When it comes to your prescription plan, your doctor knows best. By sticking to the regime your doctor recommends, you can better manage your health and avoid unnecessary (and potentially expensive) medical problems. This month's Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) public meeting discussed whether or not Medicare Part D impacts older Americans' ability take their medicines as directed.
Medicare Part D makes adherence easier by offering seniors numerous Part D plans at a variety of price points. Making medicines more affordable reduces one of the main barriers to adherence. In fact, 67% of beneficiaries say that without Part D coverage, they would be unable to fill all of their prescriptions. With Part D, seniors can decide which on a plan provides comprehensive support for their health needs at a price they can afford. And seniors appreciate their freedom to choose: two-thirds of beneficiaries say having a variety of plan options is important to them, while 13% of seniors explore plans and switch to new ones based on reliability and affordability.
Consistently sticking to a prescription plan makes a particularly big difference for people with chronic illnesses. According to a Mayo Clinic study, "Adherence is a key factor associated with the effectiveness of all pharmacological therapies, but is particularly critical for medications prescribed for chronic conditions." Three out of four older Americans suffer from multiple chronic conditions. Through Part D, these seniors and many others can access their medicines without breaking the bank.
- Better adherence not only helped people with congestive heart failure reduce their hospital admissions by 13%, it also helped them save an average of 23% on medical costs associated with their condition.
- People with diabetes also saw improvements. By increasing their adherence to medicine plans, costly hospitalizations for the disease went down 23%.
By making medicines more affordable and encouraging adherence to medication for seniors, Part D doesn't just make older Americans' lives better; it also improves our nation's finances. In fact, the Part D program saves Medicare over $12 billion a year.
Over the last 10 years, we've seen how affordable access to prescription medications through Medicare Part D both improves seniors' health and saves money for our nation's entire health system. As many seniors become more comfortable using technology, selecting a Part D plan to has become more accessible and easier than ever. We must continue to educate seniors on how they can stay healthier through access to a variety of Part D options.