HHS completed a regulation governing the Medicare prescription-drug discount card, the first rules issued in connection with the Medicare reform bill signed into law earlier this week. Beginning next spring, the drug card will allow seniors to obtain savings of 10% to 15% on their total drug costs, according to HHS. Low-income beneficiaries will be eligible for an additional subsidy of up to $600 per year. Private companies will administer the card under contract with Medicare. The regulation is scheduled to appear in the Federal Register Dec. 15 and becomes final 30 days after appearing. It is open to public comment until then. The CMS estimates some 7.3 million beneficiaries will take advantage of the card in 2004. Read the rule. -- by Jeff Tieman
HHS issues regulation for drug discount card
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