MISSOURI -- Oregon County senior citizens wanting to save money on their prescription drugs can now learn which discount cards and area pharmacies have the best deal for them.
By going online to www.medicaregov. and entering information including ZIP code and medication used, Medicare recipients can compare the cost of their monthly drug bill using various discount cards and pharmacies. Comparative information is also available by calling 1-800-MEDICARE.
More than 35 Medicare-approved drug discount cards are now being offered by private vendors to Medicare recipients throughout Missouri, including the estimated over 2,000 Medicare recipients in Oregon County. Beginning this month, the cards can be used to receive discounts off the retail price of many prescription drugs. Savings are expected to average about 20 percent.
Depending to location and types of medication used, savings vary among cards. Annual enrollment fees can also vary, but can be no more than $30. Medicare's online price comparison displays prices and fees to help people choose the best card for them.
"There are many choices available to senior citizens," said David Clemonds, executive director of the Missouri Association of Homes for the Aging. "That's good because greater choice usually means greater savings. Still, a card that is a good choice for one consumer might not be the best choice for another. That's why the comparison is so important, and Medicare can help with that to help keep it from becoming confusing."
Medicare recently added extra counselors to help callers sort through the various card programs. Once the choice is made, the consumer must contact the private vendor to enroll. Card enrollment began in May and will continue throughout the year.
The drug discount card is the first step in the Medicare prescription drug law. The law provides prescription drug benefits for the first time in the history of the Medicare program to people age 65 or older and to people with disabilities.