Urban Medicare Beneficiaries May See More Drug Savings This Year

(By – Michelle Andrews, Kaiser Health News)

Medicare beneficiaries who live in urban areas may save money on their prescription drugs this year because they have better access to pharmacies in drug plan networks that charge lower copayments or coinsurance, according to the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Such “preferred cost-sharing pharmacies” have been on the rise, adding another layer of calculation — and sometimes confusion — for Medicare beneficiaries who are trying to find the best price for their drugs. In 2016, 85 percent of standalone Medicare drug plans identified a subset of pharmacies that offered lower or “preferred” cost sharing within their pharmacy networks, as did 28 percent of Medicare Advantage drug plans. In 2014, the figures were 70 percent and 15 percent, respectively, CMS said. Read more…

 

Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit national health policy news service that is part of the nonpartisan Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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