Dual Eligibles Present Challenges To Implementing Medicare Drug Benefit in California, Report Says
California must "take an active role" in helping residents who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid transfer their prescription drug coverage to Medicare when the new drug benefit begins in 2006, according to a report by Health Strategies Consultancy for the California HealthCare Foundation, CQ HealthBeat reports.
Dually eligible U.S. residents who currently receive prescription drug coverage through Medicaid will begin receiving their prescription drug benefits through Medicare beginning on Jan. 1, 2006.
According to the report, California has the largest Medicare population and the largest number of dual-eligibles of any state. In addition, the diversity of Medicare beneficiaries in California could complicate efforts to implement the drug benefit, the report states.
Jon Blum, co-author of the report and director of the Health Strategies Medicaid practice, said, "Regardless of the federal government's responsibility to implement (the new Medicare drug law), the public will look to its state leadership to manage this transition effectively and communicate with them clearly and directly" (CQ HealthBeat, 4/30). The report is available online.
Additional information on the Medicare drug benefit is available online.