Medicare D Starts January 1, 2006

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Medicare officials say all is well and ready to go with Program D, but they say many seniors and disabled people who qualify for it still have reservations.

Those who are eligible for Medicare Plan D, the new discount prescription plan from the government, are learning more about the plan, trying to decide whether to sign up like Marjorie Brenner did.

"Well, I thought perhaps the discount I was using would be eliminated in January and I thought it was necessary to do it."

Pharmacies are getting ready for the new Medicare discount plan too.

"We're doing as well as we can, not knowing exactly what we're getting into and treat it like any other insurance plan and deal with the problems as they arise" says Rick Brafford, a Tallahassee pharmacist.

So what exactly is Medicare Plan D?

"It will be available for all Medicare beneficiaries and it's a new revised program from the federal government to actually allow the senior citizens or those with disabilities with Medicaid or Medicare to pay for the prescription drug coverage," says Eulinda Jackson, the SHINE outreach coordinator.

While the plan starts January 1, those eligible will have until May 15 to decide what to do.

"It's voluntary. Everyone will not have to sign up, you will determine that" adds Eulinda Jackson.

There are still plenty of questions about Medicare D, but for others the answer is obvious, because without medicine, "It's possible to live, but for how long and how well is another question" says Brenner.

To find out if your current plan, or the new Plan D is best for you call 1-800-96-ELDER.