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Joint Informational Hearing The Federal Medicare Prescription Drug Act: State Readiness, Implementation, and Consumer Issues Bonnie Burns, Training and.

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Presentation on theme: "Joint Informational Hearing The Federal Medicare Prescription Drug Act: State Readiness, Implementation, and Consumer Issues Bonnie Burns, Training and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Joint Informational Hearing The Federal Medicare Prescription Drug Act: State Readiness, Implementation, and Consumer Issues Bonnie Burns, Training and Policy Specialist

2 2 Key Decisions Required  Unlike Medicare Parts A and B, the new Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit will require people to take independent action and apply for benefits.  Unlike other Medicare benefits, people with Medicare need to select a benefit package for prescription drugs from a universe of offerings, and sign up with the provider of a benefit package that comes closest to meeting their needs. Original Medicare and a PDP (designs and benefits vary), a Medicare Advantage HMO and PD, a MA-Private Fee for Service Plan with or without PD benefits.

3 3 Impact on Consumers  Decision #1 Enroll in Part D, or not May depend on their existing coverage Retiree benefits and employer decision determine enrollment in Part D Medigap and Rx benefits compared to Part D Duals are automatically enrolled Low income must enroll for premium subsidy Notices from employers and Medigap insurers due in September  Decision #2 Choose a Part D plan Basic or enhanced plan, PDP, MA-PD, or other Information not available until October Duals automatically assigned to a plan Can switch to a more suitable plan Subsidy may not cover cost of all available plans

4 4 Choosing a PDP or MA-PD  Inventory current medications Name of drug, strength, quantity, brand or generic  Comparison and selection Compare each Part D Plan (PDP and MA-PD) Basic or enhanced benefits offered Formulary (Rx on or off), multiple tiers for brand and generic Pre-authorization rules Cost sharing, deductible, co-pays Network requirements preferred, non-preferred providers Premium Select a PDP or MA-PD and enroll HICAP can help Call 1-800-434-0222 for appointment

5 5 Duals  Auto enrolled in Part D premium subsidy (July) May not comprehend switch from MediCal CMS may not know of other coverage Employer sponsored coverage Dependent or retiree  Auto assigned to a Part D Rx plan (October) Can switch to another plan Not all premiums will be equal to the federal subsidy May not understand new coverage May not know how to use new system Rx plan may not include every drug needed by enrollee

6 6 Low Income  Need to enroll in Part D Can do so through SSA, public Social Services office, online, or mail in official application  Must choose a Part D plan Free standing PDP or MA-PD Choose plan with premium equal to federal subsidy Understand how to use new system Understand and pay co-payments based on income  Duals and low income in nursing homes Have special needs for enrolling in Part D and choosing an appropriate Part D Rx plan Duals will not have any co-pay requirements

7 7 Medigap in 2006  Must choose between Medigap and Medicare Rx Medigap notice September 2005 IF Medigap Rx benefits are at least as good as Part D benefits can keep Medigap Rx and no late enrollment for Part D will apply Otherwise enroll in Part D Keep same plan without Rx or choose another Medigap Premiums will probably not go down Any Rx benefits received in 2006 Will NOT count towards Part D costs Will delay eligibility for catastrophic limit Are grounds for expulsion from MA-PD  No Medigap Rx benefits can be sold on or after 1/1/06 Two new Medigap plans can be sold in addition to existing 10 plans plus 2 riders

8 8 Retiree Plans  Employers* can receive 28% federal subsidy, tax free, for enrollees NOT enrolled in Part D To offset their costs for Rx benefits as good as, or better than Medicare’s Retirees can delay enrollment in Part D without penalty Employers must notify retirees by September 2005  Employer options without subsidy Supplement basic Medicare benefit Contract with PDP or MA-PD for Medicare and retiree benefits Contract with Medicare as a PDP * Including CalPERS, although no tax benefit applies

9 9 Conflicting Messages  Multiple agencies (SSA, CMS, DHHS) Encourage enrollment in Medicare Part D Multiple staggered mailings Print and electronic media Emphasize benefits and penalty for delay  Employers accepting the subsidy Likely to notify retirees once Not to enroll in Part D Retirees that sign up for Part D when the employer has signed up for the federal premium subsidy could lose all medical benefits, not just Rx.

10 10 Potential for Changes  Benefit changes may occur during a year Network changes (in, out, preferred and non-preferred) Formulary changes Drug changes tiers (co-pay changes) Brand name converts to generic only Drug added, substituted or dropped from formulary Prior authorization added or changed  Duals Co-payments not paid Pharmacy refuses to dispense Rx Change to the wrong plan Premium higher than subsidy Join a MA-PD plan Providers not in the network

11 Demand for Services and the Impact on HICAP Impact on Local HICAP Projects and Counselors 1) More individualized counseling sessions required 2) Counseling sessions likely to take longer 3) Additional counseling sessions likely to be needed 4) Complexity of issues likely to be greater 5) Fewer resources available for other topics MarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember SSA begins mailing notice of eligibility for Part D premium subsidy and an application form to 2,000,000 low -income beneficiaries SSA test mailing to 2,000 low-income beneficiaries 1) SSA begins monthly mailing to newly eligible beneficiaries 2) CMS mailing to all dually eligible beneficiaries CMS Education Campaign for Part D 1) States begin to notify dually eligible of change to Medicare and Part D subsidy 2) SSA low-income subsidy application available online 3) SSA begins making eligibility decisions on low-income applications 1) Employers notify retirees about choices and Part D 2) Medigap companies notify about choices and Part D 3) State agencies notify dually eligible of loss of MediCal Rx 1. Part D Plan information available to compare 2. CMS assigns dually eligible to a Part D plan Enrollment in Part D plans begins Medi-Cal benefits end for dual eligible

12 12 State Leadership Options  Expand an enhance HICAP capability Staffing and in-house internet capability Staff to recruit, train and supervise volunteers and assist with appeals for Part D problems Internet single source of comparison information on Rx plans  Leverage and coordinate resources at the state level Local SSA, CMS and DHHS offices coordinate with local HICAP offices on community outreach efforts  Statewide advertising campaign HICAP availability  Wrap around Medicare for duals and low income Cover co-payments and drugs not on formularies Provide premium support for better coverage

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