Medicare Drug Benefits to Change

Don Berndt says he used to pay $350 a month for his 23 pills.
Don Berndt says he used to pay $350 a month for his 23 pills.

(KHNL) - The deadline to sign up for the new Medicare prescription drug plan is fast approaching and it could help you save some money.

The premium for Medicare Part D is $27 a month, one of the lowest nationwide.

Health officials are urging Medicare beneficiaries to check out the program.

"If they have a plan that's inferior, they have the opportunity to sign up for Medicare's plan which is better," said Lot Lau, with the City & County's Elderly Affairs Division.

The program is helping Don Berndt. He used to pay $350 a month for his 23 pills, but now, he pays less than half that amount.

"It's allowed me to have some other things in my life. It definitely changed my quality of living," said Berndt.

But this plan might not be for everyone. Retired government or union employees in Hawaii have plans that are better than Medicare.

"If it's superior or equivalent to, then they don't have to do anything, they don't have to sign up for another plan because they're already well covered," said Lau.

If you miss the May 15th deadline, you'll pay a penalty and won't be able to choose a drug plan until November.