Articles

  • Part D Out-of-Pocket Costs Take Record Jump Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage hit a new milestone this year.  The highly — loathed “doughnut hole” or “coverage gap” closed this year.  But that doesn’t mean prescriptions will be free.  The co-insurance in the former Part D doughnut hole dropped to 25% of all drug costs.  That’s the good news.  But the out ...
  • Millions of Retirees Spent $5,000 on Just Medicare Premiums in 2019 An estimated 10 million Medicare beneficiaries who are covered by a Medigap policy and Part D plan, spent $5,000 in 2019 — $416 per month — just for Medicare premiums according to findings from TSCL’s 2019 Senior Survey.  That’s a significant percentage of a retiree’s household budget when the average Social Security benefit in 2019 ...
  • Shopping For A Better Health Or Drug Plan Could Save Hundreds of Dollars (Washington, DC)  Making the effort to check health and prescription drug coverage during the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, October 15th through December 7th, can pay off in significant savings for retirees, says The Senior Citizens League (TSCL).  “The job does not have to be overwhelming,” says Mary Johnson, a Medicare and Social Security policy analyst ...
  • How Should Medicare Negotiate Drug Costs? Here’s What You Told Us: The United States pays the highest drug prices of any developed nation in the world.  We asked participants in our 2019 Senior Survey to evaluate three leading proposals that would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices.  Here’s how each proposal fared:   Base Medicare Part D drug prices on the prices paid in other industrialized countries such ...
  • Weak Support Among Older Americans For Medicare-For-All. More Support for a Medicare “Buy-In” As Congress and Democratic candidates debate Medicare-for-all, TSCL’s 2019 Senior Survey finds tepid support among older Americans for expanding Medicare to everyone.  On the other hand, our survey found some support for allowing the 55-64 group the opportunity to “buy-in” to Medicare. Here’s how Senior Survey participants responded: “In general, do you feel that the eligibility age ...
  • Are You Overpaying for Prescription Drugs? New Analysis Says Yes! A new analysis of twelve frequently- prescribed drugs illustrates that Medicare recipients frequently overpay for their medications.  Because Medicare doesn’t negotiate drug prices, there are wild swings in prices between Part D drug plans.  The difference in cost for the same drug can be in the thousands of dollars for the most expensive drugs and ...
  • Legislative Update for Week Ending July 26, 2019 This week was a busy one for Social Security and Medicare Advocates!  There was considerable activity to combat the high cost of prescription drugs.  The Ways and Means Committee had a hearing on the Social Security 2100 Act.  And, work continues on repealing the Windfall Elimination Provision. Lowering drug prices is a singular area where bipartisan ...
  • Big Variation In Part D Costs Means Most Medicare Beneficiaries Overpay for Prescriptions (Washington, DC) –  A new analysis  from The Senior Citizens League (TSCL) of 12 frequently – prescribed drugs illustrates that Medicare recipients frequently overpay for their medications.  “Because Medicare doesn’t negotiate drug prices there are wild swings in prices between Part D drug plans,” says Mary Johnson, The Senior Citizens League’s Medicare and Social Security ...
  • Three Family Members On Medicare Each With High Drug Costs Out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs was the fastest rising expense of retirees from 2000 to 2019, according to a recent study of retiree costs by TSCL.  While the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) increased Social Security benefits by 50 percent over the period, out-of-pocket spending on prescription drugs rose more than five times faster — 253%. A ...
  • Specialty Drugs Under Medicare Part D Nearly Two Times Higher Than Under Medicaid Prices charged for the category of drugs known as “specialty medications” are exploding so quickly that they’re now a key source of concern for both consumers and Congress.  Specialty drugs include those used to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis and rare health conditions.  Spending on these drugs under Medicare almost quadrupled in recent years, rising from ...

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