Medicare Part D, to take effect Jan. 1, 2006, will
radically change the way Medicare beneficiaries receive their medications.
Because MHAs are a vital source of community information about the
benefit, NMHA has organized two meetings to help clarify the changes
for advocates. The meetings explain how the changes will affect
people who have mental health disorders and offer strategies that
can use to best educate their communities about the benefit. So
far, 25 MHAs have registered for each meeting, for a total of 25
The first meeting was held July 12-13 in St.Louis, Mo., and the
next will be held Aug. 2-3 in Atlanta.The meetings cover:
- Benefit design, coverage, enrollment, subsidies, appeals and
exceptions processes, and consumer-focused assistance
- Skills and tools advocates can use to train other MHAs,community
organizations and consumers
- Ideas for educational and enrollment activities that MHAs and
partner organizations can implement
NMHA has updated its Medicare Part D“Frequently Asked
Questions”fact sheet series .Topics include “Eligibility
and Enrollment,” “Benefit Design,” “Exceptions
and Appeals,” and“Administrative Issues.” Download
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
has mailed notices to those automatically eligible for financial
assistance with Medicare prescription drug plans to inform them
that they will receive help without having to apply for this
benefit. View this notice at www.cms.hhs.gov/medicarereform/lir.asp.
Posters designed to help educate Medicare beneficiaries who
have limited income and resources about a new low-income subsidy
available free of charge from CMS at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/medlearn/drugcoverage.asp.
Plans are underway at CMS to distribute$31.7million
through State Health Insurance Counseling Programs for Medicare
D education and enrollment initiatives. Contact your state’s
assistance programs to make sure outreach efforts include eligible
people who have mental health treatment needs. For information,
For additional information on this topic,
Sarabeth Zemel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay tuned for more coverage of this topic in future issues—including
details on NMHA’s
plans for a national enrollment campaign.