Medicare To Assign Rx Drug Plans To Some Low-Income Enrollees
A decrease in the number of Medicare prescription drug plans for low-income beneficiaries in California could leave some enrollees assigned to plans with limited coverage, the Fresno Bee reports.
Jack Cheevers, a CMS spokesperson in San Francisco, said rising health care costs have prompted the closure of some Medicare drug plans for low-income California enrollees that did not charge premiums.
About 500,000 state residents could be affected by the changes, according to the Bee.
Beneficiaries have until Dec. 31 to enroll in or change their Medicare drug plan. Low-income residents who were enrolled in plans that are no longer being offered will automatically be assigned to a new premium-free plan if they do not make a selection.
Consumer advocates contend, however, that beneficiaries assigned to a new plan are not guaranteed that their medications will be covered.
In 2008, nine drug plans will provide premium-free coverage to California enrollees, but each plan has a different list of approved medications that are covered (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 12/20).