Republican's Flaming Hoop - Because Retirement Shouldn't be Easy

Medicare Part D. The Prescription Drug Plan for our senior citizens. It sounds wonderful and should have been, but in the hands of Republicans it has turned into a nightmare for many who can ill afford complications in their lives.

In today's Washington Post there's a piece reporting that over half a million low income seniors who were automatically enrolled last year will have to apply this year for the new plan.

Some advocates say the affected seniors may not have understood a letter about the change that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services sent last month. And even beneficiaries aware of the change might have trouble completing the six-page application, they said.

A six-page application is a bit much for anyone. I've seen shorter college applications and job applications. So, of the people covered by Medicare Part D, the most vulnerable group has yet another hurdle before actually receiving the benefits they're entitled to during the second year of the plan.

Please follow below the fold...

If having to cough up thousands of dollars to satisfy a mid-year copay is termed the doughnut hole, then facing the loss of free coverage at the end of the year if a six-page application isn't completed on time is like making seniors jump through a flaming hoop to get their coverage.

These seniors will not be dumped from the plan, but would revert to a plan that requires a monthly premium. The problem there is that these are truly the most financially and medically vulnerable who are covered by this particular plan, so the likelihood they can afford a monthly premium is very low.

Medicare drug plan beneficiaries qualify for special help if their annual incomes are at or below 150 percent of the poverty level, which is $14,700 for individuals and $19,800 for married couples. Also, individuals must have no more than $11,500 in assets, and married couples no more than $23,000 in assets.

So, what would you do if you found yourself faced with a monthly premium that you can't afford but the alternative was going without the prescription drugs you also can't afford?


But SD

you must have missed your talking points! Med D is GOOD for America because it's good for the health insurance industry and the Big Pharma. All their record profits will trickledown so that poor people caught in the flaming hoops and donut holes will have suddenly find themselves on the beach in Cancun, drinking rum punch and living the life of Reilly.


damn you

Stealing my sarcasm.

Why oh why did I have to be busy.

"Keep the Faith"

Medicare part D is shit.

Insurance companies are shit.

PhRMA is shit. It drives me nuts when I see my colleagues at meetings chatting it up with drug reps. True, I've talked to them, but mainly in a "so, what's this new, improved drug really an improvement over?" context.

Assuming the main HR approves it, I'll be working for a county health department starting next month. No drug reps, no insurance. All low-cost, sliding-scale services. I just can't work in retail or hospital pharmacy and keep my values.

I hope that approval comes through

lotta folks out there need help understanding what their options are. Of course, your being happier with your work is a nice bonus too. :)

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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


I can't imagine it not going through. The main sticking point is likely to be salary, but I think the hiring coordinator submitted something that'll work. I'll hear back for sure early next week :)

And ohgodyes it'll be better than retail, for so many reasons. Ditto hospital. I just hope we'll be able to work something out if I get in to the School of Public Health (if I decide to apply.) I'd have to cut back to half time because of class schedules and commuting issues.

Rec'd ... just for the title :)

Republican Flaming Hoop

heh. Can't tell you what sort of mental images that brought up. I can say that it initially made a certain NC congressman's name pop into my head ... which is disturbing on so very many levels ... but funny, nonetheless.

Back to the subject: If our Seniors had trouble picking a plan from the chaos at the beginning of the Part D debacle ... how many sane people believe a six page application for reverting to the old plan is any real help to those same people?

It's just so hard to believe we're not in the middle of a horrible nightmare -- or in the darkest moments of a Tolkien tale -- some days.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."


Yup...those visuals can be quite disturbing. :)

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Sorry to put this here...

but there is no open thread. I am walking out the door right now to go to the Edwards/Schuler event here in Asheville.

I will be posting here and on Kos, so please, be on the look out for me over there and rec me up.

Also, get your family and firends to do it to!!


The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

The Great appear great because we are on our knees – Let Us Rise!
-- “Big Jim” Larkin

Please recommend at Kos

Kismet has a diary up. It seems she got two negative mailers from Robin Hayes. He's claiming Larry is against the troops now. How many lies will this man stoop to telling?

Go it is...

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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Larry Kissell