Drug Discount Cards Cause Confusion

The numbers are a bit overwhelming. As of today, the first day of June, seventy-seven (that's 77) different drug discount cards are being offered to seniors who are on Medicare. This very large list of discount cards means that it may be very difficult for a senior to choose the card that will give him or her the greatest cost-savings on their medications. Seniors who have questions or concerns about these discount cards are advised by Medicare to go online or contact them by telephone.

Comment: Unfortunately, many seniors either do not have a computer or are not comfortable using a computer to obtain information, according to National Public Radio today. This means that they, or a family member calling on their behalf, will have to talk directly to someone at Medicare. In order to get accurate information, we did as Medicare recommends and called them on toll-free "hotline" at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). After indicating to the automatic system that we wished to get information in English and the information we wanted was about drug discount cards, we were told that due to "high volume" there would be an extraordinarily long wait and to call back at another time. So much for the "hotline." It was not too hot today.

Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.
Frederick Hecht, M.D.
Medical Editors, MedicineNet.com

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