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Medicare Drug Plan Confusion

By: Bill Pearson
By: Bill Pearson

Residents from around south Georgia gathered at the Mildred Hunter Community Center in Valdosta Wednesday to get answers to the Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, a program that has created a lot of questions.

Ruby Lee Berrien, confused about the drug plan, said, "I haven't really understood this program, to tell you the truth. That's why I'm here. I haven't understood it, so that’s what I want to understand, what plan is best for me."

Jeff Sikes, a pharmacist with questions, said, "From a pharmacist's standpoint, this has been a nightmare. We have pharmacists on hold 30 to 40 minutes with Medicare trying to get a plan and when they get through. The operator doesn't know what to do to help out."

That's why Medicare officials were on hand to help folks figure out what they really need to know to get the best plan.

Joe Binms with Medicare Access Network says, "Really, you don't need to understand this in its entirety. Just find out what it can do for you. Compare that to what you're doing now to get your prescriptions, and make a decision based on that."

Rep. Jack Kingston, (R) 1st District, says, "I think something like today will get half the people feeling a little better about it, but what I'm seeing county by county is this is going to be a long-term proposition."

And Congressman Kingston, who put this meeting together, says there is plenty of time to get the answers you need to get the right Medicare prescription drug coverage.

Seniors have until the middle of May to enroll in a plan. After that you'll have to pay a penalty for the new coverage.


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