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Savings for Medicare Beneficiaries from the Use of Prescription Drug Discount Cards

This article, published online by Health Affairs on April 14, 2004, estimates the extent to which prescription drug discount cards could affect out-of-pocket spending by Medicare beneficiaries who lack drug coverage, based on an analysis of the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. The Medicare discount card program is scheduled to go…

Medicare Drug Discount Cards: A Work In Progress

This report examines the early experience with the Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Card Program, prices offered by card sponsors, and potential savings for enrollees. The report presents information about approved discount card programs, including sponsors, enrollment fees, and drugs covered, as well as beneficiary education and outreach efforts by the Centers…

The Current Medicare Prescription Drug Debate: Briefing Charts

These briefing charts provide background information on prescription drug use and spending among the Medicare population, recent survey data on employers' likely reaction to a Medicare drug benefit, an overview of the proposals for prescription drug coverage passed by the House and Senate at the end of June 2003, and…

Medicare Advantage 2013 Spotlight: Enrollment Market Update

This Data Spotlight provides an overview of Medicare Advantage enrollment patterns in March 2013, and examines variations by plan type, state, and firm. It also analyzes trends in premiums paid by beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, including variations by plan type, and describes the out-of-pocket limits and prescription drug coverage in the Part D “donut hole” provided by the plans in 2013.

Obamacare and You: If You Have Medicare…

This short explainer highlights some of the key information for people with Medicare about how Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, may affect them.

To Switch or Not to Switch: Are Medicare Beneficiaries Switching Drug Plans To Save Money?

This analysis finds that relatively few Medicare beneficiaries have switched Part D prescription drug plans voluntarily during the annual open enrollment period — even though those who do switch often lower their out-of-pocket costs as a result of changing plans. The vast majority (87% on average between 2006 and 2010) stayed in the same Part D plan, even though the plans can change premiums, deductibles, cost-sharing amounts, and their list of covered drugs each year. Higher rates of plan switching were observed in PDPs that increased premiums, increased deductibles, or dropped coverage of brand-name drugs in the coverage gap.

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Plan Offerings in 2014

The 2014 Part D Data Spotlight analyzes information about the Medicare Part D stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) options available to beneficiaries in 2014. The analysis shows that Medicare beneficiaries on average will have a choice of 35 stand-alone prescription drug plans in 2014, and somewhat more “benchmark” plans available to Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) beneficiaries nationwide. The weighted average premium will increase by 5 percent between 2013 and 2014 if enrollees remain in the same plans next year. The analysis also finds more plans are using preferred pharmacy networks and adopting a growing number of cost-sharing formulary tiers for different drugs.