PART D CONFUSION WIDESPREAD AMONG SENIORS

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0,0

It is no surprise that the MedicarePart D prescription drug benefit hasseniors dumbfounded. With >40approved insurance plans for thedrug benefit, many seniors find theprogram hard to navigate.

A recent poll, conducted byIpsos, found that 52% of the respondentssaid they think the programis hard to understand. Twothirds of those surveyed and twothirds of those who have enrolledin a plan said that they were confusedby the program. Of therespondents, one third said thatthey had not decided what theythink of the new program, and 16%reported little trouble understandingthe plan.

The multibillion-dollar programhas many individuals also doubtingthe savings. The poll found that, ofthose who have enrolled in the programor have family membersenrolled, 6 in 10 respondents reportedno significant savings. Yet,Medicare officials predicted thatMedicare Part D will cost taxpayersless than originally projected. MarkMcClellan, MD, PhD, administratorof the Centers for Medicare &Medicaid Services, recently toldCongress that the government'spredicted 10-year cost has droppedfrom the $737 billion estimated lastyear to $678 billion. Premiums forenrollees also came in lower thanprojected: an average of $25 amonth, compared with $37 a monthpredicted in July 2005.