Wash. Commissioner Offers Warning on Bogus Drug Discount Cards

February 20, 2004

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner is warning Washington residents to be on the lookout for prescription drug scams that purport to offer “Medicare-approved” discount cards as part of the Medicare law signed by the President last year.

The caution echoes warnings by federal health officials who said that people have gone door to door in some parts of the country offering bogus cards for sale. Officials point out that no cards have been approved and enrollment isn’t scheduled to begin until May.

The OIC reports that Medicare plans offering approved drug discount cards will start distributing information to subscribers in the next couple months or so. All other drug card sponsors that meet Medicare standards may begin information campaigns in late spring.

All Medicare-approved cards will include a “Medicare-approved” seal.

Beginning April 1, 2004, consumers can access information about Medicare-approved drug card sponsors using the Prescription Drug and Other Assistance Programs tool at: www.medicare.gov or by contacting Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) HelpLine at 1-800-397-4422.

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