The Medicare Part D Plan was put in place to provide “basic coverage,” but more and more senior use their policy as a safety net for all prescription medications. For many seniors this spells real trouble when they hit the coverage gap (aka, “donut hole”).
According to a new story on NPR’s Health Blog, SHOTS, Seniors In Medicare ‘Doughnut Hole’ More Likely To Stop Heart Drugs.
“That’s the result of a study by researchers from the Harvard Medical School, Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and CVS Caremark, the drugstore chain. It’s in the latest issue of the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, published by the American Heart Association.
The researchers looked at the records of more than 100,000 Medicare patients with heart conditions who had Medicare prescription drug coverage in 2006 and 2007. They compared those who fell into the doughnut hole — when Medicare stops paying for drugs and patients are required to temporarily cover 100 percent of their cost -– with those who had continuing insurance coverage. The coverage limit resets every year.”
The most interesting note from the study is that “those who stopped taking their drugs didn’t seem to experience serious health consequences” begging the question, were the drugs really a necessary treatment? You decide.