Tuesday is the first day Medicare recipients can sign up for one of the government's new prescription drug plans. Right now, the average senior citizen pays $1,500 a year for prescriptions but this new program, called Medicare Part D, will pick up much of that cost. The problem is some lawmakers say the whole process is just too confusing, because seniors have too many choices and not enough time to make a choice.
Others say seniors are already sorting through their options and responding. "And they're calling with very specific questions, which indicates to us that they've spent some time already thinking about how to make their choice," says Karen Ignagni, America's Health Insurance Plans.
For two days now, Congressman Randy Neugebauer has been offering Medicare workshops here on the South Plains to help seniors understand the new prescription drug plans. If you're a senior and still trying to make your choice, another workshop is scheduled for Wednesday at the Lubbock Senior Center.
Humana will be on hand to help register seniors and answer questions from 8am until 3pm Wednesday afternoon. Just be sure to bring your id and proof of Medicare coverage to the Lubbock Senior Center, which is located at 2001 19th Street.
If you can't make that workshop, or just prefer to get help over the phone, you can call Medicare toll-free at 1-800-633-4227.