Discount Drug Cards

By: Andrea Williams/Associated Press/CNN
By: Andrea Williams/Associated Press/CNN

According to President Bush the new discount drug cards will save senior citizens an average of about 17 percent for name brand drugs and up to 30 percent for generic drugs.

In all, there are more than 70 of these cards offered through Medicare. Which card you can get depends a great deal on where you live. While 40 of the cards are available nationwide, 33 of them only apply to specific regions.

Supporters and critics of the measure agree that the cards will save senior citizens at least some cash. However, those opposed to the cards say Medicare recipients can get similar prices without discounts through online pharmacies or save even more by buying drugs from pharmacies in Canada.

Officials with the American Association of Retired Persons are encouraging Medicare recipients to take time and select carefully when choosing one of the discount cards. After all they point out that the way the law works is, once you've signed up for a card you cannot switch to another card for a year. They say this is the case although the card companies can change what drugs they cover and the amount of the discounts weekly.

For more information on the new discount drug cards, call 1-800-MEDICARE.


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