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View Diary: Prescription Drug Coverage part of Inequality in America (26 comments)

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  •  Absolutely: this: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, akmk
    If you set out to design system that was a purposely baffling and inefficient way to deliver a "benefit" to older Americans you might not be able to create anything more effectively confusing and hard to navigate.  
    Part D is the most idiotic way to address a problem I have ever seen. Understanding the donut hole should confer an advanced degree on anyone.

    The only thing I disagree with is that I found the medicare.gov webpage for Part D to be quite excellent and fast (and I have a slow internet connection).

    One question: for your long term maintenance drugs, is the 90 day supply from the mail order pharmacy not your best bet?

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 05:55:55 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  But addressing the problem wasn't Part D's purpose (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sewaneepat, SingleVoter, akmk

      It was explicitly designed by the George W. Bush administration as an obscene giveaway to BigPharma, left unpaid for by any tax revenues, and passed literally at 1 am after illegally extending voting to permit more time for extortion and arm-twisting of wavering Congressmen.

      Any benefit for seniors (beyond the percieved benefit required go get their votes in the next election) was completely unintentional.

      •  I totally agree. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        akmk

        Biggest POS ever passed.

        How I wish I were a few years older and could have had a supplemental with a drug benefit. Those policies were grandfathered in, but those of us getting on Medicare after Part D cannot have a supplemental with a drug benefit.

         

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 06:26:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ralph - however Part D is the only government (0+ / 0-)

        health plan that has ever come in under budget after ten years. One of the reasons is that the donut hole created an incentive for seniors to move to generic drugs for chronic diseases.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 09:01:18 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And unfilled Rx's due to brutal copays. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          akmk, corvaire

          Nothing saves money quite like health care that is priced out of reach so it's never delivered.

          Mission Accomplished!

          •  Ralphdog - and before Part D seniors purchased (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            nextstep

            prescriptions with no federal help whatsoever.

            Medicare A, B, & D are amazing benefits for seniors. The same coverage in the private market would be at least five times the cost of A, B, & D as a package. For seniors with chronic disease, the costs would even be higher.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 12:07:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Medicare A and B, no question. But part D... (0+ / 0-)

              was carefully crafted as a wet kiss to BigPharma, explicitly blocking any use of Medicare's massive buying power to reduce obscene prescription costs, and creating the 'donut hole' as a cynical dodge to hold the total projected cost of the package below an arbitrary limit on the backs of seniors.

              If crafted instead as a direct benefit with negotiated payments (like, say, what the VA does), part D would have cost perhaps 40% less while providing much more complete benefits.

    •  I wish the mail order option would work for us (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sewaneepat

      But the  most expensive drug can only be had in 30-day quantities.  We live in a really rural area with no home mail delivery.  We have to travel to the nearest PO to pick up our mail, and it is is only open for a couple of hours a day.  So sometimes we go for a week or two without mail. Somehow drugs by mail seems not a great thing, anyway.  Who knows what environmental conditions the drugs have been kept in en route.  

      I'm curious now, about your comment about how great the medicare.gov site is.  I found it absolutely maddening to try and research to identify the plan with the best prices on the seven drugs my husband takes. Adding the drugs is not hard, but then comparing individual drug prices among the plans and pharmacies connected to those plans is where it gets tricky. Because you can only search three pharmacies per plan at one time. I finally entered all the data on a spread sheet, and that helped, but backing and forthing, and the inevitable timing out, and back-browsering miscues drove me NUTS. (And that was before I realized that that the "quoted" prices on the drugs were merely a term of art, and what mattered was the price on the day you wished to buy the drug.)

      Someone recently told me they only had half a dozen plans available to them. I have more than 75 - which may be part of the problem.  An embarassment of "riches", I guess.

      (Love you sig, BTW. Union Maid is one of my fave songs.)
      A

      •  Interesting how different the choices are for (0+ / 0-)

        different areas. I think I had a choice between about 30 plans. The site just gave me the yearly cost for each plan, totaling  the premium, deductible and co-pays for my drugs, if I mail ordered or if I bought them at the preferred pharmacies.

        You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

        by sewaneepat on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 07:07:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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