Articles

  • Benefit Bulletin: May 2019 When You Can’t Afford Your Prescription Drug Costs, Apply for “Extra Help” Rick Delaney, Chairman, TSCL The high cost of prescription drugs has been the topic of recent Congressional hearings.  The combination of high prices, and substantial beneficiary cost-sharing requirements under Medicare Part D, results in a terrible drug cost burden for many older Americans.  About 16% ...
  • Are These Annual Rx Prices Higher Than Your Entire Retirement Savings? The total cost for a single year of treatment with the nation’s most expensive specialty drugs can cost more than the entire retirement savings for many retirees.  The annual cost of the cancer drug Idhifa, for example, is $300,858.  According to a new study by the non-partisan Kaiser Family Foundation, the median out-of-pocket cost that ...
  • Medicare Part D Coverage Gap Closes In 2019 While little progress was made this year to lower overall drug costs, some changes made by the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2018 are helping an estimated 5 million Medicare beneficiaries with the highest annual out-of-pocket drug costs.  Provisions of the BBA reduced Part D enrollees’ out-of-pocket co-insurance for brand-name drugs in the “doughnut hole” ...
  • $1,800 Co-pay Sends Diabetic Searching For Better Options Leslie R.’s biggest problem isn’t the fact that she’s 70, or that she’s trying to live on just Social Security and a small pension.  Leslie is a type II insulin dependent diabetic, left with no savings after a battle with cancer drained her accounts due to the high cost of her medications.  Now the cost ...
  • Can Medicare Save Money By Providing Better Dental Care? By Mary Johnson, editor If you have an inflammatory disease like a chronic pulmonary condition, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS), or even sleep apnea, I have one piece of advice:  Go see your dentist.  A growing volume of medical research has found a “strong relationship” between bacterial infections in our mouth and the rest ...
  • Brand Name Drugs Increasing at 10X Rate of Inflation The largest share of participants in TSCL’s 2018 Senior Survey, 43%, say that medical expenses were their fastest rising cost in 2017.  Just medications alone take about 12.6% of the budgets of Americans age 65 and over, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  Much of this growth is being driven by the rapid rise ...
  • No Limit To What Medicare Part D Enrollees Could Pay On Prescription Drugs By Mary Johnson, editor Your Part D drug plan would never tell you this, but the alarming fact is that there is no limit to what you might spend out-of-pocket for your prescriptions drugs in any given year.  While this may not seem like much of a worry if you just take a few common generics, ...
  • Don’t Let The High Cost Of Prescription Drugs Cost You Your Health (Washington, DC) – For older Americans, the high cost of prescription drugs is a leading deterrent to filling prescriptions or taking required medications as directed, warns The Senior Citizens League.  “People with Medicare coverage should take time now during the Medicare Fall Open Enrollment period to learn about the changes in their Medicare drug coverage ...
  • Benefit Bulletin: November 2017 Despite Support, No Bill Moving On Medicare Drug Price Negotiations Ninety percent of the people participating in TSCL’s 2017 Senior Survey support giving Medicare the power to negotiate lower drug prices. But so far, Congress has taken no action on a number of bills introduced earlier this year. Current law specifically forbids Medicare from negotiating with drug ...
  • Benefit Bulletin: August 2017 Drug Rebates Often Not Going To Patients A behind-the-scene rebate game between drug makers, health insurers and their pharmacy benefit managers is costing you and the Medicare program in higher drug costs.  A research paper published by JAMA Internal Medicine finds that prescription drug rebates, which are received by health plans and pharmacy benefit managers, may ...

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