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This is so outdated. There no longer is a doughnut hole. President Obama signed it into law last week. I saw it all on CNN. I repeat: The doughnut hole no longer exists, and Medicare will cover all drug purchases regardless of how much recipients spend. Surely AARP is aware of this, as are its members. So what's the purpose of these forums????
Gloria M. Jones
Omaha, Nebraska 68144
I've read recently that the 50% reduction in the costs of brand name drugs will not take place until July 2010. This reduction in the costs of brand name prescriptions is supposed to be done voluntarily by the pharmaceutical compamies. I'll believe that when I see it. Although a recipient will only pay 50% of the discouted prescription, 100% of the total cost will be applied to the donut hole. This is blessing for those people who reach the donut hole early in the plan year.
There are a couple of things the government needs to impose to make these Part D plans more customer friendly.
1. Do not allow a Part D company to change their formullary after Jan1st. A senior makes a decision to use a certain Part D plan because their medications are covered only to have the Part D company change the formullary. This defeats the purpose of buying that particular plan.
2. Allow the Part D plans to purchase brand name drugs from Canada or any other reputable foreign pharmaceuticl provider. The sane brand name drugs in Canada are 50% less than the same brand name drug sold in the U.S. This will help to bring down prices in the U.S.
3. When Part D plans were first introduced, several companies offerd plans with co-pays for brand name drugs through the donut hole. The second year, there was not a single company that offered brand name coverage in the donut hole. Make it mandatory that companies must offer at least one plan with coverage in the donut hole. If the government needs to subsidize these plans, then subsidize them.
4. Remove the penalty if a person chooses not to buy a Part D plan. There are many seniors who are in good health. Some may take no prescriptions at all and some can go to Walmart and get a 90 day Generic prescription for $10.00. Why force them to join a Part D plan when there is no need or use for one.