New Medicare Benefit Begins Jan. 1

Starting Jan. t the new Medicare prescription drug benefit program takes effect, but millions of people have yet to sign up.

Bryan pharmacist Jodi Henneke says there is no reason not too.

"It is a benefit for those who do not have insurance or do not have a credible insurance," Henneke said. "It is a discount plan, and it will help with the cost of the medication. That's what the plan was designed to do, help those over 65 pay for their medication."

There's a lot to think about when picking a plan. Seniors not only have to consider the drugs they take now, but what drugs they may be taking in the future. The good news is help is out there.

The pharmacy shop in Bryan is only one place folks can go for help. Henneke says there are other options to consider.

"They can go online or find a family member to help them sign up for these new plans," Henneke said. "They probably need to check with someone if their not familiar with a computer. They need to find someone who is capable to help them, and they do need to know a list of their medications. That does need to be listed in the computer."

The national council on aging has also been touring the country and has even set up a website to help folks enroll.
But with more than 40 different plans to choose from, many with complicated formulas, it can still be confusing.

Henneke reminds folks to get help, make sure the plan covers an enrollees medications, and then check the cost.

If you haven't signed up yet there still is time. The benefit may start in January but people have until May 15th to enroll.

For more information you can check out
The government's Medicare website or call 1-800-Medicare.