NEWS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2018

Medicare Rights Center Offers Beneficiary Perspective on Proposed Changes to Medicare Part D

Washington, DC—Today, Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, will participate in a Capitol Hill briefing on Tackling Prescription Drug Prices: An Examination of Proposed Medicare Part D Reforms.

The goal of this educational briefing is to shed light on proposed reforms to Medicare Part D, identify the trade-offs involved, and explore the impacts on Medicare beneficiaries.

In his remarks, Mr. Baker will discuss the need to improve the affordability of prescription drugs for people with Medicare, citing data from the 2016 Medicare Rights Helpline Trends Report that show too many older adults and people with disabilities continue to have problems affording coverage and their prescription drugs.

He will also call on Congress to maintain existing policies that achieve this goal, in particular the provisions of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 that close the Medicare Part D donut hole one year earlier and provide beneficiaries in the coverage gap with a higher discount on their prescription drugs. On July 18, Medicare Rights sent a letter to congressional leaders, urging them to reject efforts that would roll back this progress or otherwise shift costs onto people with Medicare.

Mr. Baker will also examine how several recent drug pricing proposals—including moving coverage of certain drugs from Medicare Part B to Part D, loosening Part D formulary standards, and requiring Part D plans to pass through rebates at the point of sale—could impact people with Medicare. The Medicare Rights Center addressed these and other issues this week, in comments responding to the Administration’s Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs.

Hosted by the National Coalition on Health Care, the briefing will also feature Jack Hoadley, Research Professor Emeritus, Health Policy Institute, Georgetown University; and Len Nichols, Director, Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics, George Mason University. John Rother, President and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care will moderate.

Press Contact: Mitchell Clark – mclark@medicarerights.org

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.

Available only through the Medicare Rights Center, Medicare Interactive (MI) is a free and independent online reference tool that provides easy-to-understand answers to questions posed by people with Medicare, their families and caregivers, and the professionals serving them. Find your Medicare answers at www.medicareinteractive.org.

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