Title

State Pharmaceutical Assisstance for the Elderly and Disabled: Planning Issues for Program and Non-Program States

Publication Date

1991

Journal

Journal of Aging and Social Policy

Volume

3

Issue

3

First Page

71

Last Page

81

Abstract

The Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act (MCCA) would have mandated federal assistance for Medicare beneficiaries who have high annual prescription medication costs, High national expenditures for such drugs have encouraged the development of private and state insurance programs to help with these costs. Ten state pharmaceutical assistance programs (SPAPs), designed to help certain elderly, low income, or disabled people, exist for those ineligible for Medicaid or unable to purchase coverage privately. Coordination of state and federal benefits was a consideration for established programs, and programs being planned needed to determine the feasibity of integration of federal assistance. But the enactment and subsequent appeal of the Act affected both planning and policy implications for these SPAPs. All U.S. states and territories were surveyed before the bill's repeal to collect data on the effects of MCCA for those with prescription drug programs and those without. The repeal of the federal program places pressure on the nonprogram states to proceed, perhaps more cautiously, to initiate program; for their own residents, given increasing out-of-pocket and insurance costs, and no federal program.

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