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Trump Aims to Send Seniors Gift Cards for Drug Spending

Published October 13, 2020

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Some Medicare beneficiaries may receive a $200 gift card to help pay for prescription drug costs, although certain details around the plan remain unclear. 

President Trump announced the gift cards during a stop in Charlotte, NC, on September 24 while discussing details of his America First Healthcare Plan. Letters are expected to be sent out to some 33 million recipients of the cards the week of October 12. The actual cards however would likely not hit mailboxes until after the election.

Who would receive Trump’s $200 prescription drug cards?

The 33 million beneficiaries set to receive the cards include those who do not already receive government assistance for their Medicare prescription drug costs. The cards are to be used at pharmacies for drug copays and coinsurance. 

Trump’s prescription drug gift cards would carry a price tag of around $8 billion – including $51 million to create and distribute the cards – and would be paid for out of the Medicare trust fund. The mailed letters alone are expected to cost $19 million. 

The move is being documented as part of a Medicare program called the 402 demonstration, which is used to test various innovations surrounding billing or spending that could potentially save money or improve quality of care. 

The White House has said the cost would be offset by the savings generated from a “most favored nations” plan, which would regulate drug pricing according to the costs paid in other countries. Trump signed an executive order for the most favored nations plan, but it has not yet been enacted. 

What is the America First Healthcare Plan?

Also included as part of the America First Healthcare Plan:

  • Continue health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions.
  • End “surprise billing” for medical costs. 
  • Commit resources toward COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics.
  • Provide access to health coverage tailored to individual needs.
  • Establish more transparent pricing for medical procedures and drug prices. 
  • Lower the cost of prescription drugs. 
  • Improve access to direct primary care.
  • Enhance patient control over their medical records. 
  • Expand telehealth options. 
  • Trim Medicare waste, fraud and abuse. 

Check back with MedicareAdvantage.com for updates on the prescription drug cards and other provisions of the America First Healthcare Plan as they happen. 

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