NEW DATA SHOWS THAT ABOUT 10% OF DRUGS “COVERED” IN MEDICARE DRUG PLANS ARE NOT EASILY “OBTAINED”
-- New Information Now Available with a Single Click on MedicareDrugPlans.com --
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NEW YORK – WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 14, 2005 –
With only days to go before the start of the Medicare Prescription Drug Program, MedicareDrugPlans.com, a website that helps seniors evaluate Medicare Part D plans, announced that most plans require either pre-authorization or the use of alternative drugs as step therapy before a member can obtain certain drugs otherwise listed as “covered.” Among the plans, the number of drugs for which authorization is required ranges from none to over forty of the one hundred most popular drugs. On average, authorization is required for about ten of the most popular drugs. The new information is based on analyses of data released by Medicare earlier this month.
“Even if a plan covers all of the most popular drugs, you may have to jump through hoops to get some of them,” said Tod Cooperman, M.D., president of MedicareDrugPlans.com. For example, in New York, the Aetna Medicare Rx Premier plan includes all top one hundred drugs on its formulary but thirty-eight require prior authorization or step therapy. On the other hand, the AARP Medicare Rx plan, which also includes the top 100 drugs on its formulary, only has such requirements for accessing two of these drugs. Dr. Cooperman added, “These differences can significantly affect the usefulness and ultimate cost of a plan. We have made this information available with just one click at www.medicaredrugplans.com where plans are easily compared.” To check restrictions on specific drugs, seniors should contact the plans directly or going through a series of questions in the Medicare’s online Formulary Finder tool at www.medicare.gov.
The new data also shows the number of popular drugs a person can get with a co-pay of under $20 within a plan. This number ranges from as many as 95 to as few as 20 drugs. This information is also easily found on www.medicaredrugplans.com.
Dr. Cooperman added, “The Medicare drug plan marketplace is extremely diverse and requires a lot of homework on the part of seniors. One plan may be great for one person but terrible for the next. We hope that the new information on MedicareDrugPlans.com will be of great assistance to seniors and to those helping them.”
MedicareDrugPlans.com is a free website that provides easy-to-use comparisons, consumer ratings and reviews, and open discussions relating to Medicare Part D prescription drug plans. It is a division of PharmacyChecker.com, a privately held company that provides price comparisons and ratings of online pharmacies at www.pharmacychecker.com. PharmacyChecker.com has no ownership in or from companies that sell or distribute pharmacy products, health insurance or pharmacy benefits.