Part D exception form won't work with insurers who act in bad faith

LETTER — Posted June 5, 2006

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Regarding "Doctors get new tool to cut Part D hassles" (Article, May 1): For our patients, staying on a medicine that may have served them well for years is about drug safety and efficacy. For the Medicare Part D insurance company it's all about money. Your article points out that March 31 marked the end of a period during which plans were required to cover enrollees' drugs even if the medications were not on their covered list.

I received a lot of hassle and denials from the plans during that pre-March 31 period, and none of the medicines which I requested were approved. What makes AMNews think that adding a new form to fill out is going to make the Part D insurance companies any more likely to approve drugs that are not on their formulary? They had no shame in denying them before March 31, when it was required that they must provide them.

In regard to the five levels of appeal, even a semi-retired physician like myself doesn't have the time to go through that entire process, let alone a busy young doctor. The Plan D insurance companies know that.

Melvin H. Kirschner, MD, MPH, Van Nuys, Calif.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2006/06/05/edlt0605.htm.

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