This Halloween, beware of the spooky proposals some have put forward to change how Medicare covers prescription medicines for seniors and people living with disabilities. Tricks like these are no treat; these proposals could limit access to needed medicines for those on Medicare.
Trick #1 – Government meddling in negotiation between plans and manufacturers
Robust negotiation occurs in Medicare Part D between the plans that offer coverage and pharmaceutical manufacturers. A recent study estimates these rebates average around 35 percent. Proposals to have the government meddle in these negotiations come with scary consequences, including jeopardized access to affordable prescription drug coverage, higher premiums, reduced choice and restricted coverage for seniors and people living with disabilities.
Trick #2 – Experimenting with seniors’ access to physician-administered medicines
Another scary idea is the proposal to make changes to Medicare Part B – which covers medicines administered in a physician’s office for serious conditions such as cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, autoimmune diseases and more. The proposal could limit patient access and choice of providers by allowing the government to make one-size-fits-all decisions about health care.
Remember, there are tricky proposals out there and learn more about Medicare here.
Allyson Funk Ally is a former senior director of public affairs at PhRMA focused on advocacy issues for the biopharmaceutical industry. Her expertise includes Medicare, Medicaid, 340B, health reform and more. Prior to PhRMA, her experience included leading health communications for a large membership organization, supporting public affairs clients and working for the governor of Louisiana.