Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Annual Enrollment Period is Halfway Over

/PRNewswire/ -- Medicare Today reminds seniors that the Medicare Prescription Drug Part D annual enrollment period is halfway over -- running from November 15 to December 31, 2008. The open enrollment period is an opportunity for seniors to review and change the prescription drug program under which they are currently enrolled or for those not enrolled in a Part D plan to enroll.

During these challenging economic times, seniors need to ensure their drug benefit plan meets their health care and pocketbook needs. The Medicare Part D prescription drug program is designed to provide greater access to prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries -- regardless of income, health status, or prescription drug usage.

"It is extremely important for beneficiaries, especially those with limited income, to take advantage of the choice, convenience and cost savings that Medicare's prescription drug plans offer them," said Mary R. Grealy, President of the Healthcare Leadership Council, a coalition of the nation's leading health care companies and organizations.

Heading into its fourth year, seniors continue to give the program high remarks, with 90 percent reporting that they are satisfied with their plan, up 12 points since the beginning of the program, according to a national survey released by Medicare Today, a project of the Healthcare Leadership Council. The survey also shows nearly 71 percent say they have reduced their spending on prescription drugs. With Medicare Part D, seniors save $1,200 a year on average on prescription drugs.

"The survey is yet more evidence that the Medicare prescription drug benefit provides seniors with the flexibility they need to choose a plan that's right for them," said former U.S. Senator and Medicare Today Co-Chairman John Breaux.

While millions of seniors are enjoying the benefits of Part D, there are still millions of eligible seniors that have not enrolled. There are a wide variety of choices in coverage plans that fit every senior's budget. Affordable Medicare drug benefit plans are available in all 50 states, and the plan options vary in costs and the drugs that are covered. Beneficiaries with limited income and resources may qualify for extra help to pay the costs of their Medicare Part D plan.

Seniors want to be certain they're making the right choice from among the different plans available. For more information visit www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE.

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