• Benefit Bulletin: February/March 2017 What a New Congress Means For Medicare TSCL is closely following proposals that would overhaul Medicare as a part of the plans to repeal the 2010 Affordable Care Act.  House Speaker Paul Ryan (WI) has put forward a plan to modernize Medicare by phasing out Medicare as we now know it. Ryan’s plan would make the ...
  • What’s A Medicare “Buy-In”? In the debate over rising healthcare costs, attention has focused on people age 50 to 64 who are among those with the highest premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket  costs.  Some policy experts say that removing these older people from the market for younger workers would lower costs, and proponents of the idea argue that people age ...
  • High Drug Prices A Major Issue For The Next Congress The EpiPen, the latest example in extreme drug price hikes, has not only led to Congressional hearings and outrage over price gouging, but is raising new questions as to why so many older adults are getting prescriptions for the drug in the first place.  At the same time the cost of the EpiPen dramatically increased ...
  • Medicare Proposes Tying Drug Costs to Effectiveness The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced plans to test new ways to rein in costs of some of the nation’s most expensive drugs, like cancer and rheumatoid arthritis treatments, that are administered in doctors’ offices and outpatient centers.  The current Medicare Part B payment system, officials argue, provides incentives for prescribing ...
  • Drug Pricing Abuse Comes Under New Scrutiny The drug industry’s secretive pricing practices are coming under increasing scrutiny in Congress. According to a recent poll, the public thinks making sure that high-cost drugs for chronic conditions are affordable to those who need them is a top priority for Congress and the President. Government action to lower prescription drug costs ranks second. But ...
  • Retirees Worry Over Spiking Drug Costs, Says The Senior Citizens League (Washington, DC) – Anxiety of older Americans over steep cost increases of prescription drugs is at the highest level since the start of Medicare Part D a decade ago, according to The Senior Citizens League (TSCL). Since last fall, TSCL has been collecting comments from older adults on how they are coping with rapidly rising ...
  • Medicare Costs Are Rising — Here’s Where You Are Most At Risk Healthcare costs are taking some of the steepest jumps in years. Here are three of the biggest problem areas: Drug plan premiums: More than 15 million people enrolled in Medicare’s stand alone Part D prescription drug plans face premium increases averaging 13% for 2016. That’s a big jump in any year, but people enrolled in Medicare’s ...
  • Soaring Drug Costs Have More of Us Demanding To Know Why By Mary Johnson, Editor Over the past year I’ve been horrified to learn about the pricing tactics of what can only be described as the Pharmaceutical Jihad. Anyone with a chronic health condition knows the feeling when your doctor gives you a new prescription. You stare at the pharmacy receipt in sheer disbelief. You watch in ...
  • Unprecedented Generic Drug Price Spikes Wreaking Havoc Millicent Graves of Williamsburg, Virginia, recently was shocked to discover a huge price variance in different forms of the very same generic drug, one that she needs to treat psoriasis. When she filled her prescription in December of 2014 for Clobetasol solution, she paid $35 — the full retail cost. But when filling the first ...
  • An Obamacare Repeal Would Increase Beneficiaries’ Part D Costs A total repeal of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, known to most as “Obamacare,” forms a key component of budget plans recently passed by the U.S. House and Senate. But so far there’s been little discussion about the negative financial impact such a repeal would have on Medicare beneficiaries. TSCL is strongly opposing Medicare cuts ...
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