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Early next year I will be going on Medicare. The prescription drug plan I now have will no longer be available to me so I started researching Medicare Part D. What I have found so far is that if you are middle class, lived frugally and saved money for retirement, you get to pay high Part D premiums and fall into the donut hole. Of course if you spent all your money recklessly, and have only peanuts in the bank, you can get help. Seems fair. Also, to get brand drugs that your doctor thinks are necessary (which you may have been taking for years like I have) you may have trouble finding a plan that covers your meds. If you do find a plan that covers them, you may have to pay very high premiums (the plan I found that has my meds on the formulary will cost me close to $600 a year.) Then the plan may require step therapy or prior authorization. And the really best part is, the plan can decide at any time to raise the prices of your drugs or if they feel like it, change their formulary and not cover them at all. They do give you 60 days notice ... so very generous of them. Each state has it's own plans ... sometimes varying by county within the state.
The whole thing seems bizarre to me. Why are the plans not standardized through out the country? Why did the writers of this bill not mandate that Medicare negotiate with the drug companies for lower prices?
It appears this bill was written for the benefit of the drug companies and the insurance industry and let the old folks be damned.
Part D sounds like a possible windfall for the government.
If you are relatively good health you probably would not sign up for it. But if you don't you will be penalized later if you do sign up.
I have no statistics but, if you assume for a moment that most people initially going on Medicare at 65 would not sign up for part D, the government can't lose. You'll either pay them now for coverage you don't need or pay them later via the penalty.