Medicare Drug Benefit Appears To Help More Seniors With Heart FailureReuters: "The Medicare drug benefit may be helping more older Americans with heart failure get the medications recommended for controlling the disease, a new study finds. The study, of nearly 7,000 older heart failure patients in one large insurance plan, found that the number of filled prescriptions for standard heart failure medications increased after the Medicare drug benefit kicked in in 2006. The biggest increase was seen among seniors who had previously lacked any form of drug coverage. Since January 2006, Medicare beneficiaries have been able to purchase the 'Part D' prescription-drug benefit subsidized by the program and available through private plans" (7/20).
Kansas Health Institute: Meanwhile, in other Medicare news, a "national organization has praised Kansas area agencies on aging for their work in helping low-income seniors sign up for a Medicare benefit that lets them keep their monthly premium and helps with their deductibles and co-pays. Kansas was one of four states profiled earlier this week in a Medicare Rights Center report on states' efforts to promote Medicare Savings Program (MSP) benefits. Generally, a senior who's living on less than $1,354 a month and who has less than $12,510 in savings is eligible for a Medicare Savings Plan subsidy. Couples with monthly income less than $1,822 and less than $25,010 in savings also qualify. The program includes four levels of subsidies aimed at helping seniors pay their medical bills" (Ranney, 7/20). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.