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Attorney General Goddard Warns Seniors to Be Careful When Purchasing New Medicare Prescription Drug Cards

(Phoenix, Ariz. – April 30, 2004)  Attorney General Terry Goddard today warned seniors to be on the lookout for official-looking mailings from private companies promoting “Medicare-approved” discount cards.  Theofficial Medicare prescription drug discount cards will not be available until next week.  Reports have surfaced that some private companies are attempting to sell fraudulent cards purportedly approved by Medicare.   

"Unfortunately there are many out there who prey on the senior population,” Goddard said.  “If anyone has been contacted about purchasing a Medicare-approved card, ignore the solicitation and report it to my office." 

The Medicare-approved discount cards will become available on May 3, and will be effective on June 1.  All discount cards approved by Medicare will carry a “MEDICARE APPROVED” seal. This discount card is part of the Medicare Reform package adopted by Congress in December 2003.  There is a list of Medicareapproved prescription drug card sponsors available online at www.medicare.gov.  This Web site alsocontains other valuable program information.  If you do not have access to the Internet, please call toll-free1-800-633-4227 for this information.   

The card will cost no more than $30, and will be available to all seniors eligible for Medicare Part A.  The cards may be purchased beginning on Monday and may be used to obtain discounts between 10 and 25percent on prescription drugs.  Additional benefits are available for lower income seniors. 

There are legitimate prescription drug discount cards currently available that have not sought approval fromMedicare and may save consumers money.  Consumers should carefully look at the benefits offered by these cards if considering one not approved by Medicare.  Some may deceptively claim to be Medicareapproved when they are not.   Seniors should ultimately choose the card that is best for them by taking intoaccount the different features of each card. 

Please contact the Attorney General’s Office with questions or concerns, or if you know someone who has been the victim of fraud call: 

Phoenix Office Of The Attorney General
Consumer Information and Complaints 
1275 W. Washington 
Phoenix, Arizona 85007-2926 
Telephone: (602)542-5763
or 1-800-352-8431

Tucson Office Of The Attorney General
Consumer Information and Complaints 
400 W. Congress - South Building, Suite 315 
Tucson, Arizona 85701-1367 
Telephone: (520)628-6504 
or 1-800-352-8431