Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The success of the drug benefit depends on how many people enroll. So far, that's not many.

In the short term, the success of the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan depends critically on enrollment. Yet voluntary enrollment in the benefit has been disappointing to say the least. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today that only 25 million of the 42 million eligible Medicare beneficiaries are enrolled.

However, included in that 25 million are about 10 million federal retirees and Medicare-age retirees who receive prescription drug coverage through their former employers, and another 10 million people who were auto-enrolled. Only 5.3 million people have voluntarily enrolled in the program.

“As it stands, the complicated design and poor implementation of the benefit program has doomed the rollout to fail,” Cleaver said. “At the Town Hall I hosted this week to talk about the issue, what I heard was frustration. People were sold this plan as a benefit and all it has given them is grief.”


Post a Comment

<< Home