Every month, thousands of Medicare beneficiaries have to decide if they are going to pay the full amount they are charged to get their prescription medications or if they are going to pay for groceries. It seems like something that would happen in a third world country but it’s something that is happening in the United States of America every day. There are millions of Medicare beneficiaries that have to make this decision although they are eligible and often enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan.
When people begin to make these decisions, they know it’s time to look for help. Many people that look for help often start with local community programs for help. They aren’t always successful and many are told there is no assistance available for what they need. What many of these Medicare beneficiaries don’t know is that their state may fund a state pharmaceutical assistance program for their residents.
A state pharmaceutical assistance program is a program that helps people pay for the medications they are prescribed that may be too expensive. These programs are not offered in every state. The states that do offer these programs have different criteria that have to be met in order to enroll in the program and not everyone that applies will qualify.
Rhode Island is one of the states that offer a state pharmaceutical assistance program to residents.
Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Elderly (RIPAE)
The Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Assistance Program is available for those that qualify. It’s a state pharmaceutical assistance program that’s available for those that live in the state. For more information, people can call 401-462-3000 or 401-462-0740.
Those that want to apply for this program should know the following requirements have to be met:
· Must be a Rhode Island resident
· Must be 65 years of age or older (or an adult receiving Social Security Disability payments)
· Cannot be eligible for Medicaid
· Must be enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan
· Individuals must fit the following income criteria for discounts:
o 60% Discount- individual incomes must be at or below $20,934 and married couples must have an income at or below $26,170
o 30% Discount- individual incomes must be at or below $26,279 and married couples must have an income at or below $32,851
o 15% Discount- individual incomes must be at or below $45,991 and married couples must have an income at or below $52,561
*further information can be received by talking to a program specialist
Where to Apply
Those that are interested in applying and meet the eligibility should contact:
Rhode Island Department of Elderly Affairs
Hazard Building, Second Floor
74 West Road
Cranston, RI. 02920
Benefits of the Program
Those that qualify for and are enrolled in the program will enjoy the following benefits:
*Those eligible should contact the program for a formulary of medications and supplements that are covered.
There are some people that may not qualify for this program. For those that don’t qualify but still need help, the Social Security Administration may be able to help. They offer a Low Income Subsidy Program to those that have trouble paying for their Medicare Part D prescription drug plans and those that have a low income.