Emergency Rx Coverage Extended
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Friday extended through May 16 emergency prescription drug coverage for residents dually eligible for Medicare and Medi-Cal who are having problems obtaining medicine through Medicare Part D plans (Medi-Cal release, 4/14).
Legislation (SB 1233) signed into law in February extended an emergency aid program for dual eligibles for up to 90 days.
The bill also authorized Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) to extend the program by up to an additional 60 days to May 16 if problems with the Medicare drug benefit continue (California Healthline, 2/7).
New legislation is needed for another extension (Medi-Cal release, 4/14).
In related news, 71% of eligible Medicare beneficiaries in Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Merced and Tuolumne counties have enrolled in the prescription drug benefit, compared with about 65% nationally, the Modesto Bee reports. As of March 18, more than 123,000 residents in the four counties were enrolled (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 4/15).
Beneficiaries must sign up for the benefit by May 15 to avoid financial penalties.
Some beneficiaries still are having difficulty understanding the benefit or finding a plan that covers all of their medications, according to the San Luis Obispo Tribune (Welton, San Luis Obispo Tribune, 4/17).