Part D beneficiaries need more coverage
Senior beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan still lag behind the coverage afforded seniors covered by employer plans or under a veterans’ health plan, according to a report in the journal Health Affairs. The report, which surveyed some 16,000 senior citizens, states that while more senior citizens have drug coverage than before due to the Medicare Part D program, more of those participating seniors are paying greater out-of-pocket expenses, especially when contrasted with their counterparts who received drug benefits through the Veterans Administration (VA) and employer-provided coverage programs.
According to the report, 26 percent of the responding Part D beneficiaries spent at least $100 each month for prescription drugs. The report stated that another 8 percent reported spending at least $300 each month for prescription drugs, which is less than those without Part D coverage, but still more than those beneficiaries under a VA or employer-provided coverage program.
Only 8.5 percent of senior citizens in 2006 did not have prescription drug coverage, whereas 33 percent of senior citizens were without such coverage in 2005, according to the report. Despite the Medicare Part D program’s low-income subsidy (LIS) allowances, only 53 percent of Medicare Part D beneficiaries who were surveyed knew about the program, and only 52 percent of the non-participating senior citizens who were surveyed had knowledge of it.