NJ Veteran Journal
December 2005 Edition

Medicare Prescription Drug Plans

From Veterans Healthcare Services

For the first time in history Medicare will be offering prescription drug coverage beginning Jan. 1,
2006. Are you eligible? If you are currently receiving Medicare, then the answer is Yes, regardless of your income.

Who will provide your medication? In New Jersey, a significant number of companies have been authorized by the federal government to offer Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans (PDP) to New Jersey’s Medicare recipients. Each PDP charges a different monthly premium and offers different drug coverage.

Who decides on your PDP? Each Medicare recipient must make their own decision as to which PDP they will choose. You must choose a PDP based on the medications you are taking daily.
How will you know which PDP to choose? You may ask your primary healthcare provider (Medical
Doctor) and /or your local pharmacist or you may contact the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) office in your County and discuss the various PDPs with them in order to make your decision. One note however, your local pharmacist can assist but, by law, cannot recommend a PDP.

When do you have to make a decision on which PDP to choose? Beginning on 15 November 2005, you may sign-up for a Medicare D-PDP. You and your family, your doctor or your SHIP representative can look at all the different PDPs and pick the one that is best for you. You must ensure that the PDP you choose covers the medications/ drugs you take each day. Additional assistance may be obtained from the Social Security Administration and/or the state Medicaid

Do I have to sign–up for this program? The Medicare D-PDP in a voluntary program. However, if
you do not choose and sign up for a PDP by May 15, 2006, and then wish to enter the program, ou will have to pay a substantial penalty for your prescriptions every month for the rest of your life. The benefits package (PDP) program will be activated on Jan. 1, 2006. Additional information may be obtained from the Internet at www.medicare.gov, or by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227).

VA Announces "Fulfilling the Commitment" Initiative
Last week, Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary R. James Nicholson announced the “Fulfilling the Commitment — Coming Home to Work” initiative at a three-day VA conference developed to assist veterans in their transition from military service to civilian life.

“All Americans can be grateful for the service and sacrifice of the men and women of our armed
forces,” said Nicholson. “The VA is committed to assisting these young heroes in the transition from military life to the civilian workforce through a wide-ranging array of programs. It just makes good common sense to hire these highly trained, disciplined young people, who volunteered, served and are now honorably discharged.”

The Initiative is a comprehensive intergovernental and public-private alliance that will assure
separating Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veterans that when they
return home from their service in the war on terrorism, they will have employment opportunities.
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, during the first threequarters of 2005, nearly 15 percent
of veterans 20-24 years old were unemployed — almost three times the national rate.

“These young men and women who protect our way of life need to know that they will have the opportunity to work and take care of their families once they are discharged from military service,” said Nicholson.

VA employs nearly 20,000 disabled veterans in its workforce of 237,000, making it one of the
nation’s largest employers of disabled veterans.

Table of Contents
Veterans Outreach Program
DCVA Message
Governor's Letter
WWII Memorial
Memorial Receives Funds / VVMF 10th Anniversary
Veterans Day Highlights
Veterans Benefits
Medicare PDPs
VVMF Veterans Day
One Shots
VSO Listing

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