July 28, 2006
Medicare’s new “Plan D” is working better than many people expected. A survey shows more that 80 percent of people enrolled in it, like it.
What's the catch? Less than half say they are actually saving any money.
If there's any question about Medicare Plan D, Sally Mank of JABA is the person to call. She said the new prescription drug plan has brought mixed reactions. “Everybody is kind of getting used to it and seeing how it works," she explained.
A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found 80 percent of the people enrolled do like it. However, less than half who use it report saving any money.
Under Plan D, the average prescription drug benefit is $1500. Additional costs have to be paid out of pocket. That gap in coverage can get costly for the poor and people with more prescriptions.
“I think many people are reasonably satisfied with the way the program is working, but we’ve had calls from people who’ve exhausted their coverage,” said Mank.
Medicare has 42 different drug plans in Virginia, 13 different providers. Mank says that’s a lot of choices for seniors trying to decide which will save more money. It is "complex. [There are] many details to understand and decide which plan works best for you," continued Mank.
Government officials admit the plan has its kinks, but say it isn’t the catastrophe critics predicted. The Government estimates about 38 million people use Medicare’s prescription drug coverage.