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Today, NAMI and nearly 300 disease and patient advocacy groups sent a letter to Congress urging policymakers to protect the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) program. Proposed changes to the LIS program—which helps more than 11 million low-income Medicare beneficiaries afford medications—could restrict prescription drug access and increase costs for millions of already vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries across the country.
These proposed changes would increase the cost of brand name medications for low-income Medicare beneficiaries—including many below the federal poverty level—and would impede doctors’ ability to prescribe the most effective treatments. Additionally, increased costs could make it more difficult for patients to adhere to their recommended treatment plans.
“We urge Congress to listen carefully to our members with mental illness and others with chronic conditions,” said NAMI Chief Executive Officer Mary Giliberti. “The protections provided in the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy program are essential to helping maintain crucial access to prescription drugs. People should not have to choose between food or rent and their medication. Any changes that erode these vital protections will significantly impact people’s ability to afford treatment for their specific needs.”
Hundreds of advocacy groups for health and mental health are calling on Congress to reject the proposed Medicare Part D LIS changes and put patients first by protecting the program from harmful changes and preserving patient access to the care they need.
The full text of the letter to Congress and the signers can be viewed here.