CMS: More than 600,000 Part D beneficiaries no longer qualify for subsidies in 2007

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services confirmed this week that about 630,000 beneficiaries will not be deemed eligible for low-income subsidies in 2007. These beneficiaries automatically qualified for some form of assistance in 2006.

Letters have been sent to the people who no longer qualify automatically,
informing them they need to apply for extra help paying for prescription
drugs, according to CMS Acting Administrator Leslie V. Norwalk. Those deemed eligible for Part D subsidies include dual eligibles, or those who receive Medicare and Medicaid. Many of these beneficiaries reside in nursing homes.

Beneficiaries who do not qualify for the subsidies will be granted a special
enrollment period in 2007, from Jan. 1 to March 31, Norwalk said at which
time they will be able to enroll in a plan, change plans, or cancel
prescription coverage.

More information about the low-income subsidy program is available at