Ryan Announces Vital EPIC Co-Payment Assistance Restored in State Budget

March 30, 2012

Prescription Assistance under EPIC Had Been Eliminated in January

Costs of Prescriptions for EPIC Enrollees Will Now be Capped at $20

Ryan: Restored Funding Will Remove a Major Burden for New York’s Seniors

New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan today announced that as part of the budget agreement this is being voted on today, millions of dollars in vital funding for the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage Program has been restored. The budget provides $30.6 million to support the restoration of co-payment assistance that was eliminated on January 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 savings in the new year when they once again pay between $3 and $20 for each prescription.

“While the economy is starting to rebound, many Western New Yorkers are still struggling, particularly the most vulnerable among us,” said Assemblyman Ryan. “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. 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 those on a fixed income. The budget also caps co-payments for these seniors at $20.”