Navigation Links
2009 Medicare Part D Premiums to Rise Dramatically: Over 2 Million Low Income Beneficiaries At Risk

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 2 million low-income Medicare beneficiaries may face a disruption to their prescription drug coverage in January. Changes to the 2009 Medicare Part D plans will force low income beneficiaries to switch plans or face premiums they cannot afford or limit access to their prescriptions, according to a new report by the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC). Part D open enrollment runs from November 15th through December 31st.

The Low Income Subsidy (LIS) program provides premium assistance to over 9 million low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities. Beneficiaries only receive the full subsidy benefit if they enroll in plans with premiums below an amount set by Medicare. Because benefits are administered through private companies, premium costs change from year-to-year as do the plans that are fully subsidized.

Approximately 25% of subsidy recipients are currently enrolled fully subsidized plans in 2008 that will not be subsidy-eligible in 2009. These beneficiaries will need to switch plans to avoid paying a premium in 2009. 1.6 million of these beneficiaries will be reassigned to a new plan by Medicare. But since Medicare's reassignment process does not consider the prescription needs of the beneficiary, the new plan may not cover their drugs.

The remaining 620,000 impacted Low Income Subsidy recipients must change plans themselves to avoid the new premium costs in January. It is likely that many beneficiaries will not understand the importance of changing plans.

"We are getting the word out to help beneficiaries avoid a disruption in access to their medications," said Kevin Prindiville of NSCLC. "Beneficiaries need to make sure that their 2009 plan covers the drugs they need."

Plan choice under Part D is shrinking, particularly for those who benefit from the Low Income Subsidy. LIS recipients face increasing obstacles in finding affordable plans that cover their medications. Between 2008 and 2009, the total number of LIS plans offered decreased in all but one state. The number of LIS plans offered across all states decreased by nearly 40% between 2008 and 2009.

"2009 may find low income beneficiaries unable to access their prescription medication, paying a monthly premium that they cannot afford, or both," said Hector Javier Preciado of the Greenlining Institute.

Today's report recommends changes to the Part D system that would reduce annual disruption to low income beneficiaries, including:

-- Establishing a Medicare-administered Part D plan to provide enrollees the same options and choices they have in other parts of the Medicare program; and

-- Improving the reassignment process so that it also takes a beneficiary's known prescription needs into account.

Beneficiaries seeking assistance about their 2009 coverage should contact their local State Health Insurance Assistance Program ( For a copy of the full report, see

About the National Senior Citizens Law Center

Since 1972, the National Senior Citizens Law Center has advocated to promote the independence and well-being of low-income elderly and disabled Americans.

SOURCE National Senior Citizens Law Center
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Poor understanding of medicare leads to worse healthcare access
2. Miami HIV Clinic Administrator and Two Miami Residents Sentenced for Their Roles in a $14 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme
3. Enrollment for Medicare Drug Plans Begins Again
4. Miami Clinic Owner Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for $10.9 Million Medicare Fraud
5. Heart Failure Accounts for 37% of Medicare Spending
6. Medicare Today Launches National Medicare Prescription Drug Enrollment Awareness Campaign
7. Hospitals to Lose an Average $10,000 to $20,000 per Case on Common Cardiovascular Procedures Under Medicares Value-based Purchasing Program
8. Video: CVS/pharmacy and National Council on Aging Help Seniors to Find the Right Prescription for Medicare Savings
9. Health Alliance Plans Medicare HMO is Top-Ranked Medicare Plan in Michigan and Top 25 in U.S.
10. Healthcare Partners Medical Group to Host Free Medicare Benefits Presentations
11. AHIP Statement on New CMS Guidelines for Agent and Broker Commissions in Medicare Advantage
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ALTO, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Smart and Beddit Classic sleep tracking systems. The new app features a more intuitive ... see and understand how well you slept. The SleepScore is created by a proprietary ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... LOUIS, Missouri (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... Project HEAL, will provide scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as a ... Proceeds from the second annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Many people know of the common ... cold hands, and dry skin. But many people who find their cholesterol levels and ... instead of their thyroid, especially if they don’t have any of the other symptoms. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... Their Care Plan software creates an agreement between the practice owner and ... including financial, scheduling, monitoring, notification, and projections. Click here to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Charitable ... all charitable donations are made in the last five weeks of the year totalling ... was created in 2012 to connect the nation’s charities with those individuals who want ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... SAN DIEGO , Nov. 25, 2015  Trovagene, ... molecular diagnostics, today announced that Chief Executive Officer Antonius ... at the 27 th Annual Piper Jaffray Healthcare ... Conference at the New York Palace Hotel in ... 2015 at 1:30 p.m. EST. Mr. Schuh will be ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP ) (TSX: ... and CEO, will discuss corporate updates at the 27 th ... York on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 at 1 ... Relations, and then the link to the event. Participants should ... to visit the site and download any streaming media software ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Israel , November 25, 2015 ... "New Investors"), pursuant to which BioLight and the New ... IOPtima Ltd. subsidiary ("IOPtima") via a private placement. The ... of its innovative IOPtimate™ system used in the treatment ... approval pathway process for the IOPtimate™ system with the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: