Health insurers are watching closely as critics of the new Medicare Part D prescription drug program fight to postpone the May 15 registration deadline.
Medicare beneficiaries who fail to sign up for Part D plans by May 15 may have to pay higher rates for Part D coverage in the future.
Sens. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, are circulating a letter asking the Bush administration and Republican congressional leaders to extend the deadline.
The letter has attracted 48 signatures. The signers include Snowe and 3 other Republicans: Mike DeWine of Ohio, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.
“By extending the enrollment deadline and delaying late enrollment penalties, we can make sure that our constituents are not forced to make hasty decisions about their health care,” the authors of the letter write.