For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 16, 2005
Fact Sheet: The President Promotes New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit
On June 16, 2005, President Bush Delivered Remarks At The
Department Of Health And Human Services To Inform Medicare
Beneficiaries About The New Prescription Drug Benefit Available To Them
Beginning In January 2006.
The President Is Kicking Off A National Outreach Effort. This
campaign will bring medical, community, and local partners together
with the Federal government to educate seniors and Americans with
disabilities about the new prescription drug benefit. All beneficiaries
will receive a new handbook, "Medicare and You," in October, containing
specific information about the new prescription drug plans available.
Those with questions can also call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit
www.medicare.gov for answers.
Millions Of Americans Are Already Taking Part In Medicare's
Expanded Range Of Health Care Services. Medicare offers a variety of
new programs, including: a prescription drug discount card; preventive
care like the "Welcome to Medicare" physical; and cardiovascular and
blood sugar screening that can help identify and prevent obesity,
diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Background: President Bush Wants Seniors And Americans With
Disabilities To Know About New Medicare Benefits
New Medicare Coverage Will Help All Medicare Beneficiaries Pay For
Everyone On Medicare Can Get Help, No Matter How They Pay For Their
Drugs. Medicare will provide an average of more than $1,300 in federal
help to each beneficiary.
Medicare Will Provide Extra Help To Beneficiaries With High
Prescription Costs. Starting in January, Medicare also will cover 95
percent of all prescription costs once beneficiaries spend $3,600 of
their own money each year.
New Medicare Coverage Will Offer Everyone On Medicare Better
Medicare Advantage Plans Allow Seniors And Americans With
Disabilities To Choose Their Plans And Get Better Drug Benefits.
Seniors and Americans with disabilities who enroll in Medicare
Advantage Plans can choose the plan that works best for their needs and
lifestyle, and will save an average of $100 each month over traditional
Medicare Drug Benefits Offer Choice And Flexibility. Everyone on
Medicare will be able to choose brand name drugs or generic drugs - and
pick them up at local pharmacies or receive them by mail.
Seniors Can Keep Retiree Plans If They Wish. Seniors with good
retiree drug coverage from a former employer or union can choose to
keep those benefits and count on Medicare to help them save on
premiums, or join a Medicare prescription drug plan.
New Medicare Coverage Will Provide Extra Help To Beneficiaries With
Limited Income And Resources.
Medicare Will Pay Nearly All Of Low-Income Beneficiaries' Drug
Bills. About one-third of seniors will be eligible for a Medicare drug
benefit without premiums, deductibles, or gaps in coverage. Co-payments
will amount to no more than $5 for most people, and more than 95
percent of their drug bills will be covered.
Eligibility Forms Are Available Now. Millions of current Medicaid
beneficiaries will be automatically enrolled, and subsidy applications
have been mailed to many low-income seniors and Americans with
disabilities who are likely to be eligible. Forms are also available at
locations around the country, including over 30,000 pharmacies. No
financial documents or complicated records are required.
Medicare Is A Critical Safety Net For Americans With Disabilities.
Millions of Americans with developmental and physical disabilities,
mental illness, and HIV/AIDS count on Medicare, and new Medicare
coverage brings modern medicine to them.