The CMS has announced proposed regulations that would give all Medicare beneficiaries prescription drug coverage for the first time.
Under the proposed rule, beneficiaries will pay a $250 deductible after which the government will pay 75% of drug costs to a limit of $2,250. Once the beneficiary spends $3,600 out of pocket, the government will pick up 95% of drug costs.
For the purpose of an asset test for low-income assistance, the proposal also would count only liquid assets and real estate holdings other than a beneficiary?s home or residential farm.
It also outlines approaches prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage program will use to negotiate the best prices for beneficiaries.
The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register Aug. 3 with a 60-day comment period, closing on Oct. 4. Final rules are expected to be issued in early 2005.
The prescription drug benefits will take effect Jan. 1, 2006.