Workshop to explain Medicare prescription changes

U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., will host Medicare workshops Monday in Carson City and Reno to help beneficiaries identify the plans that match their priorities.

Experts from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid and Health and Human Services will be on hand to give out information.

Seniors will be able to begin officially signing up for a Medicare drug benefit program the next day.

"The new prescription drug benefit is a historic and sweeping addition to our Medicare program," Gibbons said. "With any significant program change, there are many questions to be answered."

"Tuesday, seniors can begin signing up for the new Medicare drug benefit that can help them save significantly on their medications."

The workshop is one more than 1,000 that will be held across the nation to explain the changes in Medicare's drug benefit program.

While beneficiaries have several months to make a decision, Medicare is encouraging people to examine and discuss their options.

People with Medicare can choose from a variety of plans based on their individual priorities like premiums, covered drugs, deductibles, co-pays, and mail-order and pharmacy-based delivery.

"Getting answers so you can choose what's right for your situation is extremely important," said Jeff Flick, Region 9 administrator for CMS. "Everyone will benefit from these events - whether you're new to Medicare or have had it for years."

Gibbons will be joined by Steve Deering, CMS deputy regional administrator, and Calise Munoz, regional director for the Department of Health and Human Services.

In addition, a special Medicare Rx Express bus will be at both events, to provide expert assistance and computer terminals for seniors interested in enrolling.

"We are working with numerous community-based organizations in Nevada to provide many different ways for people with Medicare to get help as they decide about prescription drug coverage in the weeks ahead," said CMS Administrator Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D. "These events can help people with Medicare make the informed decision that meets their cost, coverage and convenience needs."

In Nevada, there are 18 different programs offering Medicare prescription drug coverage, and seven of the programs in Nevada will have prescription drug plans available with no premium to beneficiaries who qualify for extra help.

For more information, go to

If you go

What: Medicare workshops

When: 12:15-1:15 p.m. Monday

Where: Carson City Senior Center, 911 Beverly Drive

When: 10-11 a.m. Monday

Where: Washoe County Senior Center, 1155 E. Ninth St.


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