Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan: Take Action by March 7th, 5pm ET

Seniors in America receive Medicare health insurance upon turning age 65 and transfer to Medicaid instead of Medicare if they qualify as a very low-income senior.  Medicare does not pay for long-term care in a nursing home nor at home but it does provide for some prescription drug benefits.  Prescription medications are the 2nd highest financial obligation of senior care, after caregiving services.  Caregiverlist provides the daily costs of nursing homes nationwide to help Americans plan for senior care needs.  You may also view Caregiverlist's By-state Medicaid financial qualifications.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a rule to change the Part D prescription drug coverage available to seniors under the Medicare program.  The rule would remove the "protected class" status of anti-depresseants and immunosuppressant drug classes and potentially remove protection for antipsychotic drugs after year 2015.

Seniors with lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS, psoriasis and other immune disorders may lose access to prescriptions that are needed to treat their conditions.  Likewise, patients and caregivers over the age of 65 facing major depressive disorder and other mental health conditions will have less access to the drugs they need and less flexibility to change drugs if their medication is not working.  

The National Alliance for Caregiving has joined other organizations in asking CMS to reject the proposed rule.  In partnership with the Healthcare Leadership Council, the National Alliance for Caregiving has created a letter to present lawmakers showing support of the current drug benefits for seniors and requesting no changes in this area for the Medicare drug benefit.  Review the letter, indicating no changes should be made based on a 90% approval rating of the Medicare Part D program and other positive benefits.

You may also post your note requesting Part D coverage remains the same by writing directly to Medicare here.

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