Biden Lowering Drug Prices -- Again

By: SmartFinancial
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - March 18, 2024 - PRLog -- President Joe Biden has proposed a $7.3 trillion budget asking for Medicare drug plan Part D to keep copay prices for anti-cholesterol drugs, blood pressure medications and other high-cost drugs at $2 or below. New drug prices would go into effect October 1, 2024, in an emergency measure to alleviate seniors living at the poverty level of the high cost of prescription drugs.

Seniors are already seeing lower drug prices with insulin caps at $35, free vaccines and out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs capped at $2,000 starting in 2025.[2]

Medicare will cost $839 billion in 2024, because Biden's plan also includes nutrition and obesity counseling and more cancer care evaluations, but that amount is expected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2034, when there will be a surge in people age 65 and older, according to ThinkAdvisor.

However, before taking a deep breath hoping that Biden's proposal means savings for seniors, Senior Savings Network told Newsweek that the changes may "have ripple effects on consumers that usually are not apparent until after the mandate is implemented." Primarily, the changes will hit many Part D carriers and Medicare Advantage plans, which will have to struggle to remain profitable.

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D helps pay for prescription drugs at an additional cost to supplement Original Medicare plans. Medicare Advantage (Part C) plans often include Part D coverage, but not always.

There is no fixed premium for Part D coverage and the cost will vary by the individual. Our sample in Orange County, California, showed that the Part D premium could range from $7.50 to $160.20 in 2022.

Medicare Advantage

A Medicare Advantage (MA) plan is a full health insurance plan that provides what Original Medicare covers: Part A (hospital care) and Part B (doctor services). In addition, many MA plans include Part D (prescription drugs).

If your MA plan does not include prescription drug coverage, you can buy a new Medicare Advantage Plan that does or switch back to original Medicare and buy a separate Part D plan. You'll have to do this during open enrollment or a special enrollment period.

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Fran Majidi
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Tags:Drug Prices
Location:Newport Beach - California - United States
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