Articles

  • 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 ...
  • 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” ...

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