U S Department of Health and Human Services www.hhs.gov

Intergovernmental Center

Part D Spotlight


CMS announced the 2009 Medicare Advantage and Part D plan options.  CMS issued a national press release, a list of national stand-alone prescription drug plan sponsors and State-by-State fact sheets, and the 2009 plan options.  

Based on the bids submitted by Part D plans, CMS estimates that the average monthly premium that beneficiaries will pay for standard Part D coverage in 2009 will be $28.  In addition to average premiums for 2009, CMS has announced:  the 2009 national average monthly bid; the base beneficiary premium; the regional low-income subsidy premium amounts for 2009; and the 2009 Medicare Advantage regional preferred provider organization benchmarks.  These data can be found on our website.  For more information, please see our press release.

For more State-related information on Part D, please see the State MMA webpage.

CMS also has a chart that explains the Part D-related mailings that beneficiaries will receive this summer and fall.


Medicare Spotlight

DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program:  On July 15, 2008, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 was enacted, making changes to the Medicare program.  Section 154 of the Act requires the delay of Round 1 of the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program.

As a result of the delay, Medicare beneficiaries in areas previously covered under the competitive bidding program may use any Medicare-approved supplier for Durable Medical Equipment.  If a beneficiary change suppliers when this new program started (July 1, 2008), they can either continue to use the new supplier or choose another supplier.  The original DME payment rates in effect prior to July 1 are reinstated retroactively.

Additional information can be found in this fact sheet.  Please check back for updated information.


Medicaid Spotlight
Deficit Reduction Act Webpage: The DRA provides states with much of the flexibility states have been seeking over the years to make significant reforms to their Medicaid programs.

Tamper Resistant Prescription Pads:  CMS released guidance through a State Medicaid Director Letter [PDF, 82KB]  providing baseline requirements to States to define and implement tamper-resistant prescription pads as required by law.  The documents "Medicaid Tamper Resistant Prescription Information for State Policymakers" [PDF, 42KB] and "Frequently Asked Questions on Tamper Resistant Prescriptions" [PDF, 58KB] provide additional background information.  These documents have been recently updated for October 1, 2008 implementation.  Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for new information on CMS' policy with respect to computer-generated prescriptions.  An updated fact sheet for pharmacists [PDF, 67KB] is available to assist pharmacists with implementation of the new policy. (Updated July 16, 2008.)

Important Links

State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)


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