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Medicare has big changes ahead

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – Medicare will begin to cover prescription drug costs January 1.

It will replace the Medicaid prescription plan for those who are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid, which includes about 145,000 Missourians.

And while Medicaid requires no co-payments, the new Medicare program will.

Jim House, executive director of the Mental Health Association of Greater St. Louis, says the co-payments under Medicare will be between one to three dollars per prescription. He says that will be a hardship for many.

"If you're on five or six medications that's up to $15 that you could end up paying, and if you've spent all your money just to live, where do you come up with $15?" House asked.

There will be several plans to choose from and House says recipients will have to be sure to choose one that covers their medication.

The federal government will send out booklets on the new program in October and enrollment begins November 15.


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