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News Alert: Administration Drops Proposed Changes to Medicare Part D Drug Coverage
The Obama administration is abandoning a plan to limit Medicare coverage for certain classes of drugs, including those used to treat depression and schizophrenia. Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, alerted lawmakers Monday that her agency would not finalize regulations giving insurers more leeway to limit the number of drugs they cover for Medicare beneficiaries. Advocacy groups, including Mental Health America, and Members of Congress vigorously opposed the change, which they argued would have hampered access to necessary medications. Tavenner's announcement means six classes of prescription drugs will continue to be subject to strict rules that would require that nearly all drugs in the classes be covered under Medicare. “We will engage in further stakeholder input before advancing some or all of the changes in these areas in future years,” Tavenner wrote in a letter to lawmakers.