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January 9, 2006

Medicare Recipients Wrongly Denied Prescriptions

-- by Thomas Leavitt

The reaction from one insurance company spokesperson to widespread reports of problems?

Thomas T. Noland Jr., a spokesman for Humana Inc., a major national insurer, said that some problems were "to be expected in a new program with lots of new enrollment taking effect all at once."

Yeah, o.k., I feel better now - it is clear that the Republican's cherished and efficient private sector takes our healthcare ever so seriously - NOT. Are any of these companies going to lose their contracts as a result of this? Are any executives going to be required to commit corporate hari-kari? Not likely. How about any of the folks in the Bush Administration responsible for overseeing the implementation of this program? I doubt it.

More deadly incompetence from our nation's "leaders" in the executive branch.

States Intervene After Drug Plan Hits Snags

By ROBERT PEAR

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 - Low-income Medicare beneficiaries around the
country were often overcharged, and some were turned away from
pharmacies without getting their medications, in the first week of
Medicare's new drug benefit. The problems have prompted emergency
action by some states to protect their citizens.

[snip]

At least four states - Maine, New Hampshire, North Dakota and
Vermont - acted this week to make sure poor people received the
drugs they were promised but could not obtain through the federal
Medicare program.

[snip]

Posted by Thomas Leavitt at January 9, 2006 7:47 PM

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Comments

Yeah. I know one person who was told when he signed up with Humana that his first trip to the drugstore would be, uh, free. This was a sales gimmick to get him to sign up -- and to get other people to sign up with Humana. He has five prescriptions in all, called the store to get them refilled, and when he got there was charged $350. He went into shock, because that's around $100 more than he would previously have paid when he'd paid retail!

Once you sign up you're stuck with what you've chosen for a year, so he was one very unhappy camper. He reported to me that this finally got straightened out, but I don't know how much he's going to end up paying as co-payments. The big irony in all this is that he was one of the people advising those in Medicare about which of the ridiculous number of plans to choose. So if he got stung, what's happening to the less well informed?

Posted by: MJ at January 10, 2006 6:20 AM

Good morning:
This isn't just someone I know but these are facts about myself and my wife.
We both signed up on line for what HUMANA calls their COMPLETE plan.
This plan should have a $6.00 co pay on generic drugs which is about all we use.
Well we called 4 prescriptions in as we live in a very remote area and very seldom go to the pharmacy
The prescriptions arrived and the co pay on my debit card ranged from $58.78 to $84.34.
I called the pharmacy and was told that HUMANA told them that these were the correct co pays for these perscriptions.
Now for 3 days I have been on hold on what is called the customer service line on the back of my HUMANA card from about 06:00 each morning until about 20:00 on a speaker phone and was hung up on at about 20:00 pacific time.
Now that is 14 hours a day for a total of 42 hours and have not yet spoken to a real person.
IF ANY OF YOU THINK THIS IS ACCEPTABLE PLEASE LET ME KNOW.
As to being locked in as the other person said.
NO you are NOT locked in if HUMANA does not live up to their contract and in my case they HAVE NOT.
YES I have spoken to our State Attorney Generals Office and am told that anytime any party to ANY contract does not honor that contract that contract can be ruled null and void. This one probably will be.
One other point is that my pharmacy tells me thatHIMANA is the ONLY part D provider that they can NOT reach within 15 min. on hold and also that HUMANA is also the VERY hardest people that they have ever tried to do business with.
Thanks for your time Everett L. Gamble in PRESON, NV.

Posted by: Leroy Gamble at January 11, 2006 11:13 AM

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