Thursday, August 26, 2010

Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Changes

If you like your Medicare Plan D (prescription drug coverage), too bad, you will probably have to make a change come next year.

So much for Obama's promise that "if you like your plan you can keep it."

The government is imposing changes to "simplify" your life by giving you fewer choices.

A new analysis by a leading private research firm estimates that more than 3 million beneficiaries will see their current drug plan eliminated as Medicare tries to winnow down duplicative and confusing coverage, in order to offer consumers more meaningful choices. Instead of 40 or more plans in each state, beneficiaries would pick from 30 or so.

While on the surface that seems like a good thing, if one fourth of the Medicare drug plans are eliminated that means someone is going to have to make a change whether they like it or not.

Medicare has already notified insurers they will no longer be able to offer more than one "basic" drug plan in any given location. Several major prescription plans, including CVS-Caremark and AARP, offered two basic options throughout the country this year, Washington said. Eliminating that particular kind of duplication would force 2.75 million beneficiaries to find new coverage

The old saying about "I'm from the government and I am here to help you" is not going to set well with some seniors.

And then there is this . . .

Separately, an AARP report issued Wednesday found that retail prices for brand name drugs widely used by seniors rose by 8.3 percent last year, far outpacing general inflation.

Not so surprising.

Once drug companies figure out someone other than the patient is paying for the medication they feel free to raise prices.

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