Presentation on Medicare Part D

Medicare's new prescription drug plan seems to have generated more questions than answers. Enrollment for the program opened November 15th of this year. However, many seniors and health care experts find it to be a very complicated system. Howard Cauley, a representative of the Deep East Texas Council of Government's Area Agency on Aging, hopes to shed some light on the subject.

Mr. Cauley will be making a presentation on Medicare Part D at 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, December 7th, in the Fellowship Hall of the Huntington United Methodist Church. He will answer questions following his presentation.

Medicare participants are required to choose one policy among 40 to 70 different options. The majority of the necessary information is online at Medicare web sites. However, more than 75 percent of seniors have never used the Internet.

The elderly are turning to their pharmacists and doctors for help, but government guidelines prohibit these professionals from helping Medicare beneficiaries to select a plan.

The AARP has several tips:

*Don't panic. Take your time in comparing your options; you have until May 15, 2006 to make a selection and still avoid the penalty.

*Second, do your homework. Know the specifics of your medications and doses and where you buy them.

*Third, call the Medicare hotline at 1-800-MEDICARE, or the AARP hotline at 1-888-687-2277. They can offer advice and a list of local programs who can give you direct assistance.

The Medicare Part D general public presentation at Huntington Methodist Church begins at 10:00 a.m. next Wednesday. The church is located on south Highway 69, across from the Dairy Queen. For more information call 936-422-4362.