ERIC Submits Comments on Proposed Changes to Medicare Prescription Drug Program

For Immediate Release

Washington, DC – The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) submitted comments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on proposed changes to the Medicare prescription drug program.

ERIC is the only national association that advocates exclusively for large employers on health, retirement, and compensation public policies at the federal, state, and local levels. ERIC’s member companies, the nation’s largest employers, offer comprehensive group health benefits to their employees, with many voluntarily offering medical coverage to their Medicare-eligible retirees, and therefore have a strong interest in the rules relating to the benefits they provide.

In its comments, ERIC proposed that CMS:

  • Withdraw the proposal to mandate Part D plan sponsors to provide point-of-sale rebates
  • Cancel new requirements that would eliminate preferred pharmacy networks associated with Part D plans
  • Eliminate changes to the definition of retail pharmacy that would deny or restrict the ability of Part D sponsors to develop preferred pharmacy networks.

ERIC also argues that CMS is not within its bounds to prohibit Part D sponsors from establishing accreditation standards that are in addition to, or different from, accreditation standards developed by recognized accrediting organizations, and this level of oversight could violate the statutory prohibition against interference.

“The ERISA Industry Committee believes that CMS must remain flexible when interpreting the any willing pharmacy requirement. The standard terms and conditions of pharmacy contracts are constantly evolving – what may have been “standard” ten years ago is no longer standard today,” said James Gelfand, Senior Vice President of Health Policy, ERIC. “Pharmacy contracts are constantly evolving, and Part D sponsors have a responsibility to their Part D enrollees to ensure that preferred pharmacies adopt best practices, and to manage benefits in a way that controls costs.”

Click here to read ERIC’s comments.

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All media inquiries to The ERISA Industry Committee should be directed to:

Kelly Broadway, 202.627.1918, kbroadway@eric.org

About the ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC helps America’s largest employers stay ahead of employee benefit policy. ERIC member companies are leaders in every sector of the economy, and we represent them in their capacity as sponsors of employee benefit plans for their own workforce. Only ERIC provides the combination of intel, expertise, collaboration, and lobbying that exclusively serves the interests of large employers who provide health, retirement, and compensation benefits to their nationwide workforce.