Medicare Rights Comments on CMS Proposal to Give Drug Plans Additional Flexibility

Lindsey CopelandUncategorizedLeave a Comment

The Medicare Rights Center recently responded to a proposed rule from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that would, in part, allow Part D and Medicare Advantage (MA) prescription drug plans greater flexibility in managing their formularies. According to CMS, the proposed policies are intended to “remove administrative hurdles to offer lower cost options to seniors and provide support for private sector partners by providing them the tools to lower the cost of prescription drugs.” While we agree with the need to address high and rising drug prices, we strongly disagree with the agency’s proposed approach, which seeks to do so by weakening the protected classes protections and permitting step therapy for Part B drug coverage. Such changes have the dangerous potential to disrupt or even end access to some medications for people with Medicare. Read More...

CMS Completes Rollout of New Medicare Cards Ahead of Schedule

Julie CarterUncategorizedLeave a Comment

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)—the agency that oversees the Medicare program—announced that they finished the rollout of new Medicare cards to 61 million people with Medicare ahead of the original deadline of April, 2019. This means that all people with Medicare should now have Medicare cards that include a random Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) instead of a number based on their Social Security number. Read More...

Medicare Rights Comments on Proposed Changes to Medicare’s DME Program

Lindsey CopelandMedicare Watch, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

This week, the Medicare Rights Center submitted comments in response to a proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that would, in part, make major changes to the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program. Through the DMEPOS bidding program, medical equipment suppliers compete for Medicare’s business based on quality and price, by submitting bids to serve beneficiaries in a specified geographical region. In the proposed rule, CMS is seeking to effectively suspend this program when current contracts expire at the end of 2018, and until new contracts are awarded under the outlined new payment methodology. CMS does not provide a time frame for when new contracts would begin. Read More...

Medicare Rights Federal Policy Update

Deane BeebeUncategorizedLeave a Comment

The Medicare Rights federal policy team has been hard at work considering and responding to multiple U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requests for comments on proposals regarding changes to Medicare Advantage plans and Part D as well as other regulatory and administrative issues such as Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs) and Short-term, Limited Duration Insurance. Read More...