An article published last week in Reuters suggests that Medicare Part D drug plans may be dropping premium prices – an effect of the healthcare reform law which could greatly benefit seniors if they shop around. Reevaluating your Medicare drug plan yearly during the open enrollment period is always a good idea, but this year plan selection could make a big difference.
Although we reported in August that plan premiums will not raise in 2012, Avalere Health, a health policy consulting firm, finds that while 10 of the top Part D plans will lower prices, six plans will raise premiums. However, the good news is that in the larger picture Avalere “projects that average premiums for both prescription drug and Advantage plans will fall 4 percent for 2012.” Because of the 2010 heath reform law, Dan Mendelson, Avalere Health’s CEO, is calling this a “year of change.” He tells Reuters, “It’s a year where patients really need to shop.”
MedicareDrugPlans.com provides ratings and reviews – along with basic plan information such as deductibles and premiums– for consumers to access during their research period. Ratings and comments help Medicare enrollees understand the pros and cons of a plan, and user comments and forum posts give details on what other Americans experienced with their plans.
Open enrollment will be from October 15th – December 7th this year, a change from previous years meant to give Medicare enough time to process all changes and new enrollees, and for consumers to manage their health needs before the busy holiday season.
Tagged with: Avalere Health, deductibles, Drug Prices, Medicare, Medicare Drug Plans, Medicare Part D, medicaredrugplans.com, Open Enrollment, premiums, Reuters, save money
Just over one year ago we launched this blog with a post called Drug Price S.O.S. – 120 Million Americans Struggle to Afford Medicine. That number came from a 2008 Harvard School of Public Health study showing that 4 in 10 Americans have trouble affording their prescription drugs. Sadly, the situation has gotten worse.
As reported on MSNBC.com and Reuters, new information released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics shows a dramatic increase in the number of American adults who are unable to afford healthcare. From 1997 to 2009 the precentage of Americans not taking their medications due to cost nearly doubled from – increasing from 4.8 to 8.4%. The earlier Harvard study mentioned above shows 40 percent of Americans struggling with costs; that could mean pill splitting, skipping doses, taking alternatives, or simply going without needed medication. The recent government statistics are clear about how many Americans don’t take their medication due to cost: 25 million! [8.4% of 300 million (the U.S. population) = 25 million]. (more…)
Tagged with: brand name drugs, Drug Prices, Harvard, health insurance, MSNBC, Online Pharmacies, personal drug importation, pill splitting, prescription abandonment, prescriptions, recession, Reuters, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United States
In an earlier post we discussed that online drug prices in other counties are falling. This past week an article in Reuters shows current measures by EU governments will bring down prices further in order address tight government budgets.
While this may be good news for Europeans and Americans who take advantage of lower overseas prices by using the safe and low-cost pharmacies approved in the PharmacyChecker.com Verification Program, we hope the decreases abroad won’t lead to further drug price increases here at home by pharmaceutical companies seeking to make up for the short fall in the EU market.
Tagged with: Drug Importation, Europe, Reuters, save money