Rush of calls as Medicare deadline draws near - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Rush of calls as Medicare deadline draws near

The administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says the agency has "seen a real surge" today as seniors sign up for a drug benefit.

Today is the deadline for recipients to enroll in a prescription drug plan. Administrator Mark McClellan says about 40,000- 50,000 people have been on the agency's Web site at any given time today. And he says operators at the toll-free number are getting a rush of calls.

First lady Laura Bush and top administration officials went to a registration drive at a Washington D-C church today. She urged people who don't need medicine now to sign up anyway because "it's likely" they'll eventually need prescriptions.

Late enrollees have to pay a penalty based on how many months late they are in signing up. Operators will keep taking calls until midnight West Coast time.

For more information log on to www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE.

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