Report Provides Retrospective Analysis of Medicare Part D and Provisions under ACA

A new Kaiser Family Foundation report analyzes key trends that have shaped the Medicare Part D marketplace since the program launched nine years ago, providing a detailed assessment of changes in plan availability, enrollment, premiums and cost sharing in both private stand-alone drug plans, and Medicare Advantage drug plans.

In 2014, more than 37 million Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled in Medicare drug plans, including 23 million in PDPs and 14 million in MA-PD plans. About 11 million Part D enrollees are receiving extra help through the Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program to pay their drug plan premiums and cost sharing. Part D has evolved since its inception in 2006 due to changes in the private plan marketplace and the regulations that govern the program.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA) is bringing significant improvements to the program, primarily phasing out the coverage gap, or “doughnut hole,” in the drug benefit. In addition to a 50 percent manufacturer discount on the price of brand-name drugs in the gap, the law further reduces cost sharing for brand-name and generic drugs in the gap over time, reducing cost sharing to the level that applies before the gap and eliminating the coverage gap in 2020. In addition, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has implemented other statutory and regulatory changes that have resulted in some consolidation of Part D plan offerings, along with a degree of greater standardization.

This report presents findings from an analysis of the Medicare Part D marketplace in 2014, the program’s ninth year, and changes in various features of the drug benefit since 2006.

Read the report here:

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation

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