A simple question at the pharmacy could unlock savings for millions of Medicare beneficiaries.
Under a little-known Medicare rule, they can pay a lower cash price for prescriptions instead of using their insurance and doling out the amount the policy requires. But only if they ask.
That's because pharmacists say their contracts with drug plans often contain "gag orders" forbidding them from volunteering this information.
As part of President Donald Trump's blueprint to bring down prescription drug costs, Medicare officials warned in a May 17 letter that gag orders are "unacceptable and contrary" to the government's effort to promote price transparency.
But the agency stopped short of requiring insurers to lift such restrictions on pharmacists.