- Written by The Skanner
There's something about a deadline that makes people jump -- inspiring them to bring back those library books or finally file their taxes.
Oregon and federal officials are expecting the same response to the upcoming midnight Monday deadline to enroll in the new Medicare drug plans without financial penalty.
Medicare has added extra customer service staff to handle questions about the complicated benefits program and increased its online capacity. And the Oregon Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance program, which handles the enrollment assistance in the state, has extended its hours and is bracing for a few extra inquiries.
As of Friday about 160,000 Oregonians who are eligible for the benefit have not signed up, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.
"There's just something about a deadline," said Michael Marchand, spokesperson for the Northwest region of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.