Skip to comments.Millions Not Joining Medicare Drug Plan
Posted on 02/21/2006 7:02:35 AM PST by AZRepublican
A $400 million campaign by the Bush administration to enroll low-income seniors in prescription drug coverage that would cost them just a few dollars per prescription has signed up 1.4 million people, a fraction of the 8 million eligible for the new coverage.
At this rate, by some calculations, the government is on track to spend about $250 for each person it enrolls, and even then it would have only 2 million poor senior citizens taking advantage of what is perhaps the most generous government benefit available today.
"It's a very, very good benefit," said Deane Beebe, whose organization, the Medicare Rights Center, has been critical of many aspects of the new Medicare drug program, called Part D. "It's probably the best thing about Medicare Part D, except that most people don't know about it or don't know how to apply for it or are not comfortable or capable of applying."
When Congress enacted the first-ever drug plan for Medicare's 42 million beneficiaries, it created a tiered system in which the poorest and sickest seniors pay the least. About 6 million elderly and disabled people were switched from state Medicaid programs to virtually free Medicare coverage. Retirees at the high end of the income scale have the option of purchasing a plan with standard out-of-pocket costs such as monthly premiums, deductibles and co-payments.
The group sandwiched in between -- those earning too much for Medicaid but less than $19,000 -- qualify for coverage with no premiums, no deductibles and co-payments of less than $5. Congress gave the Social Security Administration $500 million primarily to identify and enroll them.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...
You can lead a horse to water....
"It's probably the best thing about Medicare Part D, except that most people don't know about it or don't know how to apply for it or are not comfortable or capable of applying."
I think I figured out the problem...
"....The group sandwiched in between -- those earning too much for Medicaid but less than $19,000 -- qualify for coverage with no premiums, no deductibles and co-payments of less than $5."
I can assure you that this is a false statement if it is (as it appears) supposed to be a representation of Medicare Part D Rx plan.......there is a monthly premium, a 250 deductible, and a 2250 dollar limit on the actual discount which is tabulated at absolute top-dollar retail for the purpose of reaching the 2250.
It appears that most people just want to show up at the doctor's office, hospital, or pharmacy whenever they feel like it, get some service or prescription at little or no cost to them, and be on their merry way. Say what you will about whether or not the program is the right one in the first place, but there are just too many ways to find out about these benefits NOT to do something about it.
...but you can't make him take his Toprol XL.
My girlfriends Grandparents said they went on the Part D plan and the cost of their medications has increased dramatically. I'll need to remind them that they don't have to use Part D, unless you're stuck on it once you start.
I knew this was a bad plan from the beginning.
Sheez. The rules must have been written by the same people who write the tax code.
Republican President+Republican Congress=New Entitlement Program
That's what my mom said. Too damn confusing.
Actually, depending on the individuals LICS (low income subsidy), the statement is absolutely correct. Depending on the LICS, there can be a zero premium, zero deductible, and no true out-of-pocket limit. In otherwords, zero cost across the board.
Sounds normal, I'm with them.
It's a medical plan written by lawyers.
Unfortunately, you want the medicine to work. That requires research which costs money. And if it doesn't work, the lawyers suck more money from the system.
Here in California, Arnold designated 15 million to help out until things got sorted out. Seniors were complaining every which way according to the news. I don't like it that we even HAVE this program, but its here and there is no reason why people should be confused.
I did the research, signed my mother up for a plan...her drugs are waaaaaya cheaper (thanks to the taxpayers) and we also have coverage after the 2250 is reached.
It took my wife several hours to figure it out for my mother. And my wife has worked with insurance/human resources for 15 years. There is no way my 78 year old mother could figure it out.
"....they don't have to use Part D, unless you're stuck on it once you start."
Thats the secret.....they are under NO obligation to get all of their meds thru the Part D provider.....this plan is useful only if someone actively manages it.
My revelation led me to decide to buy my Mothers generics as a straight-up walk-in at a local pharmacy, using only her AARP discount card........and to use the "Plan D" program to mail-order her very expensive bob-generics.......the 2250 limit is severely compromised if you allow the "total cost" of the generics to be tabulated into the 2250 at top-dollar-retail. Big deal if she pats 25 at a pharmacy instead of 4 thru part D but has 200 or more tacked onto the accumulating 2250.
non-generics......damn b is too close to the n, LOL