Nov. 30, 2005 If you're a senior citizen or disabled person or a friend or family member of one, tune in to Delegate Donna M. Christensen's Highlights from the Hill show to air starting Wednesday on cable television's TV2 to learn more about the new federal prescription drug program.
The show airs at 6 p.m. Nov. 30; 8:30 p.m. Dec. 2; 5 p.m. Dec. 4; 9:30 p.m. Dec. 6, and at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 10.
Christensen said she is doing the show so senior citizens and disabled people know that federal assistance is available for prescriptions. However, they have to sign up by May 15, 2006.
"After that, they will be penalized," she said.
She said that unlike people on the mainland, who have myriad choices when it comes to picking a prescription plan, those in the Virgin Islands have four choices.
She said that one company, Community Rx, is offering three plans called Basic, Choice and Gold. She said United Health Group offers one plan.
Christensen said that people who have medical insurance through the Government Employees Retirement System have better prescription insurance than they'd be able to get under the prescription plans.
However, she advised people on Medicaid to look at the plan, saying tht if they don't pick one, Medicaid will end up picking one for them.
Christensen said that the local Human Services Department may be able to provide assistance to individuals who earn less than $18,000 a year and couples earning less than $40,000 a year.
In Highlights from the Hill Christensen interviews Leslie Norwalk, who is the deputy administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This is the agency that administers the federal prescription program.
Christensen also interviews Tom Paul, who is the chief pharmacy officer for Ovations, a United Health Group company.
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