According to a recent Health and Human Services (HHS) report, Medicare’s new prescription drug benefit now covers 25 million Americans, with an average of 250,000 new enrollees added each week. HHS’ progress report showed that the number of beneficiaries increased by more than 2.6 million in a month, a promising sign of the program’s growth.
“It is critical for seniors and people with disabilities to understand their options with Medicare’s new prescription drug benefit,” said former presidential candidate Senator Bob Dole, who is leading a national tour to promote the new drug benefit to seniors. “Anyone eligible for Medicare who requires consistent drug coverage can enroll in a Medicare-approved plan and potentially save a significant amount of money on their medications.”
According to HHS, there are advantages to enrolling in a Medicare drug plan at the start of any given month. According to HHS, enrollees who sign up early in the month are more likely to have their prescriptions filled promptly, allowing them to get the most value out of their drug coverage from the first day it takes effect. More crucially, anybody who wants to use the benefit this year must sign up by May 15, 2006–the final day of the open enrollment period for 2006.
Seniors with Medicare’s new prescription drug coverage are paying less for their drugs and spending less than ever before. Seniors should compare the new Medicare alternatives with their current coverage to see which option is best for them in order to maximize savings. Eligible seniors and those with disabilities may wish to talk with family members about the new benefit.
Dole’s speaking tour is being supported by advocacy groups representing over 8 million Americans. Anyone who is currently enrolled in or eligible for the new benefit can visit Dole’s website, http://www.bobdoleonmedicare.com, which is regularly updated with important information for seniors and their families.