Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022, sponsors of Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MA-PD) plans and Prescription Drug Plans (PDPs) are preparing for the biggest Part D changes in the program’s 18-year history. As plans consider how they’ll manage an increasing share of responsibility for catastrophic drug costs, sources say they await critical outstanding information, such as an updated Part D risk adjustment model and additional guidance on the Medicare Payment Prescription Plan.

“The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 will be ushering in many benefit parameters that will need to be carefully included in planning for 2025,” observes Debra Devereaux, R.Ph., principal and chief pharmacy/clinical officer with Rebellis Group. For starters, the IRA eliminates the coverage gap (a.k.a. the “donut hole”) for seniors in 2025, and plans will be responsible for 60% of drug costs in the catastrophic phase of coverage, which is triggered when enrollees exceed a new $2,000 out-of-pocket cap. (Plans paid 15% of that share in 2023 and will pay 20% in 2024, while CMS will decrease its share from 80% to 20% in 2025, and manufacturer discounts will be introduced in the initial and catastrophic coverage phases.)