Alexandria, Va. Jan. 3, 2014 - National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, issued the following statement today regarding the 2014 implementation of new health insurance marketplace plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare:
"Helping patients sort through new or revised health insurance coverage is business-as-usual for independent community pharmacies year-round and especially each January. Now more than ever that is the case with the advent of these new health plans.
"While health plans are the payer of first resort for the newly insured, most independent community pharmacists will provide emergency medication supplies, when appropriate, to their patients confirmed with new insurance coverage through the marketplaces, so that these patients don’t fall through the cracks.
"During the 2006 implementation of the Medicare Part D drug benefit, community pharmacists helped patients with emergency supplies thousands of times. A 2006 survey of over 500 independent community pharmacists found that more than half (58 percent) provided 50 or more emergency supplies to seniors during the early days of Part D. Another 21 percent reported doing so 21-50 times.
"Should any coverage issues arise, patients and pharmacists are advised to contact the federal call center at (800) 318-2596.
"Assisting patients as they navigate their health coverage is just one of the ways independent community pharmacies have garnered the highest satisfaction rates from customers in national surveys. In particular, small business community pharmacies serve many rural areas in which the next closest pharmacy may be 20 miles away or more.
"To help ensure independent community pharmacies can continue serving patients at this critical time, NCPA will continue working closely with federal and state officials at all levels and branches of government."
The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent an $88.7 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 300,000 individuals, including over 62,000 pharmacists. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at http://ncpanet.wordpress.com/.
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