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Medicare’s Future: Current Picture, Trends, and Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement & ... - page 54 / 60

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Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Card Program

Effective June 2004, all beneficiaries (except those with Medicaid drug coverage) can enroll in a Medicare-approved discount card program; program ends when new benefit is implemented

Choice of at least discount 2 cards; discounts of about 10%–15% of total drug costs; enrollment fee up to $30 annually

Beneficiaries with incomes below 135% of poverty pay no fee and receive $600 annual subsidy toward the purchase of drugs; no asset test

Bush administration assumes only 4.7 million out of 7.2 eligible low-income beneficiaries will sign up for the program

Increasing participation rates to 90% would provide valuable assistance to 6.5 million of the most vulnerable elderly and disabled beneficiaries

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