President Bush kicked off a nationwide campaign on Thursday, telling older people to circle Nov. 15 on their calendars. That is the date they can enroll for the new prescription drug coverage under Medicare.
"Starting this November, every American on Medicare can sign up to get help paying for their prescription drugs," Bush said in a speech at HHS.
Starting Oct. 1, information about the prescription drug benefit will be available to 42 million older adults as well as people with developmental and physical disabilities, mental illnesses and HIV/AIDS.
Enrollment will take place between Nov. 15 and May 15 of next year. The benefit begins Jan. 1. During the next 11 months, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, state and local leaders and others will work to get out information about the benefit.
"Seniors can choose to take advantage of the benefit or they can choose not to. It's up to them," Bush said. "Beneficiaries should make their decisions as soon as they are ready, because enrolling before May will ensure that they pay the lowest possible premiums."