Recent Trends in Drug Pricing Show Stark Differences in Brand-Name and Generic Drug Affordability

Lindsey CopelandMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

A new report from the AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) examines trends in prices for 390 generic prescription drugs widely used by older adults. The report found that retail prices for these drugs fell by an average of 9.3% between 2016 and 2017; the general inflation rate rose by 2.1% during the same period. This follows two consecutive years of substantial generic drug price decreases; the previous two years saw prices increase. Read More...

Medicare Payments for Insulin Have Increased Dramatically, Report Finds

Casey SchwarzMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation report highlights the dramatic increase in Medicare spending on insulin products from 2007 to 2017. When taking into account payments made by plans, beneficiaries, and the federal government, spending increased by 840% from $1.4 to $13.3 billion. Although there are an increasing number of Part D enrollees and an increase in the percentage of enrollees who have diabetes—with one third (33%) of people with Medicare diagnosed with diabetes in 2016, up from 18% in 2000—these trends do not account for the steep growth in overall spending. Indeed, the study notes that the average total Medicare Part D spending per user on insulin products increased by 358% between 2007 and 2016 (from $862 to $3,949). Read More...

Consumers Confused by Short-Term Plans, Which Lack Needed ACA Protections

Julie CarterMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

This week, the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms highlighted an important new study about short-term insurance plans. This study, prepared by the Kleimann Communication Group and commissioned by the consumer representatives to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), revealed that consumers do not understand the limitations of such plans and are not currently being Read More...

Medicare Rights Raises Concerns with Drug Rebate Rule

Casey SchwarzMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

This week, the Medicare Rights Center responded to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed rule that would change the way that Medicare prescription drug plans (PDPs) and their pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) negotiate and pay for drugs. Under the current Part D payment system, plans submit bids annually to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Read More...

Medigap Changes in 2020

Emily WhicheloeMedicare AnswersLeave a Comment

As a result of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA), individuals who are newly eligible for Medicare on or after January 1, 2020 will not be able to purchase Medigap Plan C or Plan F (including the Plan F high deductible option). This is because after January 1, 2020, MACRA prevents individuals new to Medicare from purchasing Medigaps that pay for the Part B deductible ($185 in 2019). Both Plan C and Plan F cover the Part B deductible. Read More...