Medicare Insurance Plans Can Change What They Charge Beneficiaries For Drugs After Enrollment, Analysis Finds.

May 3, 2022

NPR (5/3, Jaffe) reports, “As early as three weeks after Medicare’s drug plan enrollment period ends on Dec. 7, insurance plans can change what they charge members for drugs – and they can do it repeatedly.” An AARP analysis “compared drugmakers’ list prices between the end of December 2021 – shortly after the Dec. 7 sign-up deadline – and the end of January 2022” and “found that the list prices for the 75 brand-name drugs most frequently prescribed to Medicare beneficiaries had risen as much as 8%.” However, “no matter how high the prices go, most plan members can’t switch to cheaper plans after Jan. 1.” Furthermore, “more insurers have eliminated copayments...and instead charge members a percentage of the drug price, or coinsurance,” CMS Administrator “Chiquita Brooks-LaSure...said in a recent interview.” She said, “that is one of the reasons why we’re asking Congress to give us authority to negotiate drug prices.”

Last modified on 05/04/2022

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