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PNS Daily Newscast - August 13, 2020 

Minutes after Biden selected Harris as VP, she throws first punch at Trump; teachers raise their hands with safety concerns.

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Clock Ticking On New RX Plan

December 11, 2006

St. Paul, MN - Minnesota seniors have until the end of the year to sign up for prescription drugs through Medicare "Part D," or change their current plan with the program. John McCalley with the AARP of Minnesota says it's a good opportunity, but the clock is ticking.

"They have an open enrollment period every year that we're in the midst of right now. Anyone who qualifies for Medicare can apply for prescription drug coverage."

He says there are some good plans out there, but you have to do your homework. He adds that while the income coverage gap, or "doughnut hole," is still a problem, many plans can help fill the void. He says there is also help available for low-income seniors and those on fixed incomes.

"Couples with incomes of less than $20,000 a year, and individuals whose income is less than $15,000 a year, may get extra help paying for premiums and deductibles in those prescription drug plans."

McCalley notes that despite early problems and confusion over the variety of choices, the year-old prescription drug payment program seems to be working for many Minnesota seniors.

"A lot of the surveys have indicated that people who have shopped for a Medicare Part D plan are really quite satisfied. 80 percent, in the latest Wall Street Journal poll, said they're somewhat or very satisfied, and 60 percent are showing substantial savings on prescription drugs over previous years."

The Minnesota "Senior LinkAge," which provides free advice on plans and financial aid, can be reached toll-free, at 800-333-2433.

Jim Wishner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MN