Aging Committee to discuss Medicare drug discount cards Tuesday

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The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging will discuss what seniors and healthcare providers can expect about soon-to-be issued Medicare drug discount cards at a hearing Tuesday in Washington.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is reporting a better-than-expected market response, with more than 100 applications received so far from companies wishing to be card sponsors, according to Aging Committee Chairman Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID). Selection of approved sponsor companies will occur by April, information will be sent to seniors by May and the cards will become operational in June.

Among issues to be discussed Tuesday will be implementation and outreach to low- income seniors, and how the new cards will work with existing discount programs. The hearing will be web cast at http://aging.senate.gov, where it also will be available for later viewing.