Confused about Medicare discount drug cards? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Confused about Medicare discount drug cards?

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June 29, 2004

Albany- Prescription drugs can be expensive. Brooksie Ponder of Albany says "I'm on a lot of medications but there is some of it, I can't pay for." Paying for medications can be a challenge for many senior adults. Mike Belcher of the Medicine Shoppe in Albany explains "If they're low income, they're having to determine whether they want to pay their electricity bill, their rent or buy medicine."

Now there are government sponsored Medicare discount drug cards that could take a percentage off prescription drugs. "There's a lot of pressure on I guess government Medicare because of the high cost of medications and very many of them don't have any insurance," says Belcher.

Eligibility requirements must be met for the drug cards. You have to be sixty-five years or older already under Medicare health insurance. If you are under sixty-five, you can get Medicare if you're qualified by the Social Security office as disabled.

You are not eligible for a Medicare drug card if you are Under Medicaid, have a prescription discount drug card under private insurance, if you are under TRICARE Military insurance, or if you are under health insurance for Federal employees or retirees.

"It will be good for all the poor like us you know low income," says Birtha Martin of Albany. There is also a Medicare low income discount drug card.

To be eligible, your annual income has to be under $12,500. A married couple has to have an annual income below $16,800.

"I would like to have one of those cards, "says Martin. If you would like a Medicare drug card too, be prepared to come across some complicated paper work. Martin explains "There's so many papers. Because some of the questions got so hard, I've got to get somebody to help me out."

Don't be surprised if the discounts aren't much more than those of other discount drug cards. Belcher says "A lot of times, if they already had a discount card prior to Medicare, the discount's been about the same so they really haven't been that pleased."

Be sure you choose a company Medicare card that will give you more according to the medications you take.

Posted by jennifer.hulsey@walb.com at 5:39