Is CMS helping insurers scam those on Medicare.

It started back in 2006, the first year that Part D drug program was available for those on Medicare. Some of the insurers and major chains banded together and the insurers allowed – or charged them for doing so – the chains to put their logo on the insurer’s drug card. Leading some medicare folks to falsely believe that they could only get their prescriptions filled at that particular chain. CMS responded by telling the insurers to “not do that again” ! Of course, the damage had already been done to the chain competition and their was not interest within CMS to have the cards re-issued without the chain’s logo.

This year, we are headed back down that path again. CMS has turned a blind eye to closed Rx network tied to a particular insurer. They are selling these programs to Medicare folks based on DOLLARS only… such statements as …” you may not have to pay any premium”… “As little as $3.00 co-pays on SOME generics – even in the donut hole…” “.. people saved nearly $800 last year with our program…” and “we have convenient “home delivery service”…” apparently a euphemism for MAIL ORDER.

While this may not be deceptive advertising… IMO.. the chains and the insurers are taking one more step to demonstrating that pharmacy and prescriptions are a “generic commodity”.. promoting this prescription coverage using costs as the sole means that a person should chose it – without a lot of details or the fine print.

Is this the “pilot program” and template for Obamacare and ACO’s? How many of the Medicare folks that sign up for such program find themselves without adequate medical care something during 2012 and also find themselves locked into the program until open enrollment at the end of the year?

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