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African Americans and the New Medicare Drug Benefit

In a few short weeks, Medicare will undergo big changes that will have a major impact on nearly 4 million African American seniors and younger people with permanent disabilities who rely on Medicare for their health coverage. More than four in ten African Americans with Medicare lack coverage for their prescription drugs for at least part of the year. Many others will need to make decisions about their existing coverage and the new Medicare benefit.

Starting Jan. 1, Medicare will cover outpatient prescription drugs, but many seniors don’t even understand the basics about what the new benefit offers or how it works. Helping African Americans who rely on Medicare to understand how this program will work is critical to ensuring they make good decisions about this coverage.

The materials on this page provide a demographic overview of African Americans with Medicare. They were used for a conference call briefing on Monday, Nov. 14, at 1 p.m. Eastern time co-sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged.

icon_presentations.gifNov. 14 Presentation Slides — African Americans and Medicare (.pdf)

icon_reports_studies.gifA Profile of African Americans, Latinos, and Whites with Medicare: Implications for Outreach Efforts for the New Drug Benefit