PART D Rx COVERAGE CHANGES SEND PATIENT COSTS SOARING
Seniors who "lock in" Medicare Part D prescription drug coverageduring the coming year may find themselves locked in torising costs and reduced coverage for the medications theyneed, warned researchers at Consumers Union (CU).
Over one fourth of the private insurance plans surveyed invarious communities across the country increased their chargesfor selected drugs by anywhere from 5% to >30% during 2006.
CU's survey found that 78% of the plans changed their costsfor the selected drugs 3 or more times during 2006, and that30% increased their costs during at least 6 out of the 12 months.
CU officials cited these unexpected cost increases as evidenceof the need for new legislation requiring Medicare tonegotiate lower prices from drug manufacturers, and forrequirements that prescription plans offer consistently pricedcoverage for seniors.