Medicare part d is rigged

Medicare Part D Is Rigged System.

Medicare Part D is rigged.  It is rigged to rip off seniors. This being the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, I’m checking my clients’ drug lists and I’m finding so many things I don’t like about Part D drug coverage. How [...]
lidocaine patch and medicare

Lidocaine Patch and Medicare

The most read article in this blog is about the Lidocaine Patch and Medicare Part D plans.  I wrote about this last year when a client called me to complain that she could no longer get the Lidocaine Patch through her Medicare Advantage plan. [...]
part d and gun

Could Not Afford Her Medicine. Man Kills Wife.

Florida man says he killed his sick wife because he could not afford her medicine. 86-year old William Hager told deputies his 78-year old wife was in pain and he could not afford her medicine – so he shot her while she slept. They had [...]
Insulin prices

Insulin Prices are Skyrocketing

More than 29 million Americans, almost 10% of the population, have some form of diabetes. Many of these people depend on insulin to stay healthy – but the insulin prices are skyrocketing. An article in Stat News says insulin prices [...]
Insulin prices

Part D Preferred Pharmacies

I got a call from a client complaining about how her drug costs have gone way up, even though they are generics.  Her co-pays should not change during the year, so I did some research by putting her prescription list into the Medicare.gov Plan [...]

Lidocaine Patch Not Covered by Part D

Is your Lidocaine patch not covered by your Medicare drug plan?  Medicare seems to be cracking down on drugs that are prescribed for “off label” usage.  I got an email from a client who has been using the Lidocaine Patch for years [...]

She Can’t Afford Her Insulin

I got a call yesterday from a woman who takes a lot of insulin to control her diabetes. She said she went to pick up her insulin at the pharmacy and was told her cost would be $340 –  which is eight times what it has been. She asked [...]

Medicare and Insulin

Why does a drug cost $25 without insurance and $110 with Medicare Part D?   Novolin N and R can be bought at Walmart for $24.88 without insurance.  With a Part D plan, the cost is $110.  Why? I have a client who has diabetes.  She uses [...]

Enbrel Cost with Part D

I have been talking to two people using the drug Enbrel who were shocked and disappointed to learn how expensive Enbrel will be when they get on Medicare and sign up for Part D drug coverage. ENBREL is a prescription medicine that can be self-injected. [...]

High Drug Costs

Medicare is a good deal if you are healthy, but for the unlucky 10-15% who have serious problems, healthcare costs and drug costs can add up quickly. Frank is turning 65 in May and had planned to keep working, but he got laid off – perhaps [...]

Part D mistake

When selecting a Medicare Advantage plan with Part D (drug coverage), it is important to check all of a person’s prescriptions to be sure they are covered by the plan and what the co-pay will be.  I thought I had done this for a new client [...]
Insulin prices

Why is Part D so complicated?

QUESTION: Why is Part D so complicated? ANSWER:  Insurance companies run Part D and there are over 1,000 plan variations across the country – 29 in Arizona!  Medicare pays the bills, but Part D is administered by insurance companies. Part [...]

Choosing a Part D Plan Is Confusing

For people who turn 65 in the last three months of the year, choosing a Part D plan is confusing. I am looking at Medicare.gov Part D plans and I must compare 2014 plan information with 2015. I am trying to help clients who have chosen to stay [...]

How To Get Help with Part D drug costs

People who have limited income can get help with Part D drug costs – but finding the application on the Social Security web site is not easy. There used to be a link for “Extra Help” right on the home page for SSA.gov, but [...]

Interesting Part D Study from Kaiser Family Foundation

A comprehensive Kaiser Family Foundation report analyzes key trends that have shaped the Medicare Part D marketplace since the program launched nine years ago.  Some of their findings include the following: Part D plan premiums range from [...]

Part D: High Risk Drugs You Should Not Use

A client emailed me last week complaining about her Medicare Advantage plan.  She said her doctor gave her a prescription for Zolpidem, a sleeping pill, and her Medicare Advantage plan said they won’t pay for it. Cora says the pharmacist [...]

Medicare Part D: Are you paying too much for your drug plan?

Most seniors are in the wrong Part D plan.  I saw a study last year that found  only 5.2% of seniors chose the most economical Part D plan available to them. Yesterday, I met a person who is a good example of what the study talked about. I [...]

Medicare Part D: Cost of the Shingles Vaccine

An article in the New York Times says that people who get Shingles are more likely to have a stroke.  There is also the risk of vision damage if a person gets Shingles near their eyes.  And a severe case of Shingles can cause nerve damage [...]
Insulin prices

Help For Part D Drug Costs

Help for Part D drug costs is a different program from the Medicare Savings Program that helps people with Medicare costs.  Help for drug costs can be applied for at SSA.gov, while the Medicare Savings Program must be applied for through a [...]

How to Choose a Medicare Part D Plan

People who take only a few generic drugs will probably choose the lowest-cost Part D plan.  But people who take brand drugs, especially expensive ones, need to do some research using the Medicare.gov Plan Finder. Last week I met with Ken who [...]

Part D Late-Enrollment Penalty

I got a call yesterday from a client who signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan three years ago.  He has had Part D as part of his Medicare Advantage plan for the last three years, but he just got a letter saying he must pay a premium from [...]

Help with Medicare and Drug Costs

FROM CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services): Making ends meet should not mean going without your medications. If you have limited income and resources, Medicare’s “Extra Help” program sets it up so this year you might pay no [...]

Woman can’t afford her prescriptions.

Just a few days to go until the end of the Medicare Open Enrollment period and I have a few observations and questions. Why are Part D plans allowed to change drastically from one year to the next? I’ve written about the First Health Part [...]

Part D: Will your premium increase in 2014?

One Part D plan is increasing its premium from $25.90 in 2013 to $53 in 2014.  That is outrageous! The plan is First Health Part D Value, and it has been a good deal in 2013 because it has no deductible and generics can be bought at Walgreens [...]

Who gets help with Medicare premium and drug costs?

Low-income Medicare beneficiaries get help with their Medicare Part B premium and their prescription drug costs.  Income levels that qualify for help have been raised for 2013. Anyone on Medicare with monthly income below $1,313 (individual) [...]

Part D Deductible Explained

Some Part D plans have a deductible and some do not. Part D plans with a deductible tend to have a lower premium than those that do not. Should you choose a Part D plan with a deductible? Most clients’ eyes glaze over as I explain how [...]