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AARP: Seniors Benefiting from Recent Medicare Improvements

More than half of people in original Medicare have used free preventive benefits; 900,000 receiving discounted prescription drugs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2011

CONTACT
AARP Media Relations, 202-434-2560

AARP: Seniors Benefiting from Recent Medicare Improvements

More than half of people in original Medicare have used free preventive benefits; 900,000 receiving discounted prescription drugs

WASHINGTON—AARP Legislative Policy Director David Certner released a statement following today’s announcement from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that more than half of people in original Medicare have taken advantage of preventive health care services now covered free of charge. In addition, 900,000 seniors have benefited from discounted prescription drugs while they are in the program’s coverage gap, or “doughnut hole.” Certner’s statement follows:

“It’s encouraging to see so many seniors taking advantage of free preventive care that can keep them healthier and save them money on more costly and intensive care. We hope more people will use these important benefits throughout the rest of the year. At the same time, nearly a million older Americans are receiving discounted brand name drugs when they reach the Medicare doughnut hole. While this dangerous gap in coverage continues to affect too many seniors, the new discounts—along with less costly generic drugs—ensure fewer people are forced to skip doses or stop refilling their medicines until the gap is closed entirely in 2020.”

AARP has online tools and advice to help people in Medicare get the most out of the new preventive care and prescription drug benefits.
* AARP Bulletin has important information about the Medicare wellness visit and preventive benefits at http://www.aarp.org/health/health-care-reform/info-07-2011/free-medicare-wellness-exam.html.
* AARP’s Doughnut Hole Calculator, available at www.aarp.org/doughnuthole, can help people in Medicare start a conversation with their doctors about switching to less costly generic drugs.

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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MEDIA CONTACTS

If you are an AARP member and not with the press, call 1-888-OUR-AARP or email member@aarp.org.

 

For media inquiries, please contact the AARP Media Relations Office at (202) 434-2560 or media@aarp.org.

 

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Twitter: @aarpmedia

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