James Kerr, regional administrator for Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the New York-based agency responsible for administering the Medicare program in the V.I., is in the territory this week to meet with health care officials to learn more about the territory's challenges and needs. Speaking at a press conference at the V.I. Medical Institute on Wednesday, Kerr said there is nothing his agency can do to increase new prescription drug discount card benefits under Medicare.
"This is what Congress passed," Kerr
said that the notices were incorrect and that the recipients do not have to pay for the vaccinations, which cost $23.30 per shot.He
said Triple-S Inc.
, a health insurance provider based on Puerto Rico, sent out the erroneous notices.Triple-S
acts as a fiscal intermediary for the Medicare Program Part B benefits in the territory.
"Those numbers are just wrong," Kerr
said."It was mistake that Triple-S
said that he
does not know how it happened but that he
has inquired about why the errors were made.
would make an effort to notify recipients of the errors and to disregard the notices.Kerr
agreed that the notices should not be in Spanish for recipients in the Virgin Islands.He
also stressed the importance of immunizations for seniors, who are at a higher risk of complications from influenza.
The Medicare program covers an annual flu shot and a pneumococcal vaccine at no cost to the beneficiary, he