Part D ‘Copay Smoothing’ Rollout Might Be Bumpy, Some Experts Warn

  • Feb 22, 2024

    In a new draft guidance document, CMS lays out a litany of tasks Medicare Part D plans must complete to help enrollees take advantage of an Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) provision that allows people to pay off their prescription drug copays over time.

    The memo is the second draft guidance document released by CMS regarding the Medicare Prescription Payment Plan, or “copay smoothing” — a program that the managed care sector appears to be growing uneasy about.

    “Part D smoothing is coming; it’s coming like a typhoon,” said Nikki Hungate, an industry consultant speaking at the 7th Annual Medicare Advantage Leadership Innovations conference, held Jan. 30-31 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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  • Leslie Small

    Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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