Think you know Medicare?
Well step right up and show off your smarts! Answer 5 out of 5 questions correctly to prove just how much you know about this critical program.
Generic drugs can save you a LOT of money. But you may not get to buy them as soon as they could have become available. Why? Brand name and generic drug companies sometimes make agreements during patent settlements that pay the generic drug company to delay releasing a lower-cost alternative. On average, how long do these deals delay your access to a generic drug?
Before we reveal the right answer, will you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
Answer: 17 months. Patent settlements that include a payment to a generic drug company delay generics coming onto the market for almost a year and a half longer than patent settlements that don't involve such payments, costing people like you hundreds of dollars every single year.
No one likes to end up in the hospital once – let alone twice! But hospital readmissions are a major driver of Medicare expenses. How much do you think Medicare spends on these (mostly) preventable return visits?
Answer: $17 billion. Yikes! Proper follow-up care can keep patients out of the hospital – and help keep Medicare costs in line. AARP is working to put more emphasis on simple preventative measures that can save taxpayer dollars, and keep patients healthier!
Less is more when it comes to how much you pay, right? That part's obvious, but here's the real question: is Medicare allowed to negotiate for lower drug prices to save you money on your prescriptions?
Answer: No. Seriously, that's the answer – Medicare can't negotiate with drug companies to lower their prices. Unlike other systems, the law prohibits such negotiation by Medicare. The VA can negotiate for lower drug prices for veterans. Why not Medicare for seniors?
A looming financial shortfall could prevent Medicare from being able to pay seniors' full Part A hospital costs, leaving 40 million Americans without the full promised coverage they need. If funding and spending levels stay as projected, what year will Medicare fail to meet its full promise?
Answer: 2026. If nothing changes, there will be a shortfall in the future – but that doesn't mean Washington should make harmful changes that will cut your benefits or force you to pay more. Medicare faces challenges, but you deserve responsible solutions – like reducing drug costs, coordinating care, and reducing over-testing, unnecessary paperwork, waste and fraud – to protect promised benefits.
If you were getting new windows AND siding on your house, you'd have your contractors coordinate with each other to do the best job, right? Many Medicare patients are being treated for more than one chronic condition, but their doctors don't always talk to each another – and that drives up costs. What percent of Medicare spending goes to care for people with at least two chronic conditions?
Answer: 93 percent. There's a HUGE potential to save billions of dollars on Medicare – and improve your health care – just by making sure care is better coordinated. It's a common sense solution to a difficult problem – and one that AARP is fighting for.
Thanks for taking the Medicare Challenge! The challenge may be fun, but protecting Medicare is serious business – take a moment to help spread the word about the different ways we can keep the program strong for generations to come by sharing the challenge with your friends.
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