|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 22, 2004
|CONTACT: Families USA
Geraldine Henrich (202) 628-3030
New Report Shows Nearly Half of Americans in Medicare at Risk of Losing Coverage
Millions of Seniors and People with Disabilities will Experience Temporary or Long-Term Reductions in Care Under New Medicare Law
WASHINGTON - October 22 - A careful analysis of the new Medicare law and the Administration's proposed regulations shows that approximately half of the program's beneficiaries are at risk of being worse off than they are today, according to a special report released by Families USA, the voice for health care consumers.
Seniors and people with disabilities may lose drug coverage altogether, lose access to needed drugs, have higher out-of-pocket costs for their medicines, find their retiree coverage scaled back, or enjoy fewer consumer protections. As a result, they will experience temporary or long-term reductions in care that is vital to their health.
Those at risk of being worse off include:
* The 6.4 million so-called "dual eligibles," those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. America's poorest seniors and people with disabilities will lose their current drug coverage provided by Medicaid on December 31, 2005.
* The 13 million retirees with drug coverage from their previous employers, who are at risk of losing at least portions of that coverage.
* The 4.7 million seniors currently enrolled in Medicare Managed Care Plans, who will receive fewer protections than they have today.
Families USA is the national organization for health care consumers. It is nonprofit and nonpartisan and advocates for high-quality health care for all Americans. www.familiesusa.org Families USA Foundation