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Drug plan sign-up deadline is Monday

May 13, 2006|BY TARA REILLY

WASHINGTON COUNTY

The Washington County Commission on Aging expects to busy Monday.

That's the deadline for people to sign up for a Medicare program designed to save them money on prescription drugs.

The program, Medicare Part D, is open to anyone on Medicare, regardless of income.

Susan McDonald, executive director of the Commission on Aging, said she expects a rush of seniors to seek assistance with enrolling on Monday.

"We anticipate people will be calling all day long on Monday," McDonald said Friday.

McDonald said some seniors might have put off enrolling because it's a "complicated" process to understand.

Part D allows people to choose from dozens of prescription drug plans that cover brand name and generic drugs. While the insured pay deductibles of up to $250, the government subsidizes much of the drug coverage.

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About 15,000 Washington County seniors have signed up for Part D, or are covered by another plan. There are about 10,000 other seniors who the agency is unsure about regarding enrollment, McDonald said.

Enrolling is optional, but those who don't enroll by Monday's deadline will pay a penalty if they choose to sign up later, according to www.medicare.gov.

The Commission on Aging will hold one last walk-in enrollment session today from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but it will only be available to a limited number of people interested in signing up.

The session will be at the Celebrating the Generations Expo at Hagerstown Community College's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center.

Anyone who isn't able to sign up at the session can do so by calling 1-800-Medicare or by visiting www.medicare.gov.

If you go

What: Celebrating the Generations Expo

When: Today, Medicare Part D sign-ups for a limited number of people will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Hagerstown Community College's Athletic, Recreation and Community Center

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