The undersigned patient advocacy and provider organizations are writing to express our concern over continued unaffordable out-of-pocket (OOP) costs in the Medicare Part D program, and to implore Congress to work together in a bipartisan manner to take action. The challenges presented by high OOP expenses have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The brunt of the pandemic has disproportionately impacted older Americans and those living with chronic diseases, while the accompanying economic downturn has further exposed weaknesses in the Part D program. To address affordability-related challenges faced by patients, we recommend the next COVID-19 financial relief package include:
- An annual OOP cap in the Medicare Part D program;
- A mechanism to “smooth” patient OOP costs over a plan year; and
- A commitment that Part D reforms will not include international reference pricing or any other proposals that discount the value of a person’s life because of an individual’s disability, age, or chronic illness in coverage or reimbursement decision-making.