Are you one of 72,000 Colorado seniors eligible for a $600 credit on generic and name-brand prescription drugs? Excited seniors are finding they are eligible for help every day.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, approximately 16% of Colorado seniors can now receive prescription assistance.
To qualify for the Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card assistance, the Medicare beneficiary’s annual income must be between $590 and $1047 per month ($1,405 for a couple). There is no asset test.
To qualify for assistance, individuals need to have a list of their medications; the dosage; the number of times taken each day; and the price that is currently paid for prescriptions. It is helpful to have the name of the preferred pharmacy, as well.
Enter this information at www.medicare.gov to generate a report to compare which prescription drug card company is offering the best discount on the medications. After reviewing the report, seniors should complete the enrollment form, and submit it to the company. Medicare beneficiaries can have only one approved Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card.
The credit is available on the first day of the month, following the month in which the enrollment form is submitted. After the credit is exhausted, the individual will be responsible for paying 5 to 10% co-payment.
Other help may also be available for Medicare beneficiaries. Some pharmaceutical companies, such as Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Pfizer, Merck, Abbott, Wyeth, AstraZeneca, and/or Lilly, are working with selected discount cards to offer "free or low-cost" medications.
If an individual is taking medications that are manufactured by one of these pharmaceutical companies, research should be conducted to select a Medicare Prescription Drug Discount card that offers the required "free or low cost prescriptions". For example, if an individual takes Aricept manufactured by Pfizer, the individual should select a Medicare Prescription Drug Discount card that works with Pfizer to make the medication available for a very low cost to seniors.
In addition to applying for the Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card, seniors should also apply for a second card, known as the Together Rx Card. Together Rx offers a 20-45% discount to seniors on selected name brand drugs. To apply for Together Rx, Medicare beneficiaries must have an annual income of less than $28,000 as a single person and $38,000 as a couple.
Individuals whose income is between $590 and $1047 ($1405 for a couple) and whose resources are less than $4000 ($6000 for a couple) may also be eligible for the Medicare Savings Program. At a minimum, this program pays for the $66.60 monthly Part B premium that is deducted from the individual’s Social Security check saving an additional approximately $800 per year.
The Colorado Gerontological Society is presenting an educational seminar to assist seniors in selecting the "right" Medicare Approved Prescription Drug Card on July 27, 2004 from 6:00-8:00 pm at Christ the King Church, 1708 Horseshoe Dr, Pueblo. Seniors will have an opportunity to hear more about the benefits of the prescription drug benefit, the $600 credit for low income seniors and other programs. To help make your decision, bring a list of your medications, the dosage, the number of times each day you take the drugs, and the amount paid each month for each drug. RSVP Suggested — 303-333-3482 or 719-542-9248.
For help in qualifying for assistance with prescription drugs call 1-800-503-5190 or 303-333-3482.