Coalition Is Promoting Drug Discount Card for Low-Income People . . .

Published Online: Thursday, July 1, 2004

The Access to Benefits Coalition has launched a nationwide campaign to guarantee that 5.5 million low-income Medicare beneficiaries receive drug discount cards, with a bonus of $1200 in free medicine over the next 19 months. The cards went into effect June 1, 2004, and will be used until January 1, 2006, when Medicare will cover outpatient medication costs.

The coalition, comprising 68 organizations, believes that the cards will provide a savings for low-income Medicare recipients. Individuals with annual incomes of $12,569 or less and couples with incomes of $16,862 or less will be eligible for a credit of $600 a year on their cards.

The steering committee for the Access to Benefits Coalition includes representatives from AARP, the Alzheimer's Association, Easter Seals, and the National Alliance for Hispanic Health. "The best part of the new law is what it can do for low-income people. We intend to go out and get them enrolled. It's a daunting task," said Stephen R. McConnell, senior vice president of the Alzheimer's Association, as reported in the New York Times, May 24, 2004.

He noted that at least 10% of older Medicare beneficiaries have Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. Also, many have other chronic conditions, and their cost of medication is estimated to be 80% higher than the average for all beneficiaries.

Latest Articles
Beverly Schaefer, RPh, of Katterman's Sand Point Pharmacy in Seattle, Washington, shares some fun tips on how to encourage patients who travel to come to your pharmacy for supplies.
Donnie Calhoun, RPh, PD, National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) Foundation vice president, discusses how pharmacists can prepare themselves and their business before, during, and after a disaster.
Ken Whittemore Jr, Surescript's senior vice president of professional and regulatory affairs, talks about some new transactions available that can help pharmacists.
In case you got caught up in the Thanksgiving holiday rush, here are the top trending stories you may have missed in November:
Latest Issues