Seniors Win Battle over Medicare Part D Doughnut Hole

“Any changes to Medicare should help, not hurt, patients,” say the PhRMA ads. Yet PhRMA’s actions tell a different story. Last February, Congress struck a bipartisan deal to help close the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap, known as the ‘doughnut hole,’ a year earlier than expected. In addition, brand name drug companies are now responsible for picking up more of the cost of their products for Medicare beneficiaries who are in the doughnut hole. The provision was part …

Social Security, Medicare Anniversaries Remind Voters of Important Issues in Pivotal Election Year

This summer marks another successful anniversary for Social Security and Medicare as Social Security turns 83 and Medicare turns 53. Social Security and Medicare remain critical to the economic and health security of Americans, and although the programs remain strong, challenges lay ahead for the long term. We can and must find bipartisan solutions to strengthen these vital programs, ensuring they can meet their promise for current and future generations. With regard to Medicare, we need to take further steps …

Medicare Part D Improvements Help Beneficiaries and Taxpayers

Fifteen years ago, President George W. Bush signed the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act which, among other things, created Medicare Part D to cover outpatient prescription drugs. Today, more than 40 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. Medicare Part D has since benefited from a number of changes that helped reduce prescription drug-related expenses for older Americans. Unfortunately, this important progress is now under threat. Basics of Medicare Part D The standard Medicare …

Shingles Vaccine May Be out of Reach for Some Medicare Beneficiaries

Introduction to Shingles Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful skin rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus — the same virus that causes chicken pox. Once people recover from chicken pox, the virus remains in their body in an inactive state. In some people, it stays dormant; in others, the virus reactivates and causes shingles. The condition is most common in older adults and people with weakened immune systems. The most common complication of shingles is …

Paying More for Your Rx Meds? 7 Ways to Save

Has this happened to you lately? You go to refill one of your regular prescriptions at the pharmacy and the copay has gone up — a lot. That’s a nasty little surprise that’s happened to 1 in 3 Americans in the last 12 months, according to a new Consumer Reports survey of more than 1,000 adults taking prescription meds. Those hit with sticker shock said they paid an average $39 above the usual cost for their prescription, with 1 in …

Why People Love Their Medicare Drug Coverage

Medicare’s drug coverage gets a 90 percent satisfaction rating from people who use it. Medicare Part D, in short, gets an A from beneficiaries. Pretty good for a program that barely squeaked through Congress 10 years ago. Here’s what Medicare beneficiaries think about Part D today, according to a national survey sponsored by the Healthcare Leadership Council: Ninety-six percent say the drug coverage gives them peace of mind. Ninety-five percent say their plan is convenient to use. Eighty-four percent say …