On January 1st – prescription drug coverage will be available to everyone with Medicare… and President George Bush has launched a nationwide effort to raise awareness.
As part of that effort – representatives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services held a seminar in Fort Myers today/Monday at the Heron House – an assisted living facility.
They met with local partners that will help seniors with the new coverage.
Medicare recipients will have a choice of many different plans – and they’ll have to make that choice soon. Enrollment begins November 15th.
Dr. Mark McClellan is Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
“I think the main thing for people to know now is that there will be some new benefits for prescription drugs in the fall – that the benefits are designed to help them with their drug costs no matter how they’re paying now – and people are going to have questions about this, their family members and caregivers…and we want to provide personalized help – face to face help if they want it – to make sure they can make a confident decision about the coverage.”
Enrollment for low-income seniors and people with disabilities is already underway.
Basic prescription drug coverage will cost about 450-dollars a year…not including a 250-dollar deductible. After that deductible’s met – beneficiaries will be responsible for a quarter of costs up to $2,000…then ALL costs up to $5,000. After that, Medicare pays 95-percent.
Critics of the program say its many plans will be confusing to seniors…and that the so-called “doughnut hole” in coverage will mean more out-of-pocket expenses.
Tuesday, 21 June 2005 01:00