Prescription Drug Costs Among Top Concerns for Medicare Beneficiaries; More Than 20 Percent Report Skipping Doses or Postponing Medication Refills

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DEERFIELD, Ill.– More than one-third of Medicare Part D beneficiaries surveyed

(37 percent) have daily concerns about their prescription drug costs and 1 in 5 say they’ve had to make sacrifices, such as delaying filling a prescription or skipping doses, to help manage medication costs, according to a new Walgreens survey.

The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) reports more than 31.5 million people were enrolled in Part D[1], Medicare’s prescription drug benefit program, in 2012.

Despite most beneficiaries (77 percent) surveyed saying they have a clear understanding of their plan benefits, only half realize that co-pays for Part D prescriptions can vary by pharmacy; for instance, some plans feature preferred pharmacy networks that offer lower co-pays. Also, nearly 30 percent don’t know that they can switch pharmacies at any time, believing falsely that it can only be done during Medicare’s Annual Election Period (open enrollment). And nearly 60 percent said if they could change one thing about their Part D plan, it would be lower costs and co-pays.

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