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Alliance Convenes Stakeholders on Medicare Drug Affordability Reforms

May 4, 2023   |   Adina Lasser   |   Prescription Drug Affordability

On May 2, 2023, the Alliance for Aging Research and the National Health Council convened a roundtable to discuss Medicare’s implementation of two key provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA): a $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket costs (OOP) for prescription drugs and the ability to pay OOP expenses through zero-interest payment installments.

Meena Seshamani and Michael Ward seated on a stage discussing the IRA.
Alliance Vice President of Public Policy and Government Relations Michael Ward moderated a fireside chat with Meena Seshamani, MD, PhD, Deputy Administrator and Director, Center for Medicare, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, during the Stakeholder Roundtable on May 2, 2023.

The panel featured experts throughout the healthcare space, including representatives from insurance providers, patient advocacy groups, pharmacy groups, manufacturers, and government agencies. The goal of the roundtable was to develop areas of common agreement among represented stakeholders as well as identify potential challenges that need to be addressed to ensure patients benefit as Congress intended.

Roundtable participants emphasized the need for collaboration between stakeholders to ensure successful implementation of these provisions. Groups also discussed the urgent need to start educating Medicare beneficiaries about these upcoming benefits, given the statutory requirement that individuals will need to choose whether they want to pay their costs in installments rather than all at once. Discussants also emphasized potential mechanisms to promote ease of participation, including the ability to set up automatic payments and how beneficiaries may retain eligibility in the case of a late or missed payment. A whitepaper summary of the convening will be forthcoming in late May.

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