Queens, NY, October 2, 2012 – NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., is co-sponsoring a “Changes to EPIC” lecture at Noon on October 11 at Sacred Heart Golden Age, 83-17 78th Avenue, Glendale, with a representative from the NYS Department of Health’s Medicare-EPIC Program, Gema Diaz. The series began in August and continues through October at senior centers around the senator’s district and covers the changes to New York’s Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) prescription-drug program, now that the 2012-13 state budget restored $30.6 million. This will reinstate co-payment assistance for almost 300,000 EPIC enrollees, thereby returning the EPIC program to two plans again.
In January 2012, more than a quarter of a million seniors around our state were affected by major cuts to New York’s Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) prescription-drug program. Consequently, EPIC provided prescription-drug coverage only after a member fell into the Medicare prescription coverage gap (the “donut hole”) when the total drug costs for an individual reached $2,930.
Currently, seniors enrolled in the EPIC program are forced to pay 25 percent of the cost of each prescription drug. With the co-payment assistance restored, enrollees will return to paying no more than $20 co-payment for each prescription.
All EPIC members will be notified of the changes, and how they will be affected, by letter. Eligibility requirements remain the same: NYS resident, 65 or older, with income up to $35,000 single or $50,000 married. Applicants cannot be receiving full Medicaid benefits but may have a Medicaid spenddown. If a member cancels their Medicare Part D coverage, they will not receive any benefits from EPIC and coverage may be canceled. Members must have Part D in order to receive EPIC benefits and maintain EPIC coverage.
Visit Senator Addabbo online at: http://addabbo.nysenate.gov or on Facebook at “Senator Joe Addabbo.”
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Judy Close, Press Secretary
NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.
15th Senate District - Satellite Office
66-85 73rd Place
Middle Village, NY 11379