Medi-Cal Continues Mailing Letters About No-Cost, 100-Day Rx Drug Supply
Medi-Cal officials on Wednesday will finish mailing letters to about one million residents who are dually eligible for Medi-Cal and Medicare, alerting them to available coverage for a 100-day prescription drug supply, the Sacramento Bee reports. The letters - which are aimed at helping dual eligibles transition to coverage under the Medicare drug benefit - state that Medi-Cal will pay for a 100-day supply of drugs covered by the program but warn that the prescriptions must be filled by Dec. 31.
Officials mailed the first batch of 260,000 letters on Thursday, and the rest will be sent in batches through Wednesday, according to Medi-Cal Director Stan Rosenstein.
Advocates for low-income senior citizens say the state has not given dual eligibles enough time to fill the 100-day supply by the end of the month. In addition, Clare Smith, president of California Health Advocates, said Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program counselors have reported that some clients have had difficulty getting the 100-day supply.
Rosenstein said state officials have been telling advocacy groups and health care providers about the benefit for months. He added that the 100-day supply has been available under Medi-Cal for 25 years and that many beneficiaries already knew about the benefit (Weaver Teichert, Sacramento Bee, 12/19).
In related news, the Fresno Bee on Monday examined problems that people who are dually eligible for Medi-Cal and Medicare might experience when the Medicare prescription drug benefit goes into effect Jan. 1, such as being automatically enrolled in a drug plan that does not cover all of their medications.
Rosenstein said the state has allocated $100 million to ensure dual eligibles maintain access to necessary medications during the transition to the Medicare drug benefit, but patient advocates say the change is happening too soon and "will leave the state's most frail and vulnerable residents confused and paying more for drugs than they need to," the Fresno Bee reports (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 12/19).