The Medicare prescription drug plan allows private health insurers to offer limited insurance coverage of prescription drugs...Read more
Medicare Adds Drug Price Comparison Tool
- September 22nd, 2004
Visitors to the Medicare Web site can now compare prices for similar drugs used to treat common diseases such as high cholesterol or blood pressure, and possibly find lower-cost alternatives to the drugs they are taking.
The "Lower Cost Rx Comparison Tool" currently lists price information for 52 brand-name and generic medications. The tool is available on the Medicare Web site, www.medicare.gov. A toll-free phone service has also been provided to help beneficiaries compare drug prices (call 1-800-MEDICARE). (See below for instructions on finding the tool on Medicare's site.)
Medicare beneficiaries enter the medications they are currently taking and a customized report is generated for each of their medications, including less expensive versions of the same drug and brand name or generic versions of similar but less expensive drugs that are available to treat the same condition.
For example, Zocor, a top-selling medication used for treating high cholesterol, costs an average of $89.38 per month for the 20 mg. tablets. Using the new comparison tool, a beneficiary will find several lower cost options, including another brand name drug, Altoprev, that costs $57.19 per month for the 40 mg. tablets, an annual savings of $386.32.
However, considering the publicity by the Department of Health and Human Services surrounding its release, the Lower Cost Rx Comparison Tool is fairly well hidden on Medicare's Web site. Here's how to find it:
- Go to www.medicare.gov
- Click on "Prescription Drug and Other Assistance Programs"
- Answer the questions asked (the tool does not appear to be available for those who answer "No" to the question "Do you have Medicare")
- Enter drug name or names
- Click "Add Drug"
- Select dosage amount
- Click on "Finished Drug Selection"
- Click on the blue "More Ways to Save" tab near the top of the page
- Scroll down to "Search the Lower Cost Rx Comparison tool now" and click on this.
Those calling Medicare to compare drug prices may not necessarily have an easier time of it. A Medicare agent who answered a call on September 22, 2004, had not yet heard of the price comparison tool. (Medicare announced the new service on September 15.)
For a press release on the Lower Cost Rx Comparison Tool, click on: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2004pres/20040915a.html
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Ashburn, VA
Law Offices of John L. Laster
John Laster is a lawyer licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. He limits his practice to wealth transfer planning, trusts, wills, powers of attorney, health care decision-making issues, estate administration and related tax, elder law and disability concerns. Listed in The Best Lawyers...
Hammond and Associates, LLC, Elder Law, Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate
For Jeffrey Hammond, the practice of Elder Law is personal. Jeff’s many years of experience in law and in business did not prepare him for the crisis he faced in 2005 and 2006 when his father suffered a stroke and both of his parents suffered from dementia and other medical problems. At that time, Jeff began an i...
The Law Firm of Evan H. Farr, P.C.
In practice since 1987, Fairfax Attorney Evan Farr is widely recognized as one of the leading Elder Law, Estate Planning, and Specials Needs attorneys in Virginia and one of foremost experts in the Country in the field of Medicaid Asset Protection and related Trusts. Evan Farr has been quoted or cited as an expert by n...