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Congresswoman Deborah Pryce | Proudly Serving Ohio's 15th Congressional District
Columbus, Ohio
 
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Medicare

Important Message for Ohio's Seniors and their Families: Find out more about the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit and how you can save money on your medications!
Remember: the deadline to sign up for the benefit is May 15, 2006

Over the past several months, I have been so encouraged to visit with seniors across central Ohio and hear their stories of saving money through Medicare’s new prescription drug benefit. I’m pleased to share with you the stories of just a few of the many folks I’ve met with who have signed up for a plan and are saving money.

Janice of Marysville will be saving over $5,000 per year on her rx drugs. Gerry of Nelsonville is paying $24 a month instead of the $150 a month he used to pay. Laura of Galion did not have coverage before January and paid $450 a month for 16 medications - now her monthly costs are $133. Joel of Upper Arlington expects he and his wife will save a combined $1,400.

If you are over 65 years of age, you could be saving money on your medications, too!

Please read on about Medicare’s new prescription drug benefit and see if it’s right for you or your family member. Seniors who have signed up are happy and saving money – recent surveys are showing that the vast majority of seniors who are enrolled in a plan are satisfied with their plan and are not having trouble getting the drugs they need.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact my office at
(614) 469-5614

What is Medicare’s New Prescription Drug Benefit?
Medicare is America’s health insurance program for people 65 years and certain disabled individuals. For the past 40 years, Medicare has paid $28,000 for surgery for ulcers, but wouldn’t pay a dime for the medicine to prevent the surgery from being needed in the first place. While this made sense back in 1965 when doctors treated most illnesses with surgeries, not prescription drugs, it certainly doesn’t make sense today.

To bring 21st century medicine to the Medicare program and the seniors it serves, Congress passed legislation that for the first time offers prescription drug coverage for every senior in Ohio and across the country. The new benefit began on January 1, 2006.

Seniors are Signing Up in Droves and Saving Money
To date, over 30 million seniors now have access to prescription drug coverage, including over 100,000 in Franklin, Union, and Madison counties. Each week over 400,000 seniors are signing up across the country.

Seniors who sign up for the benefit will save on average $1,100 a year - a savings up approximately 50 percent off their drug costs. And low-income seniors are saving even more – up to 96 percent off their drug costs. This means about 1 in 3 seniors are paying just a few dollars for each prescription.

It is important to note that the deadline for current Medicare beneficiaries is May 15, 2006.

How do I sign up?
You can find out information about your options by calling 1-800-MEDICARE or by visiting www.medicare.gov. You can also call the Ohio State Insurance and Information Program (OSHIIP) at 1-800-686-1578. Customer service representatives can provide you with personalized assistance to help you find a plan that's best for you.

What if I am having problems?
A program of this size is bound to run into challenges. However, since January when the benefit first began, growing pains in the program have been resolved. I have been communicating any concerns raised by my constituents to the Medicare agency, and the agency has been very responsive to solving any problems. If you have had any problems with signing up or accessing your benefit, please call my office at
(614) 469-5614
.

In the news
Columbus Dispatch Story on Medicare RX Bus visit to central Ohio

Medicare Rule Guarantees Continuity of Drugs for Seniors

AARP Supports the New Benefit


Related Links
Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging

The Ohio Senior Health Insurance Information Program (OSHIP)

The Ohio Department of Aging

www.medicare.gov

Medicare Prescription Drug Savings Calculator


Related Press
April 6, 2006
Pryce Thanks NAACP for its Medicare Efforts

March 31 , 2006
With a Month Remaining, Seniors Should Explore the Part D Benefit


November 15, 2005
Pryce Encourages Seniors to Learn About the New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit












































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Office of Congresswoman Deborah Pryce  |  204 Cannon  |  Washington, DC  20515  |  p: (202) 225-2015