Kuster introduces bill to reduce drug costs

WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., joined U.S. Reps. Haley Stevens, Jahana Hayes and Terri Sewell to introduce the Maximizing Drug Coverage for Low-Income Seniors Act (H.R. 4669). This bill seeks to improve the Medicare enrollment process and lower out-of-pocket costs by ensuring that beneficiaries are enrolled in a Part D plan that best meets their needs. By establishing an “intelligent assignment” process for low-income beneficiaries, rather than the current random assignment, beneficiaries will be matched with a plan that is better suited to cover their specific medical needs.

Medicare’s Low-Income Subsidy program (also called “Extra Help”) assists low-income individuals by fully or partially covering their out-of-pocket costs under the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. These subsidies reduce or cover Medicare Part D premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance. However, the current random assignment process for low-income seniors can lead to considerable differences in out-of-pocket costs.