Higher Copays Seen for Medicare Brand-Name Drugs

With three weeks left for seniors to change their Medicare prescription plan for 2012, a study finds copays for brand-name drugs are going up -- in some cases sharply.

The report Wednesday from Avalare Health found that copays for
preferred brand-name drugs will increase by 40 percent on average
next year, and non-preferred brands will average nearly 30 percent
more. Copays are the portion of drug costs paid by patients.

Copays for generics will remain stable for preferred drugs, and
go down for non-preferred.

Monthly premiums for Medicare drug plans are expected to average
about the same next year. But the copay changes underscore how
important it is for seniors to check coverage before open enrollment ends Dec. 7.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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