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New Medicare benefits are helping Hispanic elderly

Washington, DC--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)-- Oct., 2004--“Thousands of Hispanic Medicare recipients are better able to buy their medicines with new Medicare prescription assistance, but thousands more are at risk of not getting this benefit unless they sign up by December 31, 2004,” reports Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the nation’s leading Hispanic health advocacy group.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, over half a million Hispanic Medicare beneficiaries are entitled to $600 this year to help them purchase their medicines. Also, if eligible Medicare recipients do not spend all of this year’s $600 benefit, the amount that is left from this year will be added to another $600 they will receive for 2005.

Dr. Delgado advises that, “If you receive Medicare, do not already have prescription drug coverage, and earn $12,569 or less a year ($16,862 a year for married couples), then you are likely eligible for a $600 Medicare prescription drug benefit this year. However, you must sign up before December 31, 2004 or you will lose this year’s benefit.”

Consumers can call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) 24 hours a day and speak to Medicare specialists who can help callers enroll in the program. There are Spanish-speaking specialists available and the call is free.

You can also make a free call to the National Alliance for Hispanic Health at 1-866-SU-FAMILIA (1-866-783-2645) and get guidance on what information you need to gather before you call Medicare. Dr. Delgado’s advice? “Make the call today …para su salud.”

The National Alliance for Hispanic Health is the nation’s action forum for Hispanic health, delivering services to over 12 million persons every year.

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