FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 4, 2011
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.
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