Medicare Drug Coverage Options See Changes for 2007
Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in stand-alone prescription drug plans will face higher premiums in 2007 if they do not change their drug coverage, according to an analysis by the California HealthCare Foundation, MediaNews/Contra Costa Times reports. However, the analysis found that premiums for Medicare prescription drug coverage overall will decrease in 2007.
Health care advocates recommend that Medicare beneficiaries consider their options carefully when choosing drug coverage for 2007, noting that premium costs and formularies for some plans will not be the same as they were in 2006. Enrollment begins Nov. 15.
Monthly premiums for stand-alone plans in California will range from $9.70 to $80.90. California beneficiaries will have 14 options for plans that provide drug coverage in the so-called "doughnut hole," the gap in coverage that begins when drug costs reach $2,400. Medicare drug coverage resumes if beneficiaries' drug spending reaches a higher level.
California residents dually eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal "in the next week or so" will receive letters outlining changes to their Medicare prescription drug plans, according to MediaNews/Times. Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.
Some dual eligibles who were automatically enrolled in drug plans in 2006 will be enrolled in new drug plans for 2007, and provisions of some dual eligibles' plans are changing (Vesely, MediaNews/Contra Costa Times, 11/14).