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Medicare Part D

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Well-known member
Jul 4, 2005
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What a mess. More than just a mess, it’s shameful that the Bush Bunch has put the elderly at risk to benefit the big drug companies. People may well die when they can’t get their drugs. But we do know that, as a group, seniors vote. Excerpt; link below; my emphasis.

“Despite the pleas of 43 million Medicare beneficiaries for a prescription drug benefit, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says less than 5 percent (1 million) of the 21 million eligible Medicare beneficiaries with little or no drug coverage had enrolled in a Part D prescription drug plan as of Jan. 1.

In a misleading announcement that was close to a lie, CMS said that 21 million Medicare beneficiaries now have drug coverage. But 20 million already had coverage from former employers, the VA, their HMOs and other sources. That means 95 percent of Medicare beneficiaries who need coverage have yet to decide whether and how to enroll. During the first 11 months after passage of original Medicare in 1965, 93 percent of those eligible had enrolled.

No one knows yet how many of the 6.4 million "dual eligibles," poor or disabled Medicaid beneficiaries also eligible for Medicare, were automatically switched from Medicaid to Part D on New Year's Day, as the law required, without missing their vital medicines. My guess is that thousands of the sickest and most vulnerable people were not successfully switched and will be desperate for their medications. But CMS, at the Department of Health and Human Services, has not figured out what to do to tide over such people. After the dual eligibles are switched, they can choose their own drug coverage. Although Part D is supposed to be voluntary, if a dual eligible does not enroll in Part D, he or she would lose Medicaid coverage for other health services.

If you have health insurance from a former employer and you signed up for Part D drug coverage, be careful; you and your dependents could lose all your health coverage. Companies and unions that took subsidies to continue retiree coverage will not receive the subsidies for retirees who join Part D. Therefore, they will end all retiree health benefits for beneficiaries and their covered spouses and dependents if the retiree signs up for Part D - and they might not tell you. So check with your former employer and, if necessary, disenroll from Part D.


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