Seniors urged to sign up for new drug benefit

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The Douglas administration and advocacy groups are urging seniors and disabled Vermonters to sign up for the new Medicare Prescription drug benefit.

The deadline is May 15th. Those who sign up after that date will have to pay higher premiums and their coverage won’t start until next year.

Of the nearly 98,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Vermont, about 67,000 have drug coverage.

Officials say Medicare beneficiaries could save an average of $11,000 a year by enrolling in one or more of the 44 plans offered in Vermont.

Participants can get help enrolling by calling 1-800-MEDICARE or by going to the Medicare Web site at

Or they can call the State Health Insurance Assistance Program at 1-800-642-5119

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