While a proposal to move some Medicare Part B plans to Part D could reduce overall drug spending, a recent study found that some patients could face higher out-of-pocket costs, Reuters reports.
The Trump administration’s proposal aims to reduce spending by giving plans the ability to negotiate drug prices, but the study’s coauthor, Brigham and Women’s Hospital’s Dr. Nina Jain, says about 40 percent of the drugs studied fell in a “protected class” that would restrict potential price negotiations.
“Currently, Medicare Part B does not actively negotiate drug prices,” she tells Reuters. “The idea underlying this policy proposal is that plans in Part D have negotiating power that will help drive total spending down compared to Part B.”
According to the report, the study says moving plans from Part B to Part D could bring about a 7 to 18 percent reduction in U.S. drug spending. However, individuals with Medigap insurance under a Part D plan could see a roughly $1,460 increase in out-of-pocket costs, and those without Part D coverage could see around a $1,952 increase.