--> Washington, DC--(HISPANIC PR WIRE)--January 21, 2005--“Today is a landmark day in health care. New rules announced by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mean that over 2 million Hispanic Medicare recipients will be able to pay for the medicines they need,” said Dr. Jane L. Delgado, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health (the Alliance), the Nation’s leading Hispanic health advocacy group.
The much anticipated rules announced today by CMS, implement the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA) passed by Congress a little over a year ago. The MMA provides for the first time a prescription drug benefit (Medicare Part D) for beneficiaries in fee-for-service Medicare. Medicare beneficiaries will receive the new prescription benefit detailed in today’s rules starting January 1, 2006.
According to CMS Administrator, Dr. Mark B. McClellan, “In less than a year seniors will get critical help with access to 21st century, prevention-oriented medial care. All people with Medicare are now one huge step closer to having a new drug benefit and new health plan options, regardless of income.” Medicare recipients can get more information, in Spanish or English, on new Medicare benefits by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).
“We applaud CMS and its Administrator, Dr. McClellan, for taking into account the comments of Hispanic community health leadership from throughout the country and constructing final rules that will make the new Medicare prescription drug benefit easier to enroll in and more comprehensive,” said Dr. Delgado. “Having access to the medicines they need is a critical part of healthy aging for all seniors. Today’s announcement is a vital step to improving the health of Hispanic Medicare beneficiaries,” Dr. Delgado concluded.
The Alliance also announced the availability of help with understanding new Medicare benefits through the Alliance’s 1-866-SU-FAMILIA (1-866-783-2645) National Hispanic Family Health Helpline. Callers get free reliable and confidential health information in Spanish and English. Bilingual health information specialists can also refer callers to a local health care provider in their community.
The National Alliance for Hispanic Health is the nation’s action forum for Hispanic health, delivering services to over 12 million persons every year. For more information, visit the Alliance’s website: http://www.hispanichealth.org
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