Lowering Drug Costs for Medicare Recipients

Women with heart disease are all too familiar with pharmacy counters, health insurance policies and costs for prescription drugs. That’s why we’re paying close attention to the debate and discussion in Congress about how to lower drug prices. Elected officials agree on the need to help lower the financial burden on patients purchasing their medications.

One policy gaining momentum is to establish out-of-pocket caps for Medicare beneficiaries with Part D coverage, including many women with heart disease. While Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage is broadly popular, challenges remain around access to medications, high costs for some drugs, and the fact that many Part D beneficiaries spend thousands of dollars out-of-pocket on medication each year.

WomenHeart recently joined several other organizations in a letter to Congressional leaders who are considering legislation to address those problems. The letter calls for “an out-of-pocket cap for Medicare Part D to limit the amount Medicare beneficiaries pay for covered prescription drugs.” It also recommends “a monthly cap (or other mechanism) that would allow total out-of-pocket costs to be distributed more evenly throughout the year.”

The letter also asks for improvements to Medicare Part D policies that support low-income beneficiaries. For example, eliminating cost-sharing for generics for low-income women can improve medication adherence, and decreasing the burden on applying for assistance would increase access for those who need support.

WomenHeart is committed to ensuring that women with heart disease can access the care they need, and that means being able to afford the medications and treatment prescribed by their doctors.

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