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 ...
Excuse me???? Is that how you talk to another freeper? We are having a discussion, which I thought was adult like, but sounds like some one like you don't like other people to have a different point of view, and please remember this SIR:
MY KIDS WILL BE PAYING FOR YOUR BUTT MEDS TO!!!
Make all the old folks stand in line out in the cold and bury them in complicated forms that often say one thing on one page and the exact opposite on another page deeper into the morass.
No one completes an application..no one qualifies...no need for the program...cut the sucker...
Thats pretty much how the Clinton's cut the VA programs for many disabled Vets
If anyone out there has a strong opinion that opposes this would you please share it? My father-in-law asked me to figure out what they should do. After reading countless pages of insurance-speak and government-speak and realizing both sides were exaggerating the benefits of their point of view while ignoring the negatives, but advice to my father-in-law was to stay put. They have medicare and a Blue Cross Supplement with a decent drug prescription plan. From what I understand, once you go in to the gov't plan you can never go back. But if you have your own plan you can stay there as long as you want and just pay a penalty for joining the government plan late should you change your mind. In the vein of never buying a car on it's first model year cause the kinks aren't worked out yet, I couldn't see a reason for the parents-in-law to switch. Anyone who believes differently, PLEASE give me your opinion!! (Thanks!)
Because the msn has made this out to be a BIG confusion - I put off looking into Medicare D until now. Oh I had already called AARP who I get my supplemental thru and was not pleased with their plan. So this is what I found....today
MEDICARE ... DRUG PLAN (in Hawaii)
1. $22.85 per month premium...
2. No cost for Rx until MEDICARE has paid out $2250.00 -** except you do pay a copay of $5.00 or $28.00 or $55.00 copay depending on generic vs name brand AND your Dr can fax a request for the drug he desires & eliminate the higher copay
3. When Medicare reaches $2250.00 in drugs payouts *** then all drug will become your responsibility UNTIL costs reach $3600.00 Then Medicare will pick up 95% and you will pay 5%.
Medicare D recap
1. Monthly Premium .. $22.85
2. Copay .. $ 5.00 +
3. No deductible
4. No expense to patient until Medicare has paid out $2250.00
5. Drug expenses from $2250.00 - 3600.00 is patient responsibility.
6. From $3600.00 on with no limit Medicare pays 95% and patient pays 5% -- until the end of the year!!
Now for an AARP partnered plan ( I don't know what else to call it).
AARP Partnered Private Plan RX plan. ... Drug Plan
1. $80.00 (aprox) premium per month
2. Deductible of $250.00
3. THEN the non government program will pay 50% and you pay 50% of the RX up to $3000.00 (which includes your 50% and the $250.00 deductible). After $3000. has been paid out ALL RX pay-outs are finished or as they say here pau until the next year starts - and so does the deductible start again.
AARP Plan recap
1. $80.00 premium - aprox.
2. $250.00 deductible YOU have to reach.
3. private plan does a 50/50 with patient after deductible has been met.
4. when expenses reach $3000.00 (including the $250. ded. and include patients part of the 50/50 the coverage STOPS not to begin again until the next year.
I do not know how MEDICAL SAVINGS ACCOUNTS plays into this!!!
I don't have road rage ----- I have PHONE RAGE ....BIG TIME as one of my favorites says.
It is not complicated!! It will save me money!!!!!
Six hours later - maybe more - I got it done.
The problem is ... you are making a decision you can not up-grade, only down grade.
I don't take any Rx but still have to plan for when I might, and now will be less expensive than next year.
Slowly but surely -- "hillary care" is taking place.
You are exactly correct. I have spent the last 12 weeks in this mess. It has been impossible, with patients having signed up, but eligibility not beginning until after a phone call to the company--if you can get through. I know one New York company with the standard "all operators are busy" message that doesn't even put you on hold--it just hangs up.
As for those who say it is easy to understand, I say wrong! One pharmacist I know, who has done retail for 20 years, couldn't get her own mother enrolled and finally said, "to hell with it." If she can't figure it out, with seminar after seminar last summer and fall, then I don't expect Aunt Minnie to figure it out. The major problem was that in the seminars, no one knew what was going to happen until December. This implementation makes the post-war Iraq planning look downright prescient.
The vast majority of complaints I hear about the plan is the fact that it has choices. It's not as much confusing as it requires you to make a decision. This generation was raised on avoiding decisions.
I respectfully disagree, but then we could both be right!