Most Medicare recipients were grateful when Part D coverage began in 2006. These beneficiaries received needed help with their prescription drug costs. Nevertheless, the coverage still left much to be desired. People that had high prescription drug costs were still left to foot a big bill. The large bill was due largely to the catastrophe amount in Medicare being in excess of $4,000.
In fact, Part D mandated that the beneficiary pay the first $310 of the costs. Then, Medicare Part D kicked in up to $2,830. The recipient of Part D still was responsible for the co-payment for the prescription drugs. For those whose prescription drugs exceeded $2,830, the burden was very heavy. Medicare legislation stated that the beneficiary was responsible for the next $4,550. This amount had to be paid out-of-pocket. In fact, the catastrophe amount in Medicare is considered to be costs exceeding $4,550.
Medicare is extended to those who are 65 or older, and those who are deemed disabled. Most of the people in these categories are on a fixed income. They usually depend on a monthly Social Security check to pay their expenses. In fact, many of these people must live on less than $1,000 a month. Some live on about $500 per month. Thus, the catastrophe amount in Medicare does not kick in soon enough for these people. Many of these individuals are left to go without their medicines, and this endangers their health.
The health care reform legislation signed by President Obama seeks to address the catastrophe amount in Medicare. Political officials are starting to understand the burden this causes for people. In fact, beneficiaries of Medicare will receive a $250 rebate from the government. This is the first step towards reducing the catastrophe amount in Medicare.