Medicare Part D marketing not going well

The latest signs appear to suggest that Medicare Part D may have trouble attracting participants, a possibly ominous sign for the much vaunted program. Evidence seems to suggest that many seniors who could be helped by the program have not heard about it. Others appear to be confused about what the benefit will mean. Economists warn that if the program is not able to attract large numbers of participants, it will have difficulty funding coverage for those requiring expensive drugs and could end up costing far more than expected.

On Friday, the administration launched a campaign to publicize the benefit, sending high-ranking officials, including the surgeon general and CMS head Mark McClellan to Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Questioners at meetings attended by the officials in Maine wanted more specifics on pricing and the availability of specific drugs.

- see this story in The New York Times