Some Seniors Pay More Under Medicare Part D
The 678,000 senior citizens enrolled in Kaiser Permanente Senior Advantage Plans statewide will pay higher copayments for medication unless they are enrolled in a financial assistance program, the Sacramento Bee reports. The increase has resulted in "sticker shock" for many seniors who enrolled in the Kaiser plan to "keep health care costs low," according to the Bee.
Kaiser members said when the plan changed to conform to Medicare Part D, the costs of generic medications increased. Vice President of Government Relations for the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Tony Barrueta said the insurer could no longer afford to subsidize generic drugs after adding additional brand name drugs to the plan's formulary.
Members now pay monthly copays of $10 for generic drugs and $35 for brand name drugs at pharmacies and $20 for a mail-order 100-day supply of generic drugs, Barrueta said. One Kaiser member said it previously cost $10 for a 90-day supply of a generic drug ordered through the mail (Weaver Teichert, Sacramento Bee, 4/3).