Many seniors haven't signed up for prescription benefit

Tuesday, February 28th 2006, 9:56 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- State Medicare officials say they have "a long way to go" in getting low-income Oklahomans to sign up for a Medicare program that could save the about $2,100 a year.

Medicare Oklahoma director Bill Shapard says about 77,000 Oklahomans have signed up, but another 38,000 have not.

He says anyone 65 or older can qualify if they have less than $11,500 in financial resources. The program will help them with premiums, deductibles and co-payments related to the cost of prescription drugs.

Shapard says there is difficulty in getting through to non-English speakers and some people just don't want government help. He says others are afraid because of increasing consumer fraud and ID theft.

The program is in addition to the new Medicare Part D program and the deadline to enroll is May 15th.