preferred mail-order pharmacies. $0 copay or 7% coinsurance for Tier 1 drugs from preferred retail pharmacies, depending on state/region.

  • Humana Premium Rx: $0 copays for Tier 1-2 drugs from preferred mail-order pharmacies.

Cost-sharing requirements for higher tiers can quickly get more expensive. As a result, it’s important to check where your medications and pharmacies fall on each plan’s formulary.

Coinsurance vs. copay requirements

You'll also want to check whether you’ll pay a copay or coinsurance for your medications. Copays are set dollar amounts, so it’s easy to see what you’ll pay. Coinsurance is a percentage of the price for your medications, so coinsurance requirements can be more unpredictable and more expensive.

Humana starts charging coinsurance rather than copays at different formulary tiers for each of its plans:

  • Humana Walmart Value Rx: Copays for Tiers 1-2; coinsurance for Tiers 3-5.

  • Humana Basic Rx: Copays for Tiers 1-2 from preferred mail-order pharmacies. Tier 1-2 drugs from retail pharmacies have either copays or coinsurance depending on your state/region. Coinsurance for Tiers 3-5.

  • Humana Premier Rx: Copays for Tiers 1-3; coinsurance for Tiers 4-5.

You can enter your medications and pharmacy information on Humana’s website to see which drugs are covered and review your estimated costs with different plan options.

Humana Medicare Part D star ratings

Average Part D star rating, weighted by enrollment: 3.02 stars

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rates Medicare Part D plans on 12 quality measures. (You can find definitions for each of these factors in the CMS Star Ratings Technical Notes.)

These ratings use a 5-point scale, where 5 is the best and 1 is the worst. The agency bases its ratings on drug plans’ quality of service and customer experiences, and ratings are updated annually.

Based on the most recent year of data, stand-alone Humana prescription drug plans get an average rating of 3.02 stars, weighted by enrollment. The 2023 average for all stand-alone Medicare Part D plans from all providers, weighted by enrollment, was 3.25 stars

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 2023 Medicare Star Ratings Fact Sheet. Accessed Oct 25, 2022.
.

Compare Humana Part D star ratings

Stand-alone Medicare Part D plans from Humana outperformed the national average on three Part D measures, but it fell behind the national average on nine measures

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. 2023 Star Ratings Data Table - Measure Stars (Oct 04 2022). Accessed Oct 25, 2022.
.

Here’s how stand-alone Humana prescription drug plans compared with national averages for each of the 12 Part D measures

:

Measure

Humana average

National average

Call center – foreign language interpreter and TTY availability

5 stars.

4.1 stars.

Drug plan quality improvement

2.33 stars.

2.2 stars.

Medication Therapy Management program completion rate for comprehensive medication review

3.67 stars.

3.1 stars.

Measure

Humana average

National average

Complaints about the drug plan

4.33 stars.

4.4 stars.

Members choosing to leave the plan (a higher star rating means fewer members choose to leave)

3 stars.

4 stars.

Rating of drug plan

2.33 stars.

3.3 stars.

Getting needed prescription drugs

2.33 stars.

3.5 stars.

Medicare plan finder price accuracy

1.67 stars.

3.5 stars.

Medication adherence for diabetes medications

2 stars.

2.9 stars.

Medication adherence for hypertension

1.67 stars.

2.7 stars.

Medication adherence for cholesterol

2 stars.

3.1 stars.

Statin use in persons with diabetes

2.33 stars.

2.9 stars.

Third-party ratings for Humana Medicare Part D plans

American Customer Satisfaction Index: 74 out of 100

The American Customer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI, rates consumer satisfaction with products and services based on a scientific model developed at the University of Michigan. Ratings are derived from surveys that measure consumers’ expectations and perceived quality and value of products and services.

In 2021, Humana scored 74 out of 100 on the ACSI health insurance satisfaction benchmark

American Customer Satisfaction Index. Health Insurance. Accessed Oct 25, 2022.
. ACSI measures satisfaction with the health insurance industry as a whole — Humana’s score represents all of its health insurance products, not just Medicare Part D insurance. For comparison, the highest score was 75 and the health insurance industry average was 73.

AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A-

AM Best is a credit rating agency that specializes in the insurance industry. In September 2022, AM Best affirmed its Financial Strength Rating of A- (Excellent) for the majority of health and dental subsidiaries of Humana Inc

. AM Best also affirmed an FSR of B++ (Good) for Humana’s Puerto Rico subsidiaries, collectively referred to as Humana Health of Puerto Rico Group.

An A- rating in this category indicates that AM Best believes Humana has an excellent ability to meet its ongoing insurance obligations. A B++ rating indicates that AM Best believes Humana Health of Puerto Rico Group has a good ability to meet ongoing insurance obligations.

About Humana

Humana is a health insurance company headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky. Its insurance offerings include Medicare Advantage plans, Medicare prescription drug plans, Medicare Supplement Insurance, employer-sponsored policies, Medicaid coverage and dental and vision plans. As of June 2022, Humana had about 8.7 million members across all of its Medicare products. Humana posted annual revenue of $83.1 billion in 2021.

Read the NerdWallet reviews of these other Humana Medicare offerings:

Compare alternatives

Compare Medicare Part D prescription drug plan companies

Company

Average stand-alone Medicare Part D star rating, weighted by enrollment (2023)

3.21 stars.

3.5 stars.

3.52 stars.

3.02 stars.

2 stars.

3 stars.

Find the right Medicare Part D prescription drug plan

The interactive tool on Medicare.gov can help you find a Medicare Part D plan that covers your prescriptions. It also helps you compare costs among Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans available to you.

Here are some things to keep in mind when comparing plans:

  • Check the formulary: You’ll want to make sure the medicines you currently take and, importantly, any you think you might need in the future, are covered under each of the plans you’re considering. Talk to your health care providers about what brand-name and generic medicines to look for and any alternatives that may also work in case you can’t find your current medicines on the plans available in your area.

  • Look for plan changes: Formularies change frequently. Your insurer should send you a Notice of Plan Change when the formulary changes. Read that document carefully.

  • Check the pharmacy network: Most Medicare Part D plans negotiate with a network of pharmacies for the lowest cost. Check to see if your pharmacy or an equally convenient one is in the plan’s network. Also, compare prices for using mail order.

If your plan does change, and the change affects the prescription drugs you need, you can switch plans during Medicare's open enrollment period, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. Changes go into effect on the following Jan. 1.

If you have additional questions about Medicare, visit Medicare.gov or call 800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227, TTY 877-486-2048).
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