In an effort to increase competition and lower costs for Medicare recipients, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the following 5 changes for Medicare plans, starting in 2019.
1. Insurers will be allowed to add low-cost generic drugs to their approved lists.
This is expected to bring down the cost of medications.
2. Insurers must allow all pharmacies an opportunity to participate in their networks.
By allowing more competition, CMS expects its beneficiaries to see lower prices.
3. Medicare will reduce the cap on biosimilars for low-income beneficiaries.
A biosimilar drug is a copy of a drug that contains living organisms, such as yeast. Biosimilars cost less than the original drug because they require less FDA oversight, given the fact that they are nearly identical to the original drug. Though 25% less expensive than the original drug, biosimilars are still expensive.
Reducing the cap on biosimilars will make them more available for Medicare beneficiaries with low incomes.
4. CMS will increase the variety of Medicare Advantage plans that insurers can offer.
More variety and more competition will allow Medicare beneficiaries greater ability to choose a plan that fits their needs.
5. CMS will allow Medicare Advantage plans to offer more supplemental benefits.
These benefits are expected to include such assistive devices as shower chairs and handrails.
At Atlantic Coast Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Lakewood, NJ, part of our mission to increase our residents’ comfort includes staying on top of changes in healthcare law, including Medicare. Our staff is up-to-date on all changes in benefits. In this way, we can ensure that all our residents get everything they need — and are entitled to.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 732-364-7100, or by clicking here.