It is no surprise that the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit has seniors dumbfounded. With >40 approved insurance plans for the drug benefit, many seniors find the program hard to navigate.
A recent poll, conducted by Ipsos, found that 52% of the respondents said they think the program is hard to understand. Two thirds of those surveyed and two thirds of those who have enrolled in a plan said that they were confused by the program. Of the respondents, one third said that they had not decided what they think of the new program, and 16% reported little trouble understanding the plan.
The multibillion-dollar program has many individuals also doubting the savings. The poll found that, of those who have enrolled in the program or have family members enrolled, 6 in 10 respondents reported no significant savings. Yet, Medicare officials predicted that Medicare Part D will cost taxpayers less than originally projected. Mark McClellan, MD, PhD, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, recently told Congress that the government's predicted 10-year cost has dropped from the $737 billion estimated last year to $678 billion. Premiums for enrollees also came in lower than projected: an average of $25 a month, compared with $37 a month predicted in July 2005.
While many states across our nation are engaged in political battles over the recreational use of marijuana, researchers have been busy studying the medical benefits of cannabidiol.
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