Prescription Drug Help for Seniors - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/003/04

Prescription Drug Help for Seniors

Many seniors could use some help paying for their prescriptions. And there's a new alternative, but there are also some things you should know before you sign up. It's is a good thing, but it can be a little confusing. Especially if you take more than one medication.

As you get older, the number of pills you take can increase, meaning elderly residents have to shell out more money. "My co-pay turns out to be one thing one month and another thing another month," said Mary Lois of Richmond Hill.

That's why the federal government is trying to help seniors out with a new Medicare prescription drug card. It will lower the costs of their medications. But not not every card works for every prescription, and that's where the confusion begins.

"Different cards will have different discount rates, so depending on their medication, one plan may be better for one person, a different plan will be better for a different person," explained  pharmacist Al Dixon.

And with 18 different plans to choose from in Georgia, there's a lot for seniors to consider. "Look for a card that covers all the medications they're on," advised Dixon. "Look for a card that is eligible in their area pharmacies, and look for a card that offers them real savings." 

Although the initial choice is confusing, most say this plan is a good idea. "I'll sign up for one of them, I sure will," said senior Ruby Davis.

"It's confusing but it's a good thing in that it is offering our seniors some discount on their out-of-pocket change," said Dixon.

"I think it'll be a great thing for people who qualify for it," added Mary Lois.

If you have Medicaid or go to the VA for your prescriptions, you are not eligible for the prescription drug cards. If you have any questions, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit the Medicare website publications page.

Reported by: Melanie Ruberti, mruberti@wtoc.com

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