CHOOSING A MEDICARE DISCOUNT DRUG CARD


Medicare beneficiaries who chose a card in 2004 could switch cards between November 15 and December 31, 2004.  The new card was effective on January 1, 2005. People who have never had a Medicare drug card can still enroll, and can do so throughout 2005. In most circumstances, however, once someone does choose a card they will be “locked-in” to that card for the rest of the year. The Medicare card program ends on December 31, 2005 and the Medicare Part D prescription drug program begin on January 1, 2006.  The guide below is intended to help people select a Medicare Drug Discount Card for 2005.

A QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE TO MAKING INFORMED DISCOUNT DRUG CARD CHOICES

Know Your Own Needs:

Find Out About the Medicare Discount Card Options Available to You:

Compare the Information About Each of the Available Cards. Here Are Some Key Questions to Ask:

REMEMBER:  The Medicare card plans can change the list of discounted drugs and the discounts weekly, but you will not be able to change cards once you make your choice.  The best you can do is choose a card based on the drugs you know you need when making the card choice. Make your best estimate of needed drugs when you choose a card.

Special Options for People with Low Incomes:

Is your income $12,569 or less? ($16,862 for a married couple.)  If so, you may be eligible for the Medicare discount drug card “transitional assistance”, a 600/year credit towards drug costs and payment of the annual drug card enrollment fee. To maximize this benefit enroll by March 31, 2005. After that time the $600 credit will be reduced. For further information contact your State Health Insurance and Assistance Program (SHIP) – known as CHOICES in Connecticut.  Information is also available from Medicare: Call 1(800)MEDICARE or visit the Medicare website: www.medicare.gov.


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