Pinkin Introduces Health Care Bills to Protect, Inform Seniors

Two bills introduced by Assemblywoman Nancy J. Pinkin aim to defend senior citizens against burdensome prescription drug and Medicare practices.

The first bill (A-3203) would prohibit pharmacies from charging fees for processing prescriptions issued electronically or via telephone unless the same fees also apply to written prescriptions.

“We have the capability to make health care processes more efficient, and we ought to take advantage of that,” said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). “But when increased efficiency comes with an increased expense, it discourages the pursuit of a better choice.”

The second bill (A-3202) would require health insurance carriers offering Medicare Advantage plans, also referred to as Medicare Part C, to clearly outline for subscribers the differences between those plans and the original Medicare program. The legislation would be known as the Medicare Disadvantage Disclosure Act.

While current law requires that Medicare Advantage participants receive written disclosure of the terms and conditions of their plans, it does not require that they also receive a comparison with original Medicare.

“All New Jersey residents deserve to have the most comprehensive information available when making decisions about their health,” Pinkin said. “This legislation will empower senior citizens to select the best plan based on their individual needs.”

One in seven New Jersey Medicare beneficiaries is enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.