Prescription for Trouble? (cont.)

What seniors will pay under the new plan is in fact complicated and varying. For instance, the current plan calls for seniors to pay the first $250 of drug costs in one year, then pay 25% of the costs until the bill reaches $2,250. Then there is a payment gap; the plan pays none of the next $2,850 in drug costs. Then, when drug costs reach $5,100 in one year, the benefit begins again and pays 95% of additional costs.

The plan is even much more complicated than this, though, prompting a letter from Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson to older people next month to explain the law.

In the meantime, the next time that grandmother needs her TriCor prescription refilled? "I'm calling Canada," she says.

Published Dec. 16, 2003.

SOURCES: "Jane Doe," Abington, Pa. Thomas McGinnis, PharmD, FDA director of pharmacy affairs. Michael Albano, mayor, Springfield, Mass. Joe White, PhD, professor and chairman, department of political science, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland. Federal Election Commission. Center for Responsive Politics. Charatan, F. British Medical Journal, Jan. 27, 2001; vol 322: p 192. AARP.

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Last Editorial Review: 1/31/2005 7:17:35 AM

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