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Medicare Rx Updates

So, you want to know how you can assist Medicare beneficiaries in making the right choice of drug plan?
CMS has created a variety of training materials and tools to help you assist Medicare beneficiaries with enrollment decisions. These materials provide the necessary background you will need to answer the multitude of questions that are sure to be asked.

Comprehensive Resource Kit
(Can be downloaded from the CMS website and ordered online.)
  • Focus on "understanding, deciding, choosing, and joining"
  • Includes a "lesson plan" for anyone who will be helping people with Medicare understand the new Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

    1. Existing Publications
    2. Worksheet for the decision process
    3. Instructions for helping with the decision process and enrollment in a plan
    4. CD training of the Prescription Drug Plan Finder Tool
    5. CD with extensive additional resources, links to online resources, and contents of the kit
    6. CD with all regional versions of the Medicare & You handbook
Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Toolkit
(Can be downloaded from the CMS website and ordered online.)
  • Designed for partners, traditional and new, and community level organizations
  • Minimal approach - not intimidating for those new to Medicare
  • Quick Start - design concept based on software products - "just read this one folder to get started"
  • Designed to be easily referenced
  • Suitable for all partners
  • Materials needed to conduct outreach
Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder Training Demonstration
(Will be available online and on CD by mid-October 2005.)
  • Two versions are being developed (short and more in-depth)
  • Walks users through the process of using the Prescription Drug Plan Finder Tool to help people with Medicare understand, decide, choose, and join

    Web Casts
    (Available online and stored for viewing through May 2006.)

    Weekly series that began September 28, 2005
    Topics include:
  • Overview of Prescription Drug Coverage
  • Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Enrollment Process and the "Help is Here" Resource Kit
  • Live "Ask the Experts" sessions

    Online Training Modules
  • Used in face-to-face workshops
  • Designed in a Train-the-Trainer format
  • Continuously updated

    National Workshops
  • Conducted around the nation in collaboration with CMS regional offices
  • One and one half-day seminars
  • Face-to-face training that is more in-depth than other formats
  • Offers practical enrollment information and exercises to reinforce skills

    Medicare enrollment assistance is on its way -
    CMS is mailing 43 three million Medicare & You Handbooks to assist Medicare eligible individuals with their choice of a prescription drug coverage plan. This manual contains extensive information about plan features that beneficiaries should consider before making an enrollment decision. Medicare beneficiaries and family members will begin asking questions about how to make decisions about the new benefit...The Handbook contains a useful decision tree for assisting beneficiaries in choosing a plan. (see p. 41)

    ...And understanding your audience will help the process
    As you know, most people fall into one of five broad categories of Medicare beneficiaries:
    1. No prescription drug coverage
    2. Employer/union coverage (including VA, TRICARE, and FEHB)
    3. Medicare and Medicaid
    4. Medicare Advantage Plan or other Medicare Health Plan
    5. Medigap Policy with prescription drug coverage
    Depending upon personal situation and individual requirements, each beneficiary may need to think about different things before making a decision. The Medicare & You Handbook should prompt this type of beneficiary thought process...some of these considerations are also summarized in this simple tip sheet:

    Remember...extra help with prescription costs is available to more than 1/3 of Medicare beneficiaries
    If a beneficiary has limited income and resources, he/she may qualify for extra help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan costs. This worksheet helps people determine whether or not they are eligible for extra help: Or, Visit on the web or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) for more information. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048.
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