Beneficiary groups endorse plan to simplify Medicare Part D

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A number of Medicare beneficiary advocacy groups have voiced support for a plan from the Department of Health and Human Services to simplify the Medicare Part D program. They want to reduce the number of available plans.

Ten advocacy groups, including Families USA and the National Council on Aging, last week indicated their position in a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, HHS secretary. The signatories argued that the confusing range of choices make it difficult for beneficiaries to choose a plan that provides favorable coverage. The groups also called on Sebelius to expand HHS policies that would help simplify the Part D program, according to a Bureau of National Affairs report.

The letter comes in response to recent Republican criticism of the plan. Reps. Dave Camp (R-MI) and Wally Herger (R-CA) of the House Ways and Means Committee in a Sept. 28 letter to Sebelius called the effort to reduce the number of plans “misguided [and] paternalistic,” BNA reported. HHS says reducing the number of plans will create a “meaningful difference” between the remaining plans, helping beneficiaries identify the most appropriate one for their needs.