Those with Part D want cheaper pharmacies

Feb. 19, 2012 at 4:26 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said data shows a growing popularity among those in Medicare Part D in choosing plans with lower costs.

Enrollment in plans with preferred pharmacy networks has grown twice as fast as conventional plans and is offered by many of the largest Part D plan sponsors, a CMS analysis said.

Almost one-third of all beneficiaries are enrolled in a preferred pharmacy network plan, which can have premiums as low as $15 a month and zero co-pays, the CMS report said.

"New CMS data, which shows that beneficiaries are flocking to lower cost Part D plans with competitive pharmacy networks, is great news for Medicare, seniors and American taxpayers," Mark Merritt, president and chief executive officer of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, said in a statement.

"Recent surveys confirm that 61 percent of employers say it is a good idea to allow employers to choose lower-cost plans that exclude the most expensive drugstores from their coverage network, while more than four-fifths of insured adults are unwilling to pay higher premiums to gain access to more drugstores. Consumers want America's 60,000 pharmacies to compete for their business and are willing to reward those that offer lower prices."

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