Medicare May Be Wasting Billions for Prescriptions

Published 06/02 2014 01:58PM

Updated 06/02 2014 02:01PM

PITTSBURGH - A new study finds that Medicare is paying out $5billion more in prescription costs than it needs to.  

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health say the government often assigns low-income participants to plans, that either don't cover their medications or charge higher costs.

The lead study author say billions would be saved if patients were put in the least expensive plans that satisfy their medication needs.

Medicare Part D provides assistance to beneficiaries below 150 percent of the federal poverty level. In 2013, an estimated 10 million beneficiaries received subsidies, and 75 percent of the total Part D federal spending of $60 billion is for low-income enrollees.

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