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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
|Fred M. Jacobs, M.D., J.D.|
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"PAAD beneficiaries will not lose benefits or see their co-pays increase when the new Medicare program begins in January," Commissioner Jacobs said. "However, to keep your PAAD benefits and your low co-pay, you have to sign up for the Medicare program. We'll make that very easy by doing most of the work for you."
Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled and Senior Gold are two New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services programs that help nearly 220,000 seniors and disabled persons obtain prescription drugs. PAAD beneficiaries are low-income and pay $5 for each prescription. Senior Gold provides low-cost prescription coverage to seniors with moderate incomes.
At a news conference today at the Lawrence Township Senior Center in Lawrenceville, Dr. Jacobs discussed the new education effort, which includes television and print advertisements, a 24-hour PAAD and Senior Gold Hotline (1-800-792-9745) and helpful information – in both English and Spanish -- on the department’s web site (www.njpaad.gov and www.njsrgold.gov). He was joined by Kathleen Mason, the department’s Acting Deputy Commissioner of Senior Services.
The education initiative, which began today and will continue for a year, is designed to reassure PAAD and Senior Gold beneficiaries about their benefits. It explains the need for PAAD participants who are also on Medicare to apply for the federal prescription program, and directs people with questions to the hotline and web site for further information. For those on Senior Gold who are also on Medicare, enrolling in the new federal benefit is optional.
“If you’re on PAAD or Senior Gold, or care for someone who is, please watch the mail for more instructions from our department. We’ll be sending a letter in October and ask that you promptly return the information we need,” Ms. Mason said.
The new federal Medicare prescription coverage begins
In October, DHSS will send eligible PAAD and Senior Gold beneficiaries letters telling them which of the approved plans best meets each person’s needs, based on the types of medications and the pharmacy that person has been using.
PAAD participants who want to keep their PAAD benefits must select a Medicare plan – either from among the options presented by department, or a plan of their own choosing -- and return the information to DHSS.
If no choice is made, the department will facilitate enrollment into a plan from among those recommended for each person. DHSS will do the necessary paperwork on behalf of beneficiaries and begin enrolling people in plans on November 15.
Medicare will then become the PAAD participant’s primary payer for prescriptions.
Senior Gold participants who enroll pay their own monthly premiums for the Medicare benefit. Enrolling could save a senior money if his or her prescription drug costs typically exceed $50 a month, or if the person develops a costly health condition in the future.
Those in Senior Gold should note that it will cost more to sign up for Medicare prescription drug coverage after
“We want to make sure people participating in our programs receive all the benefits –– to which they are entitled,” Commissioner Jacobs said. “By enrolling our eligible PAAD participants in the new prescription drug program, we will be able to continue to maintain
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360