For nearly ten years, medicare recipients have been eligible for the "part d" prescription drug discount program. The federally-subsidized program has helped beneficiaries save a collective millions of dollars on prescription drugs. This year's enrollment period began in October and ends Friday.
It used to be, in the early years of the program, that the enrollment deadline was closer to the holidays. Concerns about that moved the deadline to early December.
There are numerous discount plans available. That's good news from a standpoint of choice. But it can also lead to confusion among those eligible as to what is the best plan to suit them.
"There are a lot of different companies that are offering it," says Joyce Hudner, Coordinator of Camden-Clark Medical Center's Lifetime Partners Program. "But the good thing is, for people with limited income and limited resources, there's also an extra help program, for which they may qualify, where their premium is very, very low, because they have such a limited income."
And there are local agencies which can help recipients sort through the various benefit packages.
"There's someone here in Parkersburg, with the West Virginia Aging and Resource Development Center; Washington County has resources through the O'Neill Center," Hudner says. "So there are a lot of people who, if they're unsure what to do, they can sit down with a social worker and someone who is skilled and has the knowledge to look at their list of medications and choose the best plan."
For more information on the program, you can also call these toll-free numbers:
In West Virginia, 1-877-987-3646.
Or in Ohio, 1-800-633-4227.