Trouble ahead

Trouble ahead

Just as the problems from the introduction of the Medicare drug benefit are dying down, new trouble lies about two weeks ahead. According to an article in USA Today:

A special 90-day transition period, set by Medicare to prevent beneficiaries from losing any drug coverage, ends April 1. Private insurance plans can then stop covering drugs they don’t usually pay for. Most of the 36 states that stepped in on an emergency basis to help low-income beneficiaries also will stop paying.

State insurance counselors and health care advocates say the result could be a repeat of problems first encountered in January, when the program began. Thousands of beneficiaries were turned away from pharmacies when their records weren’t found or their drugs weren’t covered.

““Some of these people are going to be in really difficult spots,”” said Jude Walsh, special assistant to Maine Gov. John Baldacci. ““I think they’re going to be going without medication again.””

March 16, 2006

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