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Why Is Tthe AARP Missing In Action On 'Step Therapy?' Making it harder for patients to get the vital medicines they need? Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Liz 

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  Posted 09 August 2019 - 02:07 PM

Why Is Tthe AARP Missing In Action On 'Step Therapy?'

Washington Examiner
by Mark Gibbons
August 09, 2019 02:00 PM

Excerpt:

Why is the largest consumer advocacy organization sitting on the sidelines as new federal rules make it harder for patients to get the vital medicines they need? That’s the question every senior should be asking AARP, and the organization’s lucrative business interests help shed light on a likely answer.

AARP promotes itself as a simple advocacy group looking out for the interests of older Americans. In reality, AARP is a marketing machine with longstanding ties to the insurance industry.

The nonprofit group (ahem) generated $1.6 billion in revenue in 2016, according to its most recent tax records. More than half of that total came from royalty payments it received from other entities that use the AARP brand and sell products to the group’s 38 million dues paying members.

The biggest benefactor of this cozy relationship is UnitedHealth Group. The insurance giant markets Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug plans to seniors with the AARP stamp of approval. These insurance products are some of the biggest sellers in the Medicare system, and AARP profits each time a senior buys one.

It’s in this context that AARP’s stance on harmful new rules affecting seniors is so troubling. The Trump administration recently announced a policy that will force some patients in Medicare Advantage to suffer through the arbitrary rules of insurance companies before they can take the medicines their doctors prescribe.

The policy, known as “step therapy,” requires patients to fail first on a drug chosen by their insurance company, before the health plan will cover the medicine their doctor believes is best. It is an egregious practice that allows insurance executives to come between patients and their doctors, and the change in policy could result in dangerous side effects and diminished health outcomes.

It makes sense, then, that UnitedHealth would endorse this rule because it empowers the insurance industry, but it makes no sense for AARP members. In fact, the directive contradicts one of AARP’s principle policy tenets.

In its policy book, the group explicitly argues that patients should have access to the medicines their doctors decide are medically necessary. That simply won’t be the case for many seniors in Medicare Advantage health plans that adopt a fail first approach.

The pain will be particularly acute for those who take medications for serious, often life-threatening conditions, such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, and hemophilia. This practice has become all too common in the commercial insurance market, and the results have been devastating for patients.

One patient was forced to spend five weeks in a hyperbaric chamber after an infection in the leg spread to other parts of his body. The insurance company insisted on a certain medicine the patient’s doctor knew would be ineffective. Only after several months of phone calls from the patient’s wife did the insurer finally cover the medicine his doctor had prescribed.

A boy from Georgia endured excruciating pain and loss of appetite due to colitis, a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. The boy’s doctor found what his mother described as the “miracle pill,” only to be told by their insurance provider that he would have to take a less-costly drug before he could “step up” to the one that worked.

*snip*

Full Article
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#2 User is offline   Dean Adam Smithee 

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 05:06 PM

AARP is little more than an insurance broker and lobbyist for the insurance industry masquerading as a non-profit.

AARP = American Association of Retarded Persons. If you're not retarded, don't join.
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#3 User is offline   Liz 

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Posted 09 August 2019 - 06:39 PM

View PostDean Adam Smithee, on 09 August 2019 - 05:06 PM, said:

AARP is little more than an insurance broker and lobbyist for the insurance industry masquerading as a non-profit.

AARP = American Association of Retarded Persons. If you're not retarded, don't join.

Believe me, I'd run a mile to get away from these crooks but I have a few family members who need educating and refuse to admit it.
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#4 User is offline   RedSoloCup 

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Posted 10 August 2019 - 08:04 AM

Because AARP is part of the fascist deep state.
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