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Increased coverage - decreased cost

More Wyoming seniors are saving on prescription drugs

February 8, 2007

         Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R- Wyo., Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, is pleased that more Wyoming seniors are benefiting from Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.

        According to information provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Wyoming saw a 16 percent enrollment increase in the past year bringing the total number of Wyoming beneficiaries with prescription drug coverage to 89 percent. Out of the total 72,838 persons eligible, 65,155 have prescription drug coverage through Medicare, their employer or through Veterans Affairs.

        The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also reported that 1.4 million beneficiaries have enrolled in Medicare’s Part D program since the benefit took effect on January 1, 2006, bringing the total number of people with Medicare now receiving comprehensive prescription drug coverage to more than 39 million. Additionally, five separate surveys indicated that more than 75 percent of the seniors enrolled are satisfied with the program thus far.

        "Before the Medicare Part D benefit began, seniors were responsible for paying 100 percent of the costs of their drugs 100 percent of the time. Part D has relieved part of this financial burden," Enzi said. "Wyoming has 15 different plans that have no gap in coverage," said Enzi.

        Wyoming has its own Senior Health Insurance Information Program with staff trained by Medicare who can answer questions and address the concerns of Wyoming seniors. Janet Hackleman in Riverton can be reached at 1-800-856-4398, Lois Jean Halberg in Cheyenne at 1-307-634-1010 and Tom Reinhart in Casper at 1-307-235-5959. Calling1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) or visiting are also resources for help. The Wyoming Department of Insurance can also be reached toll free at 1-800-438-5768.