YO-YO PART D PREMIUMS: IS IT Rx BAIT AND SWITCH?

FEBRUARY 01, 2007

Many Medicare patients who signed on with the lowest cost Part D prescription drug plans last year are facing steep increases this year, while others are seeing their monthly out-of-pocket premium charges shrink for 2007.

These yo-yo premiums—the latest wrinkle in the continuing litany of concerns surrounding the year-old Part D prescription drug benefit—drew nationwide attention when the provider of the least expensive drug plans, Humana, increased monthly premiums for >2 million enrolled seniors by an average of 60%, effective January 1, 2007.

Actually, those facing only "average" premium hikes are the lucky ones. Massachusetts Medicare patients enrolled in Humana's low-cost ($7.32 per month) plan have been hit with premium hikes of 130% (to $16.90), and seniors in several Midwestern states received increases of 466%. At the same time, however, the cost for Humana's low-cost "standard" Part D coverage is going down in 3 states— Georgia, Louisiana, and South Carolina.

Other plans, including those sponsored by AARP, imposed much smaller premium increases for 2007, leading consumer activists to accuse Humana of "bait-and-switch" Part D pricing practices. For their part, however, officials at Humana said that the increases were justified, and that, even at the higher rates, its Part D premiums rank among the lowest of all plans in most states.




SHARE THIS SHARE THIS
0

Conference Coverage from ASHP Summer 2017 

Four years after they first launched the Summer Meetings in Minneapolis, Minn., the ASHP 2017 Summer Meetings and Exhibition was in Minneapolis once again.  

 

Pharmacy Times Strategic Alliance
 

Pharmacist Education
Clinical features with downloadable PDFs


Next-Generation Pharmacist® Awards


3rd Annual Convenient Healthcare and Pharmacy Collaborative Conference


SIGN UP FOR THE PHARMACY TIMES NEWSLETTER
Personalize the information you receive by selecting targeted content and special offers.