06Medicare counselors will be made available to assist seniors who will be impacted by the end of the SC GAP Assistance Pharmacy Program which ends on July 1, 2010 due to a lack of state funds.
Lt. Governor André Bauer announced that Medicare counselors from the Office on Aging will advise seniors on alternative prescription drug assistance and will help seniors who are currently enrolled in the program to understand the impact of its ending.
The SC GAP program has provided assistance to certain beneficiaries with Medicare Part D coverage who needed more assistance because they were in the coverage gap commonly called the “doughnut hole.”
When the program began in January of 2006, state funds covered 95 percent of prescription drug costs for beneficiaries with limited monthly incomes. Due to budget cuts over the last four years, reimbursements have been reduced to 40 percent.
Some assistance is already on the way to Part D beneficiaries lost in the gap. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services began sending tax-free $250 rebate checks on June 10. The rebate is the first of several steps to eliminate the doughnut hole by 2020.
For more information on the Lt. Governor’s Office on Aging or to reach a Medicare counselor, seniors can call toll free at 1-800-868-9095 or visit the agency website www.aging.sc.gov.