Medicare Monday: How Medicare helps beneficiaries access needed medicines

Nicole Longo   |     January 23, 2017   |   SHARE THIS


Throughout 2016, we looked at how different groups of beneficiaries – from seniors to minority communities to individuals with lower-incomes – rely on Medicare to access their needed prescription medications.

Take, for example, Katie, Mateo and Diane – three hypothetical Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for the Part D Extra Help Program, also known as the low-income subsidy for prescription drug coverage.

  • Katie has been living with end-stage renal disease and is now six months post-kidney transplant, which qualifies her for Medicare before the age of 65.
  • Mateo has been managing multiple chronic conditions, including depression and cardiac comorbidities, specifically hypertension, hyperlipidemia, congestive heart failure and atrial fibrillation.
  • Diane has been managing diabetes and hypertension.

We also looked at the tradeoffs of personalized treatment vs. one-size-fits-all standards and how proposals to change Part B could hurt the overall quality of care Medicare patients (like these four hypothetical Medicare beneficiaries) receive.

  • Mary has been living with severe rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Joyce has been diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer.
  • Simon has been diagnosed with late stage and rapidly advancing colorectal cancer.
  • Susan has been living with schizophrenia.

Learn more about how Part B and Part D help ensure that patients have affordable access to needed prescription medications.

Nicole Longo

Nicole Longo Nicole is senior director of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on Medicare, 340B, importation and more. She previously worked for a D.C.-based public affairs firm where she assisted a wide range of clients with communications efforts on everything from trade policy to agriculture policy to health care policy. Outside the office, Nicole can be found trying new restaurants (usually Italian), taking an occasional barre class and cheering on the Cincinnati Bengals.

Topics: Part D, Medicare, Medicare Monday, Part B

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