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New Medicare Advantage Tool To Lower Drug Prices Puts Crimp In Patients’ Choices

September 18th, 2018 | Posted in Consumer Focus, Insurance Coverage, Prescription Drug Coverage

By Susan Jaffe | Kaiser Health News Starting next year, Medicare Advantage plans will be able to add restrictions on expensive, injectable drugs administered by doctors to treat cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, macular degeneration and other serious diseases. Under the new rules, these private Medicare insurance plans could require patients to try cheaper drugs first. If those are not effective,Read More

Tighter prescribing rules: An anti-abuse strategy that could hurt patients in pain

December 13th, 2016 | Posted in Consumer Focus, Prescription Drug Coverage

By Shefali Luthra | Kaiser Health News As rates of prescription painkiller abuse remain stubbornly high, a number of states are attempting to cut off the supply at its source by making it harder for doctors to prescribe the addictive pills to Medicaid patients. Recommendations on how to make these restrictions and requirements were detailed in aRead More

ACA changes almost certain, but timetable could take a year or more

December 13th, 2016 | Posted in Consumer Focus, Insurance Coverage, Prescription Drug Coverage

The direction of major health care programs, from insurance exchanges to Medicaid expansion, may be a step closer to course reversal after President-elect Donald Trump tabbed new leaders for two key federal health care posts. Trump named Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., a six-term congressman, former orthopedic surgeon and long-time Obamacare opponent, as his pick toRead More

Complaints filed about drug prices in marketplace plans may spur help for patients with chronic diseases

October 18th, 2016 | Posted in Consumer Focus, Insurance Coverage, Prescription Drug Coverage

By Michelle Andrews / Kaiser Health News The health law prohibits insurers from discriminating against people with serious illnesses, but some marketplace plans sidestep that taboo by making the drugs that people with HIV need unavailable or unaffordable, complaints filed recently with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights allege. The effect may be to discourageRead More

Seniors who don’t consider switching drug plans may face steep price rise

October 20th, 2015 | Posted in Consumer Focus, Insurance Coverage, Prescription Drug Coverage, Uncategorized

By Michelle Andrews  Kaiser Health News When Mildred Fine received the annual notice informing her about changes to her Medicare prescription drug plan for 2016, she was shocked. If she stayed with the same plan, her monthly premium would more than triple, from $33.90 to $121.10, and her annual deductible would rise from $320 toRead More

Advocates Worry That Drug Company Assistance Programs Will Be Banned From Helping Patients

February 5th, 2014 | Posted in Prescription Drug Coverage

People who need expensive drugs to treat serious medical conditions often rely on drug manufacturers’ assistance programs to help afford their medications. But it’s uncertain whether such programs are permitted to aid people who buy health insurance on the marketplaces established by the federal health law. With open enrollment ending in less than two months,Read More

Medication Misuse, While Prevalent, Can Be Forestalled

May 6th, 2013 | Posted in Prescription Drug Coverage

Improper use of medication can have health consequences for the patient, but also hurts healthcare in the long run by contributing to the creation of drug-resistant strains of bacteria. This is most commonly attributed to patients failing to complete medication when they feel “better,” but there may be a more deep-seated cause – the highRead More

Advocates Of Medical Marijuana Face Another Hurdle: Insurance Coverage

November 29th, 2012 | Posted in Prescription Drug Coverage

With the passage of a ballot initiative this month, Massachusetts became the latest state to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, joining 17 othersand the District ofColumbia. But for patients who use marijuana tohelp alleviate chronic pain and nausea and stimulate appetite, legalization is only part of the battle. Health insurance rarely if everRead More

‘Aging Drugs’ Now Rank 3rd Among Prescription Prevalence

October 30th, 2012 | Posted in Prescription Drug Coverage

Prescription medication for normal aging conditions now costs more than treating many serious and potentially life-threatening diseases, according to new research. In 2011, spending on medications for aging conditions — such as mental alertness, sexual dysfunction, menopause, aging skin and hair loss — ranked third in annual prescription-drug costs of the commercially insured, surpassed onlyRead More

How To Be Safe When Buying Prescriptions Online

October 3rd, 2012 | Posted in Prescription Drug Coverage

Nearly one in four Internet consumers has purchased prescription medicine online, according to a recent survey conducted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. At the same time, nearly 30 percent said they lacked confidence about how to make safe online purchases. To help consumers make safer prescription medication purchases, the U.S. Food and DrugRead More