Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Causing Confusion - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/18/06-Gladewater

Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Causing Confusion

Medicare's new prescription drug plan has caused confusion all across the nation. One East Texan on heart medication was told he had to pay full price for what was only supposed to cost him no more than five dollars. He ran out of that medication on Tuesday.

"I'm on blood thinner medication," says William Griffin. "That keeps him from having an heart attack," says Patricia Griffin.

Yesterday, William and his wife Patricia went to the pharmacy to refill three of his seven prescriptions. "We thought it was going to be 5 dollars a piece like we we're told. But it wasn't and it was way more than we thought," says Patricia. Instead of fifteen dollars, the total bill was more than 190 dollars.

"My husband told the pharmacist that he could not afford it. So he paid for the one prescription that was three dollars and we left," says Patricia.

William was approved for Medicare's drug program and already has his drug card. In August, he also applied for additional drug cost assistance. However, five months later, there is still no word if he's approved. When he called medicare and the social security office, he was told his application must have gotten lost.

"They told me to do the best that I can, make it until something happens," says William. Not an answer the Griffins wanted to hear.

We found out from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services that William should not be in this situation. Their spokesperson says when billing and co-pay information cannot be confirmed, the pharmacist should call medicare's hotline.

"We have caseworker that follow up to find out the process and procedures that the pharmacy took. And to find out the proper co-pay and beneficiary information for the Griffins," says Tony Salters, Spokesperson with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

"I'm not going to give up, I'm going to keep praying," says Patricia. Until they find a solution, the Griffins are praying they can find someone on the other end of the phone that can help.

Later, the CMS called us to say William will be getting his medications. They say the first time you go to fill a prescription under the new drug plan, the pharmacy must give you a 30 day supply of medicine. Even if they're resolving any co-pay or coverage information.

Karolyn Davis, reporting. kdavis@kltv.com

 

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