Advocacy group calls for elimination of Part D "lock in" provision

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services should do away with the so-called "lock in" provision in the Medicare prescription drug program, according to the Medicare Rights Center.

Beneficiaries should be allowed to switch drug plans in case they signed up with a plan that does not cover their medications, the center asserts. Many elderly and disabled people signed on with the wrong plans because they were confused or received misinformation from the government, the group said. Deceptive drug plan marketing practices may have also led some beneficiaries to improperly enroll in certain plans, the center's report said.

As of the enrollment deadline of May 15, beneficiaries were "locked in" to their Medicare private drug plans through the end of the year. The government's response to the advocacy group's call for action was unknown at publication time.