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Medicare deadline today

Today is the deadline for seniors to sign up for one of the new Medicare prescription drug plans. Federal officials are urging seniors who haven't done so to take action immediately. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

Seniors who fail to sign up by the end of the day will face a financial penalty. And they'll have to wait until the next enrollment period in November to select a drug plan.

Federal officials say help is available on the 1-800-MEDICARE hotline. They say the sign up process is simple.

But Gary Passmore, with the Congress of California Seniors, disagrees.

It is not simple. You can't get the information you need. There have been audits done by the General Accounting Office in Washington that have found there's widespread misinformation given out over that telephone number.

Medicare officials maintain they've added thousands of operators to help seniors with last-minute sign ups.

Passmore argues seniors need more time to make an educated selection. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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