The Guide to the Medicare Drug Benefit will be updated quarterly to follow clarifications, explanations, and future changes that are sure to happen in the following areas: Voluntary Prescription Drug Benefit
Program (Part D); Medicare Advantage plans (part C); PDP and Medicare Advantage (MA) regions; Medicare formulary guidelines; E-prescribing standards; Average sales price; and Medicare Rx drug discount card program.
While there is little debate on the need for the Medicare outpatient prescription drug benefit
, the battle over its future form has just begun.
Now the question is whether the private fee-for-service alternative will be preserved, with ambiguity in the current law clarified, and whether the same model will be applied to the prescription drug benefit
But taxpayers are also shareholders--shareholders whose hard-earned tax dollars are used to help finance the cost of Medicaid programs, senior pharmacy programs, and other state programs that provide prescription drug benefits
Senate had considered and rejected several different bills to add a prescription drug benefit
to Medicare, although it did pass legislation to facilitate the reimportation of drugs from Canada to the United States (which would ease the way to lower prices).
Realizing that seniors need a real prescription drug benefit
under Medicare now, Emerson crafted a bill that offered America's elderly real help in getting affordable prescription drugs at the pharmacy of their choice," comments NACDS president and chief executive officer Craig Fuller.
However, because the prescription drug benefit
does not kick in until January 2006, the administration argues that the $724 billion cost estimate for 2006-2015 should not be compared to the $534 billion cost estimate for 2004-2013.
They are Row stepping carefully through the minefields of costly provider provisions, including financial help for low-income beneficiaries receiving the prescription drug benefit
and eligibility, enrollment and information dissemination procedures for the benefit.
Medicare costs approximately $269 billion a year but does not contain an outpatient prescription drug benefit
First, they will take up Medicare reform, and how to provide seniors with a new prescription drug benefit
Backed by the House Republican leadership, the legislation combined fair reimbursement for nursing homes with a Medicare prescription drug benefit
derided by Democrats as a sop to the managed care and insurance companies.