Part D Perspectives: California Senior Advocates League

Part D Perspectives: California Senior Advocates League

11.01.12 | By

October 15 kicked off the 2013 Medicare Part D open enrollment period, which runs through December 7. During this time, Medicare-eligible Americans over 65 and persons with disabilities can choose a new Part D plan that best fits their needs. Given the accessibility of tools and resources to help navigate this process, PhRMA, recognizes the importance of providing helpful information and outside perspectives.

During Open Enrollment, the Catalyst will feature a weekly "Part D Perspectives" blog series to provide insights and perspectives to help those on Medicare learn more about Part D and how the program is having a positive impact on patients across the nation.

John Kehoe, a founding board member of the California Senior Advocates League, has shared his thoughts on Part D below.

The California Senior Advocates League (CalSAL) is an organization built on the belief that all Americans deserve a voice in our nation's decisions, regardless of age. To this end, we travel throughout the state to encourage conversations and collect perspectives from seniors on issues that impact them on a regular basis.

Medicare Part D is often a priority topic among older Americans given its popularity with the more than 31 million who rely on it. New data suggests the program has a high rate of satisfaction among seniors, and we want to make sure that they remain satisfied and take advantage of all it has to offer. There are many options available to fit a variety of health care needs, and seniors often don't take advantage, which can impact their health and their wallets. Open enrollment is the perfect time to not only enroll, but also review the variety of programs and options to assess whether their current plan is still best.

It is human nature to focus on the daily tasks at hand while losing sight of our long-term health status. But we cannot allow seniors to overlook the critical benefit of the open enrollment period. Getting the word out to seniors and ensuring they have the information they need to make smart decisions about their prescription drug coverage is paramount to improving and maintaining seniors' health.

As we continue to make strides in this arena, finding new ways to reach seniors and educate them on Part D is important because, as we've seen in California, many seniors have moved to areas with a more affordable cost of living, but lacking convenient access to health care services. As a result, information about Part D is not always readily available, so we are making every effort to ensure the right information makes it into the hands of those who need it

Throughout our conversations with older Americans on the future of health care, one resounding message we often hear is how concerned this generation is with ensuring not just quality care, but affordable care. Medicare Part D is a key solution. As long as our community continues its efforts to keep seniors informed and ensure they have access to the kind of quality care they have come to appreciate with the Part D program, the future of our nation's health care system will be bright.

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