“While the economy is starting to rebound, many New Yorkers are still struggling, particularly the most vulnerable among us,” said Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside). “Seniors especially need our help in these tough economic times. That’s why I helped pass a restoration of co-payment assistance for EPIC enrollees in the 2012-13 budget (A.9056-D).
“From the first day I took office, my elderly constituents have informed me about the importance of the EPIC program. This is why I fought to restore the funding that was cut due to last year’s $10 billion budget deficit. Elderly New Yorkers living on a fixed income should never have to worry about being able to afford the medication they need to survive and I will continue fighting to make sure they get their fair share of services.
“The budget provides $30.6 million to support the restoration of co-payment assistance that was eliminated on Jan. 1, 2012. This allows EPIC enrollees to pay no more than $20 as a co-pay when filling a prescription. Currently, seniors may have to make co-payments as high as 25 percent of the cost of the drug, a huge burden.
“EPIC helps low-and moderate-income seniors pay for medication costs that are not covered by Medicare. Seniors will see a savings starting in January 2013 when they once again pay between $3 and $20 for each prescription.
“We were also able to restore drug co-payment assistance for the many unfortunate seniors with very high prescription costs, more than $6,600 per year. These seniors are currently required to pay 5 percent of their drug costs, which can be a substantial burden for individuals on a fixed income. The budget also caps co-payments for these seniors at $20.”