Seniors Quit Their Drugs When They Reach Spending Cap

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By: Linda von Wartburg

A review of prescription drug use by more than 60,000 seniors has found that when their insurance plan reaches its spending cap for medications, they often just quit taking the medications.

And when benefits resume for the next year, more than half don’t start their prescriptions up again.

About six to thirteen percent of people enrolled in drug plans with caps exceeded their spending caps in the years between 2003 and 2005, and half of them went without benefits for over ninety days. Most of the drugs that they quit taking were to prevent long-term complications of chronic disease, such as diabetes.

Sources: EurekAlert, Health Affairs, September 2007

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