Sunday, March 23, 2008

Number of Presciption Drugs Covered by Medicare Dropped for 2008

Drug coverage - by number of drugs covered - from the four largest Medicare providers have been slashed by an average of 30% from 2007. AARP MedicareRx Preferred, AARP MedicareRx Saver, Humana PDP Standard, and Humana PDP Enhanced have all lowered the number of prescription drugs they will cover for seniors. In the case of AARP MedicarRx, for example, the number has dropped from 3,763 in 2007 to 2,627 different drugs covered for the current year. Of the top ten prescription drug providers, all but two have decreased the total number of covered drugs under Medicare Part D.Seniors and their care providers need to carefully review the changes in policies and their medications to avoid costly shocks at the prescription booth.

A reason for some of the drops is the Center for Medicare-Medicaid Services (CMS) decision to eliminate coverage for drugs either not approved by the FDA, or drugs approved prior to 1962 - when approval was based upon safety but not efficacy. According to CMS policy, drugs approved in the period 1938-1962 which have since been determined to be “less than effective,” should not be covered by Part D plans.

The Official U.S. Government Website for People with Medicare offers a Formulary Finder, organized by state. The Finder allows you to find plans in your state that match your required drug list:

Formulary Finder

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