Health Policy Alternatives Inc., Medicare Drug Discount Cards: A Work in Progress

Health Policy Alternatives Inc., Medicare Drug Discount Cards: A Work in Progress

According to the , about 3.9 million beneficiaries have signed up for a Medicare-approved discount card to assist them with outpatient prescription drug costs in 2004 and 2005. A report prepared for the by (55 pages, CFM), takes an initial look at the discount card program, emphasizing issues affecting beneficiaries. Part one of the report provides information on the requirements and characteristics of approved discount cards, their sponsors, enrollment fees, covered drugs, pharmacy networks, and more. Part two examines prices offered by card sponsors and potential savings for enrollees. The report's pricing analysis shows that some cards do offer good value when compared to full retail prices paid by cash customers. It also indicates that, after an initial period of price instability and unreliability, the drug prices quoted for these cards have remained relatively stable.