MEDICARE REFORM: Would California Seniors Benefit from Clinton Plan?
The Los Angeles Times takes a look at how seniors in Southern California would fare under President Clinton's proposed Medicare prescription drug benefit (see story 5), reporting that some retirees may do better with the coverage they already have. The Times notes that seniors enrolled in Medigap plans paid for by their former employers and Medicare HMO enrollees -- plentiful in managed care-saturated California -- may "get a better deal" under their current coverage than under the Clinton proposal, though comparative cost calculations are "all but impossible" due to variations in retirees' health and the details of specific plans. But some seniors who pay for their own Medigap plans might benefit under Clinton's proposal. For example, under Blue Shield of California's Medigap plan, enrollees pay about $1,068 a year for up to $1,250 worth of drugs. But with co-pays a 65-year-old retiree might end up paying $3,045 for $2,000 worth of drugs. If the Clinton reforms were enacted, he would pay $1,288 for $2,000 worth of drugs (Rubin, 6/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.