Medicare Part D begins open enrollment period

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - For the next nine weeks, seniors and those with disabilities may sign up for Medicare Part D.

The open enrollment period kicked off Monday.

Geneviee Fitzpatrick is a local senior who uses Medicare Part D to pay for her prescriptions. She says her blood pressure and diabetes pills would cost her a lot more if it weren't for the program.

"I'd say it would probably cost me about $20 each or maybe more," she said.

Fitzpatrick says she's on a fixed income and couldn't afford her prescriptions without Medicare Part D.

"It's hard to pick between food and medicine," she explained. "I don't pay very much for the medicine, and when I go into the hospital it takes care of it too, co-pay."

Officials with the American Association of Retired Persons say some 790,000 Kentuckians are eligible for prescription coverage through Medicare Part D. They say people should make sure the plan they choose covers the medications they use.

"We can't stress enough that you carefully evaluate your choices, because once you make a selection, you're locked in until the next open enrollment period," said AARP spokesman Scott Wegenast.

Fitzpatrick says Medicare Part D has been a lifesaver. She says other seniors could stand to benefit from the program too.

"If you got medicare, if you can, you need to pick up insurance, because you can run into a lot of money for your prescriptions if you don't have any insurance," she said.

Fitzpatrick says she'll be signing up again this year.

More information on Medicare Part D can be found at www.medicare.gov/findaplan or by calling the Kentucky Health Insurance Program at 877-293-7447.


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