Medicare Weekly News #9 for November 7, 2005

Media Relations: Tel: 202-326-1816

MEDIA ALERT

Note: Medicare Weekly News (MWN) is a weekly series for newsmakers nationwide brought to you by the Medicare Rx Education Network. MWN provides important information about a timely topic on the Medicare prescription drug benefit; it will be distributed to newsrooms each Monday. For questions about the Network, please contact Brian Franklin at 202-312-1098.

Worksheet Helps Seniors Prepare for Medicare Rx

A worksheet to help beneficiaries assess their current prescription drug situation has been made available by the Medicare Rx Education Network. "Preparing for the New Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage" is key to making the sign-up process go smoothly.

Beneficiaries fill in their current prescriptions, the dosage, frequency and cost of each, and where the medications are usually purchased. They check off if they currently have drug coverage and, if so, what kind.

Medicare beneficiaries are advised to have this information available when comparing plans or speaking with a counselor.

Sign-up for Medicare's prescription drug benefit program begins November 15, 2005, and continues for six months (until May 15, 2006). The network advises beneficiaries to use the six-month open enrollment window to take their time, speak to a counselor, and weigh their options before making a decision. Medicare counselors are available to help sort through plan options at 1-800-633-4227.

To download the worksheet - Click here

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The Medicare Rx Education Network provides information and assistance with outreach and enrollment for the new Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. The network, which includes 70 national organizations, is chaired by former U.S. Senator John Breaux. Members share an interest in educating Medicare beneficiaries about the new Medicare prescription drug benefit and work closely with the appropriate federal agencies to obtain up-to-date information to ensure that information disseminated by the network about Medicare Part D is factual and accurately conveyed, thereby pre-empting confusion about the benefit and equipping beneficiaries and their caregivers to make informed choices. By sharing information with each other about member organizations’ independent efforts, collaborating on activities, and identifying ways to work together, the network aims to eliminate duplication of efforts and maximize the effectiveness of outreach efforts. The network does not engage in legislative activities or take positions on pending legislative or administrative policies related to the Part D benefit and its implementation.

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