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April 2005Vol. 6, No. 3Medicare Modernization Act and the New Prescription Drug Plans

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) wants State and local agencies to help spread the word about the Medicare prescription drug plans that will go into effect on January 1, 2006. Available to all citizens who receive Medicare, the Medicare prescription plans will provide insurance coverage for prescription drugs. These new plans are different from the current Medicare-approved drug discount cards, which will be phased out. Throughout 2005, Medicare recipients will be receiving more information about the plans, and a booklet, "Medicare and You 2006," will be mailed out in the fall.

Child welfare professionals who have senior clients (for instance, grandparents raising grandchildren) or clients with disabilities who receive Medicare will want to direct their clients to this information as it becomes available. Two websites that carry updates are the Medicare website at and HHS's Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' web page on the Medicare Modernization Act: (Editor's note: Link no longer active).