The first week with the new Medicare prescription drug benefit in place is coming to an end and eligible senior citizens and Grand Junction pharmacists are beginning to get a handle on just how difficult making the transition to the new system that went into effect January 1st will be. Some of the confusion with the new coverage lies in those senior citizens who are enrolled but have not yet received a card to present to the pharmacist in order to receive the benefits, so pharmacy employees are spending lots of time on the phone trying to authorize plan users. Still, the biggest problem pharmacists are seeing is people just not signing up for any of the new medicare plans. 42 million senior citizens are eligible for prescription drug benefits, and currently only about half of those people are enrolled. The vast majority of those were automatically switched from other benefit programs, including Medicaid. Medicare recipients have until May 15th to sign up for drug coverage without penalty. For more information on the new Medicare prescription drug coverage the public is encouraged to attend an informational meeting scheduled for next week. The Director of Aging Dave Norman will be on hand to answer questions Thursday November 12th beginning at 2:30 P.M. at the Old American Center building, located at 6th Street and Rood Avenue in Grand Junction. Or log onto www.medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE.