Program aims to help people better understand Medicare

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 6, 2004

SOUTH POINT - A special presentation entitled Medicare Changes That Could Affect You will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday at the Southern Branch of Briggs Lawrence County Public Library.

Ann Lemley, a volunteer for the AARP, will host the event. Lemley has attended meetings in Washington so she can help others understand the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act, which was signed into law in December 2003.

Many people have already received a letter from Medicare which explains the law, but Lemley feels people should come to the meeting because the law is two-fold and complex.

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"Everyone needs to learn all they can about the provisions of the law and the changes that will begin to occur in May," Lemley said.

According to Lemley, the AARP supported the law and the most important law includes special benefits for low-income people.

"They should apply for their discount drug card beginning in May to receive their maximum credit," she said.

The most important issue is a new benefit to help with prescription drug costs. The changes include a new voluntary prescription drug benefit, changes to the program that deal with private health plans in Medicare, new coverage and changes in cost, Lemley said.

"All drug cards will be issued by private companies. Costs and benefits of every card will vary," she added.

Additional items of discussion will include Medicare prescription drug assistance, drug benefits, cost, Medicare premiums and additional preventative services.