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The Importance of Medicare Part D’s Non-Interference Clause

We often stress the importance of being knowledgeable about Medicare in order to best advocate for our health care needs. That’s why it is important not only to know about the different parts of Medicare, but also be up-to-date on legislative provisions that could have an impact on critical aspects of this program.

Under Medicare Part D, which covers prescription medications, plans are offered by insurance companies, and seniors select the plans during open enrollment period each fall. Last year, 43 million of the 60 million people with Medicare were enrolled in Part D coverage, a testament to the immense value the program provides for patients.

Unfortunately, Medicare Part D is facing a serious threat that could undermine the competitive marketplace structure of the program that helps improve affordability and patient choice. This threat involves proposals that would repeal an important feature of Part D called the non-interference clause, which prevents the government from entering into the private market negotiations that drug manufacturers and insurance companies engage in to provide patients with a wide variety of coverage options. This clause protects seniors by encouraging competition between plans, ultimately leading to better access to crucial prescription drugs for seniors.

Medicare beneficiaries deserve to be able to select the plans that best address our health care needs. Because of the free-market principles that the non-interference clause relies on, beneficiaries are able to save money on their prescription medications because they are empowered to shop around for plans without government influence on prices or availability.

Recent proposals to repeal the non-interference clause are dangerous and harmful to seniors, and it is critical that we urge lawmakers not to repeal this important provision of Medicare Part D. As seniors, we have the collective voice to make a difference, and should feel empowered to advocate for our needs. We encourage you to share your thoughts with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and urge you to tell lawmakers not to repeal the non-interference clause!