Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Puzzling Through Medicare's Discount Cards

Many senior citizens right now are facing a tough decision: whether to sign up for the new temporary discount card under Medicare. It's one of two parts to the prescription drug benefit Congress added to Medicare; by 2006 there will be a drug insurance program.

The discount cards take effect on June 1, and Medicare officials are working hard to make sure people can get answers from the Medicare Web site and telephone service. Even so, there are dozens of cards to choose from, and as many seniors and advocacy groups continue to find, it's not an easy decision to make.

NPR's Joanne Silberner attends a class on how to pick a card, offered by the Fairfax Area Agency on Aging in Virginia, and reports on challenges to signing up.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

Joanne Silberner is a health policy correspondent for National Public Radio. She covers medicine, health reform, and changes in the health care marketplace.