- Center Survey Finds Access Problems -

Enrollment in the new Medicare prescription drug card program has begun.  Beneficiaries and advocates have many new questions to work through.  Accessible, accurate information is a must.  Proponents of the new law and the drug card program offer frequent assurances that this information is available to all, directing beneficiaries and those acting on their behalf to and 1(800) MEDICARE.  The Center for Medicare Advocacy works daily with beneficiaries trying to decipher the drug card program.  In the course of our work, many concerns have come to light that those seeking information on this program should consider.

The Official Medicare Website (

Medicare Hotline: 1 (800) MEDICARE  

Beneficiaries and Advocates should be aware of the problems they will face in choosing, and enrolling in, prescription drug discount cards.  To minimize these problems, beneficiaries and their advocates should be prepared with current prescription information, including names, dosages, and current cost of the drugs being researched.  Know that not all drugs may be found, or discounted, and prioritize needs accordingly.  Most importantly, be prepared to be patient to get your information, and be willing to verify all information with other sources.

Do not rush making a choice.  The information from Medicare will, hopefully, get more complete and accurate in the weeks ahead.  Once a card is chosen, it generally cannot be changed until 2005.  This is not a decision to be entered into lightly.

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