The most important change in the new law is the benefit to help people with Medicare with their prescription drug costs.
The first step of this help is the Medicare-approved drug discount card. This is a temporary program to help people with Medicare until prescription drug coverage is available January 1, 2006.
People with Medicare can still obtain a drug discount card by working with community organizations, calling 1-800-MEDICARE or going to Medicare's www.medicare.gov Web site to apply for a discount card.
If you have Medicare and have HIV/AIDS, you need to know:
There are two types of Medicare prescription drug plans. There will be prescription drug plans that add coverage to the original Medicare plan. There will also be prescription drug coverage that is part of Medicare Health Plans (like HMOs and PPOs). You would get all of your Medicare health care through these plans.
Haroun Habib is a MORE Summer Fellow intern with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and presented at the ASP Healthy Choice = Healthy Lives forum on Medicare changes, July 19. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AIDS Survival Project, with the support of an educational grant from Pfizer Pharmacueticals, will be sponsoring a forum on finding the right Medicare Prescription Drug benefit for you. The date has not been set, but will take place in late October or early November. We also have information at our office and on our Web site at www.aidssurvivalproject.org to help explain the changes to Medicare and how they will impact you. Please contact us at (404) 874-7926 for information on the upcoming program or if you have questions about Medicare.