HHS wants Vermont to reconsider Part D strategy
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 21, 2010
Dept. of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a June 11 letter to Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas urging him to reconsider plans to reduce state benefits to seniors who are enrolled in the state's low-income prescription assistance program, called VPharm.
Vermont is considering the move in response to new Medicare drug benefit rebate checks. The $250 federal rebates are being mailed to seniors who enter the Part D "doughnut hole" this year as a first step toward closing the coverage gap under the health system reform law.
Seniors who enter the Part D coverage gap often have serious illnesses and need financial help, Sebelius said. VPharm requires beneficiaries to pay premiums and does not cover all of seniors' drug costs, she added.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/06/21/gvbf0621.htm.