Thanks Legislature for taking prompt action to help seniors with drug costs
March 05, 2004
"I think the legislators
reacted favorably to our request to move quickly on this, and
I am pleased to say that both houses passed the bill unanimously,"
Murkowski said. "Alaska now has a bridge for those seniors
most in need of assistance until the full Medicare prescription
drug benefit begins in January 2006."
Seniors who qualify for the Senior Assistance Program (65 and older and 135 percent of the poverty level), and who are not receiving comprehensive Medicaid prescription drug coverage will be provided a choice. They can chose between the new SeniorCare prescription drug subsidy of $1,600 a year or to continue to receive the Senior Assistance Program cash assistance of $1,440 a year. Together with the $600 Medicare subsidy to begin this spring, these eligible seniors opting for the SeniorCare prescription drug benefit will have a combined drug subsidy of $2,200 a year. Seniors who are receiving Medicaid prescription drug coverage will be able to continue receiving the cash assistance of $120 per month.
Additionally, beginning April 1, 2004 seniors between 135 percent and 150 percent of poverty level will receive a prescription drug benefit of $1,000 a year. Seniors who have an annual income less than $17,445 for an individual, or $23,415 for a couple, will qualify.
Applications for SeniorCare cash or prescription drug benefits will soon be available at senior centers, offices of the Division of Public Assistance, and at the SeniorCare website www.seniorcare.alaska.gov. Seniors currently receiving cash assistance from the Senior Assistance Program will receive information and application forms in the mail next week.
Other services offered through SeniorCare include a new Senior Information Office operated by the Division of Senior and Disabilities Services. This office will be a one-stop resource for information seniors need. The Alaska Senior Information Office provides a statewide toll-free telephone number and Web site for information on services available to seniors, which will include an up-to-date directory of local physicians who accept Medicaid and Medicare clients, available programs and services including SeniorCare, and prescription drug information and assistance.
The toll-free telephone number for the SeniorCare Senior Information Office is 1-800-478-6065 (Anchorage 907-269-3680) and the Web address is: www.seniorcare.alaska.gov.
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