More threads by David Baxter PhD

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Medicare Drug Benefit?s First Open Enrollment Period: NMHA Encourages Beneficiaries to Shop Around for Best Plan

Alexandria, VA (November 8, 2006)?The National Mental Health Association and its network of more than 320 affiliates nationwide are encouraging Medicare beneficiaries, their families and caregivers to prepare for the upcoming Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Open Enrollment Period?November 15 through December 31?by evaluating their drug plan options and enrolling in the plan that best suits their needs. New NMHA resources to help guide beneficiaries through this process are available at:

As the Medicare Drug Benefit turns one-year-old, many changes have been made affecting the treatments that beneficiaries can access, cost-sharing and other policies. Medicare beneficiaries who wish to change plans may enroll in new ones during the Open Enrollment Period, with coverage becoming effective on January 1, 2007.

"What may have been a good plan for someone in 2006 could be entirely different in 2007," said NMHA president and CEO, David Shern, Ph.D. "It?s important that beneficiaries educate themselves about all their options and empower themselves by choosing the plan they determine best matches their needs."

NMHA materials include:

  • "The Basics"?Provides resources to successfully navigate the enrollment period.
  • "Prepare and Compare"?Includes the basic questions needed to evaluate and select a new plan.
  • "Changes in 2007"?Summarizes Part D changes in 2007 for special populations.
  • "Saving Dough in the Donut Hole"?Offers tips to save money and find programs offering financial assistance to beneficiaries who fall into the benefit?s coverage gap.
  • "Medicare Rx Consumer Workbook?Helps beneficiaries choose a drug plan. It is also available in English and Spanish.
These materials are free to individuals at or by calling 800-969-NMHA (6642).
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