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Letter to the Editor: Still time to sign up for prescription plan

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

To the editor:

There is good news for the people of Missouri. You can still sign up for the new Medicare prescription drug plan. With the new program, Medicare beneficiaries will save an average of $1,300 a year on prescription drugs. Some of those who have already signed up tell us they will realize even greater savings.

If you are on Medicare, you can sign up without penalty until May 15. If you turn 65 later, you will have a seven-month window to sign up. If you need help in choosing a plan or have questions about the prescription drug plan, you can call the Missouri CLAIM office at 1-800-390-3330 or Medicare at 1-800-633-4227. Medicare is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also enroll by visiting www.medicare.gov. Both Medicare and CLAIM can help choose the plan that best fits your needs based on the prescription medicine you take.

If you have a limited income, you may be able to get extra help that can get you comprehensive coverage for no premium, no deductible and only a small copayment. To find out how to apply for the extra help, please call your nearest Social Security Administration office or call 1-800-772-1213.

FRED SCHUSTER, Regional Director, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Kansas City, Mo.