Burr Calls on Seniors to Enroll in Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Before May 15 Deadline

Reports show 75% of beneficiaries in North Carolina have enrolled

Washington, D.C. - Senator Richard Burr today called on North Carolina's seniors to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan to best serve their health care needs. This year every American with Medicare, regardless of income, health status, or prescription drug usage was given access to prescription drug coverage under the new Medicare Part D program if they sign up. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over 75% of North Carolina's Medicare beneficiaries have enrolled in a prescription drug plan.

"I am pleased so many North Carolina seniors have enrolled in a Medicare prescription drug plan. North Carolina has over 75% of seniors enrolled in the plan which is a very impressive number," Burr said. "It's understandable to have questions about what the new drug coverage means for you. My dad faced the same decision and had to choose the best plan to meet his specific medical needs. I want to encourage you to pick a plan before the May 15 deadline."

The deadline to enroll in a 2006 Medicare prescription drug plan and pay lower premiums is May 15, 2006. After that deadline, the next opportunity to enroll in a Medicare prescription drug plan will be November 15, 2006. The November 15 enrollment period officially begins the 2007 prescription drug season and seniors will likely pay a penalty for not enrolling by May 15.

Many resources are available to assist Medicare beneficiaries in choosing the best plan. The Medicare call center is available 24 hours a day by calling 1-800-633-4227 and the Medicare website can be accessed at www.medicare.gov .