News Releases

December 20, 2007

Governor Urges Eligible Seniors to Enroll in Rx Drug Program

State, Feds Partner with Boy Scouts to Find Residents Qualified for Drug Program

Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Jim Douglas today joined officials from Medicare and the Green Mountain Council, Boy Scouts of America to encourage eligible senior citizens to enroll in the federal Medicare prescription drug program.

Thousands of Vermont’s senior citizens have taken advantage of the federal prescription drug benefit implemented in January 2006. According to officials, however, there are several thousand more Vermonters who are eligible but who have not yet enrolled.

“Through the diligent efforts of Lt. Governor Dubie, my Commission on Healthy Aging, the local councils on aging and our federal partners we have reached most of the Vermonters who are eligible,” the Governor said. “According to data provided by Medicare, however, there are a few thousand Vermonters who may be eligible and have yet to apply. I want to be sure every eligible senior has the opportunity to benefit from this program.”

Governor Douglas said Vermont’s Boy Scouts will assist Medicare by going door to door at senior housing complexes, visiting local churches, libraries and food stores to distribute applications for the low income subsidy program that helps seniors pay for prescription drug costs.

“For those who qualify, it can mean savings of more than $3,300 a year,” the Governor said. The Governor noted his administration has taken a number of steps to alleviate the cost of prescription drugs, including protecting residents from changes in federal law, forming the nation's first purchasing pool for Medicaid recipients, petitioning the FDA for faster approval of generic drugs and creating one of the nation's first drug reimportation programs. Ultimately, to solve the problem, Washington has to take more aggressive action, he said.

"American’s must continue to insist that Congress reform our prescription drug laws, increase competition among manufacturers, reform patent laws that slow the delivery of lower cost generic drugs to the market and preserve the ability of states to pool drug purchases the way we do in our Medicaid program ," the Governor said.

Vermonters can call 1-800-Medicare, visit or call the Vermont State Health Insurance Assistance program at 800-642-5119 to find out if they qualify.

Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: December 20, 2007 15:56:34