Deadline nears for "Medicare Part D" enrollment - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Deadline nears for "Medicare Part D" enrollment

Lawton_For folks 65 years and older having trouble paying for prescription drugs, help is out there.  Medicare offers a sign up period to select a prescription drug plan that will assist seniors with rising medication costs.  If seniors want to enroll in "Medicare Part D," they will need to act fast because the cut off date for open enrollment is December 31.

With many people visiting their doctors more regularly, some are changing medications, and among those are individuals who are taking advantage of selecting a Medicare prescription drug plan.  "When they buy the medication, it virtually takes quite a bit of their income from them," said Walter Rachwal, who has friends with purchasing prescriptions.  "In some cases, some people cut short on medication because they cannot afford to take it as prescribed."

The sad reality for some seniors is that they must ration their medications.  Fortunately, there is an answer - Medicare Part D.  The drug program helps senior citizens -and others who qualify for social security and Medicare - to pay for their prescription drugs.  However, they must sign up for a plan.

Pawnshop manager Frank Phipps says he had to pay high costs for his medication before he signed up.  "I am a diabetic, and my medicine was running somewhere between $300 and $400 every month," he said.  Phipps isn't the only one.  Alece Newell with Ken's Pharmacy says she sees folks having financial difficulties every week.  "We see people who are having difficulty affording prescription medication - and particularly senior citizens who are on a fixed income."  However, "Part D" should help alleviate patients' financial burden when paying for prescriptions.

To enroll in the program, call the toll free number for Medicare.  Open enrollment for Medicare Part D ends December 31st, and will cover prescriptions through 2009.  If you miss the deadline, there is no second chance until 2010.  Please visit Medicare's website at www.medicare.gov for more information.
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