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Capitol Health Call
July 14, 2004

Slow Card Uptake

JAMA. 2004;292(2):163. doi:10.1001/jama.292.2.163-a

Pharmacies began accepting new Medicare drug discount cards on June 1 after what Bush administration officials said was disappointing response to the program. Some 3 million seniors had signed up for the cards by mid-June, but 2.4 million of them had been enrolled automatically through their health maintenance organizations.

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson urged low-income seniors, in particular, to take advantage of the cards, touted to offer savings of 10% to 25%. All seniors on Medicare who do not receive Medicaid drug coverage are eligible for the cards.