Avalere Medicare Study
June 10, 2013
A new study by Avalere Health has determined that Medicare Part D health plans provide "lower levels of coverage and fewer medicines on less expensive formulary tiers than commercial health insurance plans." The Epilepsy Foundation is grateful to UCB, Inc. for its support of this study on epilepsy therapies and Medicare Part D as it is somewhat of a wake-up call on access to the protected classes under Part D.
"The study is a helpful tool demonstrating that not only should the protected classes remain, but more action is needed to ensure access to physician directed therapy and the protections that Congress intended," said Angela Ostrom, vice president of public policy and advocacy at the Epilepsy Foundation.
One of the Epilepsy Foundation's key advocacy priorities is support for affordable access to physician directed therapies. As a supporter of Part D we joined other patient groups in support of non-discrimination provisions that led to the so called protected classes (see pg. 23). At the Epilepsy Foundation, we hear from Medicare patients who face access barriers and have often worked to fight challenges in order to maintain the protected class status for epilepsy therapies. This study is a positive step, demonstrating that not only should the protected classes remain but more is needed to ensure fairness for people with epilepsy.
The Epilepsy Foundation is reaching out to share this study with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and will work with the agency to discuss options and advocate for the best outcome for people with epilepsy whether administrative or legislative.