Senator Jack Hart announced that the Legislature last week enacted a bill to provide emergency prescription drug coverage for seniors and the disabled during the transition to the new Medicare Part D benefit program. The ensures that seniors and the disabled continue to receive their prescription drugs even if their new Part D plan does not cover their specific medications.
|Senator Hart Announces Emergency Prescription Drug Coverage Bill for Seniors and the Disabled
“This issue is literally the difference between life and death for some seniors. This bill provides a safety net for our seniors and the disabled. It will ensure that when seniors go to the pharmacy and discover that their new Part D plan does not cover their prescription drugs, they can still obtain their life-saving medications,” Hart said.
Under the bill (S. 2310):
* During the first 6 months of 2006, the State will reimburse pharmacies, for a one-time 30-day supply of medicine for Prescription Advantage members and MassHealth recipients whose new Medicare prescription drug plans do not cover their medications. The State will also reimburse pharmacies for a one-time 72-hour supply of uncovered medicine for these individuals. This will give people time to get their doctors to prescribe another medication, appeal to their plan for coverage or switch to a different plan.
* Prescription Advantage and MassHealth will provide wrap-around benefits to cover members’ higher out-of-pocket costs including higher deductibles or co-pays under the Medicare Part D Program.
* Pharmacies will be required to provide information to customers who encounter problems with their Medicare prescription drug coverage, which will include contact information for additional assistance.
The law now protects seniors with a 30-day emergency supply of medicine for the first 6 months during the transition to Medicare Part D.