Health
Thursday, December 30th, 1999
'Pill Bill' initiative ready to start soon

Applications are now being accepted for the start of the Delaware Prescription Assistance program ("Pill Bill" - SB 6), which was sponsored by Sen. David McBride (D-Hawk's Nest) and signed into law in 1999 by Gov. Thomas R. Carper.
This initiative will provide assistance in purchasing prescriptions to most elderly and disabled citizens currently without coverage with incomes below 200 percent of the poverty level.
The program is funded by tobacco settlement funds, and services will begin on Jan. 14.
Though Medicaid and the Nemours Health Clinic Pharmaceutical Assistance Program subsidize prescription drug costs for very low income seniors, the program provides assistance to a tier of low income seniors whose annual income is less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level - but who are ineligible for Medicaid.
More than 6,000 seniors will be eligible to participate in the Prescription Drug Payment Assistance program, which will be administered by the Department of Health and Social Services.
According to Carper, "This prescription drug program has been designed for senior citizens and the disabled who are not covered by any plan, but whose very modest income eliminates them for Medicaid and other program coverage.
"All too often, seniors and others in such situations fall through the cracks. We will be working to ensure that those folks will be able to secure prescription drugs at a time in their lives when many need the coverage the most."
This program will cover most drugs that are manufactured by companies that agree to pay the state a rebate for the right to participate in the program.
The program will pay up to $2,500 per person, per state fiscal year. There will be a copayment of $5 or 25 percent of the cost of the prescription, whichever is greater. The pharmacy will collect the copayment before they dispense the prescription.
The income eligibility limits are:

For seniors age 65 and over
• Single: monthly income over $1,041 but under $1,374
• Couples: combined monthly income over $1,427 but under $1,844

For people under age 65 and eligible for Social Security Disability benefits
• Single: monthly income under $1,374
• Couples: combined monthly income under $1,844.

Also eligible are elderly and SSDI individuals who have income over these amounts who may be eligible if they have prescription costs that are over 40 percent of their yearly income. Those eligible for the Nemours Foundation program are ineligible for the new program.
You are not eligible for this program if you are eligible for Medicaid or if you have other insurance that provides you with drug coverage. Also, if you have Medicare, this program will not pay for any of the drugs or diabetic supplies that Medicare covers.
For more information about this program or to obtain an application form, call 1-800-996-9969, ext. 17.