Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Nov 15, 2005
Governor leads state charge to help Hoosiers with new Medicare prescription drug benefit

INDIANAPOLIS (November 15, 2005) ? Governor Mitch Daniels introduced the ?Simple, honest help? program today, continuing the state?s efforts to help Hoosiers address prescription drug costs. Beginning with Rx for Indiana, which has utilized the resources of the pharmaceutical industry and the volunteer efforts of more than 60 partner organizations to assist more than 91,000 people, the state has built a network to help Hoosiers become aware of the new Medicare prescription benefit, also known as Medicare Part D, which becomes effective January 1.

Meeting today with more than 200 residents at Crestwood Village West, an independent and assisted living apartment complex for seniors on the west side of Indianapolis , Daniels outlined efforts to increase awareness of the new prescription drug benefit program for Medicare recipients, their family members and caregivers.

?The Rx for Indiana program we created earlier this year has helped more than 91,500 Hoosiers of all ages save millions of dollars on prescription drugs. Next, we want to offer simple and honest help to seniors to take full advantage of the new Medicare program,? said Daniels.

November 15 is the first day for the nearly 900,000 Hoosiers enrolled in Medicare to sign up for the new Medicare prescription drug program, which will be provided through private plans. Beginning January 1, Medicare enrollees who have signed up for the new benefit will have access to a wide array of medicines provided through the Medicare prescription plan they have selected. The enrollment period for the first year of the new Medicare prescription drug benefit ends May 15, 2006. Those who wait until after May 15 to enroll will likely pay a higher monthly premium.

In Indiana, the average monthly premium offered by the Medicare prescription drug plans is expected to be about $35 per month. Some monthly premiums start at $12.30 per month.

?Many folks are uncertain about making the right choice because there are many plans available. We want you to take your time, read the information, look at the options, and contact our network of partners and volunteers or attend a community event to find the assistance you need to choose the plan that will best meet your needs,? said the governor. ?Neighbors can help neighbors, and family members can help their parents and others, just like the effort that has made Rx for Indiana so successful.?

The network of partners was created through the governor?s successful Rx for Indiana program. More than 120,000 Hoosiers have made inquiries to the program, which matches them with prescription assistance programs provided by pharmaceutical manufacturers and others. As of November 14, 91,544 Hoosiers or 75.7 percent of those were matched with one or more programs that reduce, often dramatically, the cost of prescription medications.

Here are resources available from the state and the Medicare Rx Access Network of Indiana, which includes more than 30 partner organizations, who are providing volunteers and reaching out to their constituencies:

  • The state?s ?Simple, honest help? call center at 1-800-452-4800, staffed by State Health Insurance Information Program (SHIPP).
  • SHIIP?s Web site:
  • One-on-one counseling and assistance through SHIIP, Area Agencies on Aging as well as many partner organizations that are offering special enrollment sites and events throughout Indiana.
  • Callers or visitors to the Rx for Indiana Web site,, 877/793-0765, also can obtain information about the new Medicare program. Persons who are Deaf or hearing impaired may contact the program through Relay Indiana.
  • The Medicare program also offers a telephone hotline at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227); TYY, 1-800-486-2048 or the Medicare Web site at
  • In addition, the state is assisting low-income seniors who need help paying the premiums, deductibles or co-payments for their Medicare prescription plan. The HoosierRx program?s benefits change in 2006 to help seniors enrolled in the new Medicare benefit.


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