The standard benefit design calls for each beneficiary to pay for 100% of drug expenses between $2,250 and $5,100. A serious illness such as diabetes mellitus effects 20% of older adults – 64% of them will have medication expenses exceeding $2,250. This leaves the patient to pay out of pocket for that gap in coverage.
"In this situation, patients may use fewer medications or have to choose which medications to buy to meet their budget in a given month" says lead researcher Dr. Jennifer Tjia. For seriously ill patients, this can be a risky choice. Physicians will need to consider the cost of the medications they are prescribing and consider about the economic implications of their recommendations.
Jennifer Tjia, MD, MSCE is currently an instructor in Medicine at the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine. Dr. Tjia is also a staff physician at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Presbyterian Medical Center. Dr. Tjia is available for further information or interview at (267) 992-8216.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.