As of May 3, all Medicare beneficiaries can voluntarily enroll in a Medicare discount drug card plan, expected to provide Medicare patients an estimated 10-25% savings on prescription drugs. While the new Medicare drug card is not for everyone, it may provide some much needed assistance in reducing the financial burden on patients using prescription drugs.
Between May 3, 2004, and January 1, 2006, beneficiaries will be confronted with hundreds of advertisements via the Internet, TV, radio and mail about the new Medicare-approved drug cards, cost-savings and cost-sharing information, and covered and non-covered drugs.
However, your patients may be too ill to determine whether the card might help them, or they may not have access to the information needed to make these decisions. Knowledge of the Discount Drug Cards is especially important for low-income beneficiaries who may be eligible for a $600 credit on their card in addition to a discount and waiver of the card cost.
VNAA understands that VNA clinicians will most likely receive many questions from their patients. Undoubtedly, the questions will cover a wide range of issues. The federal government has put together some very helpful information to assist clinicians and patients understand the new benefit, their options, and how to proceed with enrollment. This Center has been designed to place the information available on the web right at your fingertips, all in one site, just for VNA clinicians and home health aides.
Clinicians and patients can also call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or go to www.Medicare.gov for assistance.