Survey Shows Medicare Rx Program Will Bring Senior $ Savings
A study by a national partnership of more than 200 organizations disseminating information about the new Medicare prescription drug program found that the program’s beneficiaries in New York state could save an average of nearly $700 a year in out-of-pocket expenses under the program which starts next January 1.
The study by the organization called Medicare Today, which includes the AARP and doctor and pharmacist groups, also found that low-income seniors who earn approximately $14,500 or less a year will see out-of-pocket expenses fall from $1,684 to $183 a year.
The report was prepared for Medicare Today by the Pricewaterhouse Coopers accounting firm in Washington, D.C. and is derived from data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s March 2004 Current Population Survey, the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey and other sources, adjusted to reflect 2006 estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, the independent investigative office of Congress.
Medicare Today is conducting a comprehensive outreach effort to provide information about the new Medicare prescription drug program to try to get as many of Medicare’s 41 million members to join.
Eligible members may join beginning November 15, but sign-up efforts are now in progress by the almost 100 private insurance companies that will administer the new program.
When the coverage starts Jan. 1, Medicare Today said, depending on which plan a senior takes, he or she could pay a premium as low as $20 per month for coverage. The program will cover 75 percent of a senior’s annual drug costs up to $2,200 and nearly all costs over $3,600. But a member must pay all costs between $2,200 and $3,600.
According to Mary R. Grealy, president of the Healthcare Leadership Council, which is coordinating Medicare Today’s effort, low-income seniors will benefit most from the new program.
But, Grealy added, “Research shows that many seniors in the U.S.—regardless of current income or overall net worth—may save hundreds of dollars each year. All persons on Medicare will have greater security from the protection this coverage provides against possible future health problems.”
To access Medicare Today’s interactive tools or to locate its activities visit www.Medicare Today. org or at www.medicare.gov, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 7500 Security Blvd., Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850 or 1-800-MEDICARE or the AARP at www.AARP.org or AARP 601 E. St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20049; 1-888-OUR-AARP (687-2277).