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BobbyB 11-22-2006 01:08 PM

Advocacy Update: Medicare Rx Drug Benefit Open Enrollment
Advocacy Update: Medicare Rx Drug Benefit Open Enrollment

The annual open enrollment period for the Medicare prescription drug benefit is underway and will continue from November 15 until December 31, 2006. During this six week period, those currently enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug plan have an opportunity to switch plans, or they can remain in their current plan. Those who did not enroll in the benefit when they first became eligible for Medicare also may enroll at this time, although these individuals may be subject to a late enrollment penalty.

It is important that PALS who have enrolled in the Medicare drug benefit take the time to review their prescription drug plan options. Many plans have made important changes to their benefits for the upcoming year, including changes to monthly premiums, the drugs that are covered or included on the plan formulary, the costs of drugs, and other policies that impact access to particular drugs. In addition, new plans with different options are now available in many areas of the country. Therefore, your current plan may or may not be the best plan for you, so we encourage you to take the time to review your options and find the plan in your area that best meets your needs.

We have provided helpful information here , including tips and tools, which you can use in selecting a Medicare prescription drug plan. This information includes:

Rilutek Coverage
Costs, Coverage & Choices
Choosing a Prescription Drug Plan
Extra Help is Available
12 Questions and Answers about Open Enrollment 2007
Information to Have and Questions to Ask
Report Problems and Successes
Importantly, ALSA Chapters as well as caregivers and families also can use this information to assist PALS in choosing and enrolling in a Medicare prescription drug plan. These resources will allow people to compare their current plan with other plans and to identify a plan that covers specific drugs, like Rilutek, that are needed by people with ALS. They also include tips on questions to ask when selecting a plan, as well as answers to many of the questions you may have about this year’s open enrollment.

If you have any questions about this information or the Medicare prescription drug benefit, please contact Pat Wildman at or toll-free at 1-877-444-ALSA. This information also will be available in the Public Policy section of the ALSA website, under Medicare.


The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association, Capital Office
601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 900, South Bldg., Washington, DC 20004
(202) 638-6997 * Toll-free: 1-877-444-ALSA * Fax: (202) 638-6316,

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