New Medicare Plan

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It's a brand new day for senior citizens who take prescription medications. But unfortunately for some, it is accompanied by new rules that can be confusing.

" I know very little about it. It's mind boggling. I have tons of paperwork," said Carolyn Hawes. She and her husband are having a difficult time figuring out the new Medicare prescription drug plan. And they're not the only ones.

" I don't know where to start. I've tried. I started in the Medicare booklet and it's no help. I've been getting a lot of mail about it," said Hawes.

Pharmacist Judi Henneke has been helping several costumers since the new plan was introduced this summer. She suggests talking to a pharmacist you trust, or going to the Medicare website to explore all the options.

" When you go to the website, enter your medications and they will match up plans that will best suit your needs," said Henneke.

Some people may be better off staying with the plans they already have. The new program, however, guarantees that seniors won't have to worry about losing their savings because they need expensive medicines.

" The only people who really seriously should not be signing up for this are people who already have prescription drug coverage and get a letter saying it is as good or better than Medicare," said Cheryl Matheis, with AARP

" If you want to see which one of those plans is best for you, that's when it becomes time consuming," said Pharmacist Loyd Rowe.

That's because there are over 40 plans in the state of Texas to choose from.

To help narrow down the search you'll need to find the plans that cover most of your medications. Then look at the premium and deductible and make sure your pharmacy accepts the plan.

Despite the hassle of enrolling, the plans can save seniors thousands of dollars on their medications.

" It's certainly a very expensive thing for seniors to have to pay for their prescriptions without any help," said Hawes.

The plan takes effect January 1. The deadline to enroll without penalty is May 15.

For more information and for help you can call the Brazos Valley Council on Aging at 595-2800.

You can also visit the featured links page on our Web site.