The World of Chronic Pain
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The World of
Chronic Pain

More than 125 million Amercians are suffering.

Diseases &
Conditions

These conditions can cause a world of pain.

Medications
& Treatment

Be sure you know the cautions and side effects.

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Support

Finding help is not always simple for those in pain.

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Prevention

These tips can help prevent a lifetime of pain.

News &
Issues

Up-to-date news on pain-related issues.

MEDICARE REFORM LAW

On December 8, 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. This landmark legislation provides seniors and people living with disabilities with a prescription drug benefit, more choices and better benefits under Medicare, the most significant improvement to senior health care in nearly 40 years.

Full Text of Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003

Medicare Prescription Drug Card

Starting in the Spring of 2004, as an important first step towards comprehensive Medicare prescription drug coverage, Medicare beneficiaries will be able to enroll in a Medicare-approved discount card program (The Discount Card) that will offer discounts on their prescription drugs. If you are a Medicare patients and have questions about the Discount Card, you should visit www.medicare.gov and select "Prescription Drug and Other Assistance Programs" or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users should call 1-800-486-2048.

Sponsor Information

The recently enacted Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 authorizes the implementation of the Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Card Program. This program is designed to help people with Medicare with the cost of prescription drugs. Individuals will be able to enroll in a Medicare-approved prescription drug discount program beginning in spring of 2004. A key part of the Medicare-approved prescription drug discount card program is a subsidy of up to $600 a year for eligible lower-income beneficiaries. Individuals whose income is less than $12,124 each year or married couples whose income is less than $16,363 may qualify for this special help.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Announcement

HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson announced on December 10, 2003 an interim final regulation for the Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card Program, designed to help people who are covered by Medicare with the cost of prescription drugs. Individuals will be able to enroll in a Medicare approved prescription drug discount program beginning in spring of 2004.

The regulation outlining the new drug discount card program is the first action resulting from the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, signed by President Bush just two days earlier. The speed of this regulatory action is unprecedented, and points to the importance of eliminating the practice of Medicare beneficiaries having to pay full price for prescription drugs.