The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services is back in Iowa again, touring the state to try and convince seniors to sign up for the Medicare prescription drug program. Mike Leavitt stopped this (Tuesday) afternoon in Davenport, at “Generations Area Agency on Aging.”
The H-H-S Secretary says signing up is easy. Leavitt says the first thing to do it get all your prescriptions together, and put them in a bag, or all together on your dining-room table. Then, he instructs, get your Medicare card, and call 1-800-MEDICARE. There’ll be a counselor there who’ll help you “work through the math.”
Seniors at the event had their doubts about signing up for the new benefit. “I thought I was covered, and I found out I’m not,” says one woman. “I don’t take a lot of drugs so I didn’t worry about it.” “There’s too many choices,” says another woman, “and they don’t know how to go through all of it, to read it all, to know what will work best for them.”
Leavitt says there’s a misconception out there that only low-income seniors qualify for the new Medicare prescription-drug program, but he says that’s not the case. Those who are low-income get a little extra help, Leavitt says, but every person who’s 65 or older, or who qualifies for Medicare because of a disability, is eligible for this plan. The deadline to sign up is May fifteenth.