The deadline to sign up for the new Medicare prescription drug program is less than two weeks away and about one-third of Iowans still haven’t done so. Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he doubts the May 15th deadline will be extended and encourages Iowa senior citizens who are interested to get informed and get signed up.
It is voluntary; people don’t have to sign up. Grassley says the national goal of 30-million subscribers has been reached and 400-thousand more per week are choosing plans. He sees a proportionate number of Iowans signing on in the remaining days as well. Enrolling after the deadline will raise costs by about one-percent a month. Grassley says it’s an important decision and help is available.
He suggests calling 1-800-Medicare, a hot-line on which the wait is reportedly down now to less than 30-seconds, as opposed to the hours-long waits reported a few months ago. There’s also SHIIP, the State Health Insurance Information Program. SHIIP volunteers at your local hospital can sit down with clients and, using the Internet, go over how each plan might be of benefit.