Government auditors have found that despite a strong outreach effort from the Social Security Administration, millions of low-income seniors havent taken advantage of the extra help offered by the Medicare Part D prescription drug programand some may be going without their prescriptions as a result.
The vast majority of seniors are satisfied with this drug benefit, but it is unacceptable that the problems remaining in (Part D) seem to disproportionately affect who can least afford medicines on their own, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) said.
In a report released today, the Government Accountability Office found that as of March, the Social Security Administration had approved 2.2 million Medicare beneficiaries for the low-income subsidy. But estimates of those seniors who are eligible for the special subsidy but are not enrolled range from 3.4 million to 4.7 million.
The GAO says that data from the Internal Revenue Service could be used by the Social Security Administration to better target potentially eligible individuals.
Additionally, the report says that many seniors said they were confused about the subsidy and Part D enrollment, which also complicated the process. -- by Matthew DoBias