Medicare Discount Card

By: Jason Davis
By: Jason Davis

In 2003 President Bush signed the first Medicare drug benefit for seniors into law. Many Floridians who qualify have not signed up, and they only have until Friday to apply for the prescription discounts.

Time is running out for some Americans to take advantage of the first Medicare drug benefit that this country has seen.

Jerry Haviland of Elder Affairs of Florida says, "This card's only good till the end of 2005. Then, a new program starts, so they can double their prescription benefit next year by just getting the card before Friday."

About three million low income seniors statewide may qualify for these discount prescription cards.

“It's a borderline thing. I think it's $12,569 a year. Anything that and under for a single person qualifies them for the $600 low income credit."

That's twelve and half thousand a year and just under 17,000 for a married couple.

Some say this benefit is a good thing, but complications with acquiring it have deterred its popularity.

Pharmacist Scott Paramore says, "It is unfortunate that it is so complicated that the average citizen can't understand what it is. We have a lot of people that have not signed up because it just honestly defies explanation, but it is a good thing, especially for those people eligible for the $600.”

If you qualify, you have until Friday to apply. By doing so, eligible seniors can receive a credit of $600 for this year and another $600 for 2005.

If you would like more information about the Medicare discount card, log on to www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE.


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