While Medicare Part D prescription drug plan premiums are generally expected to remain steady in 2013, this PPI Fact Sheet by Leigh Purvis and Lee Rucker finds that premiums for many popular plans will actually be considerably higher than they were in 2012. Many plans are also increasing cost-sharing and their reliance on utilization management tools for covered prescription drugs. Medicare beneficiaries should closely examine their 2013 prescription drug plan choices during open enrollment for Part D.
Video: 5 minutes to lower Medicare Part D spending on MedicareSaver.com
Top Medicare Part D Plan Costs Spike in 2013
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Commentary: The case for Medicare Part D
One certain reason enrollees are satisfied is that 2012 premiums are lower on average than 2011 premiums. In 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) found that the Medicare Part D program saved enrollees $2.1 billion in 2011 because of the Gap Discount program, which requires drug manufacturers to provide discounts on brand-name and generic drugs to seniors in the gap or “donut hole.” About 3.6 million enrollees nationwide benefitted from these discounts, at an average of $604 each.
The Hunt is Afoot For Medicare Part D
You can complete an easy-to-use online application for Extra Help at www.socialsecurity.gov. Click on Medicare on the top right side of the page. Then click on “Get Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs.” To apply by phone or have an application mailed to you, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask for the Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020). Or go to your nearest Social Security office.
Cost Of Raising Medicare Eligibility Age
We must give them a chance — early indicators are positive, though they may be conflated with recession-induced (i.e., temporary) dips in demand. If they fail to control costs, then it’s back to the drawing board. But now’s the time to watch and evaluate, not to reduce access to what is a highly efficient, effective form of health coverage for the nation’s seniors.
Making Sense Of Medicare Part D Open Enrollment
Each year, plan premiums, deductibles, prescription co-payments and annual out-of-pocket expenses can change. When considering what plan works best for you in terms of cost, it is important to consider all these elements (premiums, deductibles and co-payments) in order to calculate the total cost of the plan. Drugs covered under Medicare Part D may also vary from plan to plan and from region to region. It’s important to re-evaluate your plan if your prescriptions have changed, you’re traveling more frequently or have moved. Selecting the right plan can save you money and put you on a path to better health.
Medicare Part D :: Buddy Carter
Currently, 1.3 million Georgians depend on Medicare. We have to do everything we can to preserve the program for them and future retirees. Yet, Democrats have no plan to save the program, and continue to chastise Republicans for proposing credible solutions to the imminent crisis. Even as Medicare is foundering, Democrats have raided $716 billion from the program to finance Obamacare.
Most Medicare Part D beneficiaries not in low
An analysis of more than 100,000 user sessions on PlanPrescriber.com found only 5 percent of customers were in the Medicare prescription drug plan (PDP) with the lowest total out-of-pocket costs available to them. Only 24 percent of customers were in the Medicare Advantage prescription drug (MAPD) plan with the lowest total out-of pocket costs.
Lord of the (Medicare) Rings: One price to rule them all, and in the federal register bind them.
Since premium support is likely off the table for the time being, there are still many other things that Medicare can do to improve care coordination and value. We should bundle Medicare services by putting Parts A&B together, with one premium for seniors, which would encourage providers to better coordinate care. We should allow administrative services organizations (ASOs), widely used by large private employers, to set up networks of preferred providers in Medicare, and offer seniors incentives – through reduced co-pays or enhanced benefits – to utilize low-cost, high quality providers. ASOs could also represent an appealing ideological mid-point between premium support, traditional Medicare FFS, and Medicare Advantage plans. The key would be to bundle payments and have all providers “go naked” on their outcomes data so we have some correlation between the money spent and actual performance. Additional, web-based tools could then help seniors find the providers who offered the best care at the lowest cost. Indeed, this approach is already being tested by United Healthcare at a number of oncology centers around the country. In an effort to control costs of cancer treatment, the insurer will provide up-front payments for a typical 6 to 12 month course of treatment, and allow the oncologist to determine the specifics, rather than paying by volume of care. An earlier study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice found evidence to support this type of approach, identifying some $9,000 in savings for patients on evidence-based pathways in the treatment of lung cancer, with little change in 12 months survival rate. Studies like this can provide a benchmark for weighing how different treatment strategies and practice designs affect the cost of care and health outcomes and – most importantly – inform patient choice in the oncology setting.
2013 Part D Medicare Changes
Prescription drug coverage costs are increasing in 2013 again. Not by a lot, but costs to seniors have been steadily increasing since 2006. The CMS, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, have created a benefit cost chart from 2006 to 2013. To name a few of the changes: Initial deductibles will increase by $5.00 rising from $320.00 in 2012 to $325.00 in 2013. The initial coverage limit will increase to $2970.00 from $2930.00, and the out-of-pocket threshold (Donut Hole) will increase from $4,700.00 to $4,750.00.
Picking a Medicare Part D Plan is not that confusing, but it can be aggravating!
Although the author of said article disagrees with me on this point, I always tell people to choose a plan with a high star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The star ratings measure everything from customer service issues such as call wait times to clinical issues such as adherence rates for members taking diabetes and hypertension medications. Starting in 2015, CMS will begin terminating the contracts of Part D and Part C sponsors that fail to receive at least a 3-star (average) rating for 3 years in a row—so if you choose a low-rated plan, you may end up having to switch plans in two years. To me, that’s a hassle.