Thursday, August 26, 2010

9 % Hike In Drug Costs Outstripped Inflation in 2010

Medicare will force 3 million patients to change drug plans

Name brand prescription drug prices have risen by close to 9
over the past year and it's something that will
probably cause about 20 percent of the nation's 17.5 million
Medicare clients enrolled in stand-alone drug plans to have
to change their Part D program.

The rise in drug prices has added about $10 billion to the
nation's drug bill, according to research by the American
Association of Retired Persons, though the rate of inflation
has shown a negative change of 0.3%.

The net effect will be to force people to change their
prescription drug plan, even though they may like the one
they have and want to stick with it.

According to a consulting firm working for the government,
about 3 million seniors will face having to change plans.

It's a heady risk to take in an election year, say the
nation's policy experts. Republican office seekers and
incumbents have made a lot of political hay over the issue,
pointing out the fact that seniors were promised they could
keep their health care plans, even though the Health Care
Reform Act squeaked through Congress with the narrowest of

Medicare managers are seeking to consolidate some 40
different plans now available in each state. Their goal is
to reduce this number to about 30.

"Some opponents of the law may say that this is taking away
choices, but we have heard from our members for years that
the (drug coverage) options can be confusing," said Nora
Super, AARP's top health care lobbyist.

Nationwide, there are about 1,600 separate plans, many of
them nearly identical.

A new estimate by Avalere, the consulting firm hired by the
government to make recommendations, could result in a hassle
for seniors who had planned to keep the same plan during the
open enrollment season this fall, according to Bonnie
Washington, a senior analyst with the firm.

No comments:

Post a Comment