Conversations: Part D Protected Classes

Conversations: Part D Protected Classes

03.06.14 | By

Since taking effect in 2006, Medicare Part D has provided seniors with critical access to the prescription medications they need. As part of the program, patients have broader access to medicines that fall into one of six “protected classes” that include anticonvulsants, antidepressants, antineoplastics, antipsychotics, antiretrovirals and immunosuppressants. All told, millions of Americans have their difficult health needs met thanks to the access to protected class drugs.

Under a new rule proposed by the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), antidepressant and immunosuppressant drugs would be removed as protected classes under Part D. Beginning in 2015, antipsychotic medications could also lose protected class status. Any changes to CMS’ protected classes will have significant impacts on patient, provider, and caregiver communities across the country. To better understand what these effects might be, we used our Conversations forum to pose the following question:

If implemented, what would the recent proposed changes to Medicare Part D’s six protected classes mean for patients?

We look forward to hearing from our contributors and encourage you to join the conversation by sharing your thoughts in the comment section.

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