Well, it’s a definite “maybe.” Despite President Obama’s promise that if you like your health insurance, you will get to keep it, the real answer may be that it’s not so simple. A leading private research firm, Avalere Health, estimates that more than 3 million seniors will be forced to switch their Medicare Part D Prescription Drug plans as a result of a healthcare reform effort to trim duplicative prescription drug plans and offer more meaningful prescription drug coverage.
Although the effort will likely benefit new Medicare enrollees, many seniors already enrolled in aMedicare prescription drug plan may be blindsided by an unexpected requirement to switch plans during Medicare open enrollment in the fall. An estimated 3.7 million seniors or about 20 percent of the seniors enrolled in Medicare prescription drug plans may see their prescription drug plans eliminated.
However, although some seniors may be required to switch they Medicare prescription drug plans, CMS officials stress that prescription drug coverage itself will not change. Prescription drug plans being eliminated duplicate other prescription drug plans being offered, so sseniors should be able to switch to a similar plan in their area. For example, Medicare has already notified insurers they will no longer be able to offer more than one “basic” drug plan in any given location. Several major prescription plans, including CVS-Caremark and AARP, offered two basic options throughout the country this year, so seniors enrolled in the plan being eliminated will be able to switch to a similar plan offered by the same insurer.
Medicare officials have already stated that they are working with insurers to minimize disruptions to seniors. In that effort to minimize disruption, some seniors may be reassigned to another plan automatically, so it’s a good idea to keep tabs on your Medicare prescription drug plan this fall through open enrollment to make sure no changes occur that you’re unaware of.
We’ve added a countdown to open enrollment in our upper lefthand corner to help you keep track of the Medicare calendar this year. Tell us how you like it!
Is your Medicare Part D prescription drug plan being eliminated this year? Tell us about it!
- Healthcare Reform: Second Round of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Rebate Checks Go Out
- Medicare Drug Plan Premiums to Go Up $1 Next Year
- Healthcare Reform: Third Round of Medicare Part D “Doughnut Hole” Checks To Go Out
- Medicare Part D “Doughnut Hole” Checks to Arrive Soon; Beware of Scams
- Healthcare Reform: Are We Losing the Advantage? Healthcare Reform and Medicare Advantage