With open enrollment for Medicare Part D just around the corner, 50% discounts on brand name prescriptions while in the coverage gap seems to be a great new benefit this coming year… or is it? Some patient advocate groups, and we at PharmacyChecker.com, are asking, 50% off what price? Will PhRMA offer the discount on a higher-than-normal base price to cover their losses?
As the market, not the government, controls drug prices, it is a possibility that manufacturers will up the prices on drugs, especially specialty medications that lack brand-name alternative or generic competition, in order to make up for the lost profit. A brand name drug that costs $100 per month now – $50 in 2011 for Medicare Part D enrollees – may likely cost $120 next year – or $60 for Medicare enrollees – so that the manufacturers are able to spare revenue loss little by little. (more…)
Tagged with: affordable prescriptions, Drug Prices, health, Healthcare Reform, Medicare, Medicare Drug Plans, Part D, phrma, save money, seniors, United States
As we previously reported, nearly 3 million seniors will be forced to change their Medicare drug plan this year due to the new health reform law. Now, in addition to the millions who have to, many may voluntarily change plans if their premiums go up, which is likely. A new report from Avalere Health, a private research firm, shows that among the top Medicare plans, premiums are expected raise an average of 10%.
In general, Medicare officials say the average premium should only raise 1%, but on the high end it could be up to 43%! Enrollees of the First Health Part D Premier Plus plan offered by Coventry Health Care will see monthly payments rise from $64 to $91 – that’s over $300 for the year. Another startling change will be for members of the AARP MedicareRX Saver plan, the second most popular among seniors. These enrollees will be switched to the largest plan, AARP MedicareRX Preferred, and will see, on average, a 15% raise in premiums. (more…)
Tagged with: AARP, Avalere Health, Healthcare Reform, MedicareRX Preferred, MedicareRX Saver plan, Part D, seniors
Our health care focus at PharmacyChecker.com is, of course, prescription drug safety and savings. But today we want to simply recognize and report on the first real benefits to come from the now six-month-old health care law. Health insurance companies must make some seriously consumer-friendly changes. As of now, insurers:
– Must not exclude children from coverage because of pre-existing health conditions. The White House has noted that this may explain coverage to 72,000 children who were previously insured.
– Must offer adult children under the age of 26 coverage under their parent’s health plans.
– Will be prohibited from dropping customers due to technical mistakes on their applications. (more…)
Tagged with: health reform, Healthcare Reform