From New Drug Discount Cards
May 01, 2004
Starting May 3, seniors can begin to sign-up for Medicare-approved prescription drug cards. Some cards will be offered for free, though others may charge a one-time enrollment fee of up to $30 under the law. Low-income seniors may be eligible for an additional $600 credit to help pay for their prescriptions and would not have to pay an enrollment fee. The discounts take effect June 1.
"I'm happy to know that the power to save is being put in the hands of seniors with these Medicare-approved discount drug cards, and the low-income seniors who need the most help will save even more with a $600 credit to pay for their medicines. We need to let people with Medicare know about this new opportunity to save. We're giving them the tools to save real money on their prescription medicines," said Congressman Young.
Throughout the month of May, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will build awareness of the new Medicare-approved prescription drug discount card program as well as the unique tools seniors can use to choose a card that's right for them. The education campaign will place particular emphasis on the low-income seniors who qualify for a $600 credit to help pay for their prescription medicines.
Core components of the HHS education campaign include a drug price comparison Web site, new rounds of advertising and informational brochures being mailed directly to people with Medicare. HHS will provide direct and personal assistance to seniors in comparing cards and making the best choice for their individual needs.
A new Web-based tool will be
available so beneficiaries can compare drug cards, including
the discounted prices for drugs that they use, cards offered
and any enrollment fees (the law allows up to a $30 fee.). Consumers
can access this information at www.medicare.gov.
Or consumers can access this information by calling 1-800-Medicare,
where a customer service representative will be able to send
the caller price comparison information based on their situation.
Medicare has also increased the number of trained customer service
representatives available to seniors to advise them throughout
this process. AARP will have in state volunteers to assist with
the dissemination of information. The toll free in state number
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