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DHS news release

August 13, 2005


News media advisory


Contact: DHS Office of Public Affairs

Trish Neiworth, (503) 945-5922

Tom Towslee, (503) 947-5207


Oregon community leaders and top federal health officials meet to raise awareness on Medicare prescription drug coverage



WHO: Mike Leavitt, Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


WHAT: Top U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials will join Oregon Department of Human Services Interim Director Bryan Johnston, state and local community officials, and other representatives in a town hall meeting to spotlight community-based resources that will help educate and enroll seniors and persons with disabilities in the new Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage.


WHEN: Monday, August 15, 2005 at 4:30 p.m.

(Note: HHS is advising that news media should arrive by 4 p.m. to check in and set up.)


WHERE: Portland State University

Smith Memorial Center, Room 338

1825 SW Broadway

Portland, Ore.


BACKGROUND: Beginning January 1, 2006, prescription drug coverage will be available to all Americans with Medicare. Every person with Medicare -- no matter how they get their health care today or whether they have existing drug coverage -- will be eligible for drug coverage under a Medicare prescription drug plan. The drug plans will be available in all parts of the country, and they will cover brand name and generic drugs. Prescriptions can be obtained from neighborhood pharmacies and through mail order.


All Medicare beneficiaries will have a choice of plans, so they can get the coverage that best meets their needs. They will need to make a decision soon about signing up for Medicare's new prescription drug coverage. Enrollment begins November 15, 2005. Coverage begins January 1, 2006.