City of Lincoln
2005 Media Releases
Family members urged to help older citizens access online information
Mayor Coleen J. Seng today urged families to discuss the new Medicare Prescription Drug Program, also called Part D, as they gather over the holidays. Because help is available on the Internet, Mayor Seng and officials with the Lincoln Area Agency on Aging (LAAA) encourage family members and others to help those who are eligible for benefits to access that information.
“We know that the program seems confusing and that many of our older citizens are overwhelmed by the number of plans available,” said Mayor Seng. “The good news is that the new program does offer real protection for those facing huge drug costs, and there is help available for those eligible to enroll. It is very important that those age 65 and older who do not have prescription drug insurance get the help they need to make these decisions and enroll.”
June Pederson, LAAA Director, said the agency’s LIFE (Lincoln Information For the Elderly) Office has developed a “Guide to Part D Enrollment.” It is available at senior centers, through the City Web site at lincoln.ne.gov or by calling 441-7070. The LIFE Office also recommends using Medicare’s Web site, www.medicare.gov, which features a “Plan Finder.” It compares an individual’s list of prescriptions with each of the 41 plans available to Nebraskans and then presents those that have the greatest coverage at the least cost.
“The ‘Plan Finder’ is an excellent tool, but it does require Internet access,” said Pederson. “Our older citizens are becoming more computer-savvy, but at this time, only seven percent of Internet users are age 65 or older. That is why we are calling on family members as well as civic, religious and business organizations to volunteer to help.” Pederson said those wanting more information on volunteering should contact the LIFE office at 441-7070.
Pederson said there is plenty of time to enroll, but after May 15, 2006, premiums increase one percent every month. She said the new program offers important savings in 2006 for many seniors who are currently paying more than $5,100 for prescription drugs annually ($425 per month). She said the program offers significant savings on many prescription drugs, but not all.