Federal Officials To Continue Encouraging Enrollment in Medicare Drug Benefit Subsidy
About 200,000 of the estimated 1.6 million low-income Californians who could qualify for the Medicare prescription drug benefit at no or reduced cost have applied, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Under the benefit, individuals who earn less than $14,355 per year, or couples earning less than $19,245 per year are eligible for discounted coverage if their assets do not exceed set limits. Those who are eligible for the reduced-cost benefit would not have to pay premiums or pay for gaps in coverage or deductibles, according to Medi-Cal Director Stan Rosenstein.
Social Security Administration officials on Friday said they will continue efforts to encourage low-income beneficiaries to apply for the subsidy, including mailing letters and applications to beneficiaries and calling those who might qualify.
The Medicare prescription drug benefit begins Jan. 1. Beneficiaries have until May 15 to enroll in a drug plan without penalty (Weaver Teichert, Sacramento Bee, 12/4).
Additional information about the Medicare drug benefit is available online.