Center for American Progress

The New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: Not So Voluntary

The New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit: Not So Voluntary

Download: DOC, RTF, PDF

An administration-sponsored flyer states that, under the recently-enacted drug benefit, “Enrolling is your choice.” However, little-noticed provisions of the new Medicare law will make enrollment, for some, a “now or never” decision. Beneficiaries who delay enrollment or temporarily leave Medicare drug plans could face steep financial penalties upon enrollment or be allowed to enroll only at certain times of the year. Thus, the “choice” to not enroll in the new drug benefit could be costly and, for some, no choice at all. This brief discusses the ramifications of these provisions and offers options to protect seniors from unreasonable penalties and promote a more voluntary choice. More: DOC, RTF, PDF

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