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May 12, 2006

Pryce Office to Remain Open until Midnight
Monday to Assist Seniors with Last Minute 
Medicare Questions

  Deadline for Enrollment May 15 at Midnight

Columbus, Ohio – Today, Congresswoman Deborah Pryce (R-Upper Arlington) announced that her District Office in Columbus will remain open until midnight on Monday, May 15 th, to assist seniors who might wish to enroll in the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan prior to the midnight deadline.

Pryce has been at the forefront of the effort to educate seniors about the Part D benefit.  Recently, thanks in part to Pryce’s advocacy on the matter, it was announced that the May 15th enrollment deadline will not apply to those who qualify for the limited-income subsidy.  Pryce had been encouraging the White House to ensure that we fully maximize the opportunity for low income folks  to enroll.  To date, approximately 10 million of the 13 million people who are eligible for the low income assistance have enrolled. 

On Monday, her staff will be prepared to put last minute callers in touch with Medicare or the Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIIP) – both of which have extended their hours in conjunction with the deadline. Seniors with questions about the program are encouraged to call Pryce’s office at (614) 469-5614.

With over 100,000 seniors in central Ohio and more than 37 million enrolled nationally, the Part D sign up period has been an indisputable success. A recent Terrance Group confirmed this and reported the following results:

Terrance study sponsored by the US Chamber:


Results of findings:

·         91 percent say their prescription drug plan is convenient to use at their pharmacy;

·         90 percent say they understand how their plan works and how to use it;

·         87 percent say they have access to high quality medicine;

·         85 percent say their monthly premium is affordable;

·         85 percent say their co-payments are affordable;

·         85 percent say their plan covers the medicines they need;

·         80 percent say their total out-of-pocket costs are reasonable;

·         77 percent say they would recommend their plan to others; and

·         78 percent say they are happy with the amount of coverage they have.

In yet more good news, a poll from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation shows that more than eight In 10 seniors enrolled reported no problems getting their prescriptions filled:

"This April 2006 tracking poll finds that most seniors enrolled in a Medicare drug plan are satisfied with their plan and are not having trouble getting the drugs they need. Most seniors enrolled in plans reported filling at least one prescription, and the vast majority of them – more than 8 in 10 – reported no problems getting their prescriptions filled." 

  • These new reports simply tell us what we already know.  Poll after poll continue to show broad support for the new benefit as well as highlight the remarkable success stories of seniors reaping big savings.  Following are just a few examples:
  • A Washington Post-ABC News poll demonstrated that a majority of the seniors who have enrolled in the Medicare prescription drug benefit say the paperwork was not difficult to fill out and that the benefit saves them money
  • According to a survey released by AARP , nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) of those enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug plan say the new benefit is meeting or exceeding their expectations.