New prescription for senior drugs

Wisconsin State Roundup

Published July 1, 2007  | July 2007 issue

Earlier this year, Wisconsin seniors were aghast at the possibility of losing prescription drug coverage under SeniorCare, the only state-based program in the country for prescription drugs.

The program used federal and state funds, along with state leverage in drug purchasing, to provide drug coverage to about 102,000 low-income seniors. With the start-up of Medicare Part D, a federal prescription drug program, federal officials ordered Wisconsin to terminate the program because the state could not prove that its program was less expensive than the federal option.

SeniorCare is being allowed to operate through the end of the year, and the state has already developed a replacement plan it says is even better for residents. Dubbed WisconsinCare, the new program will take effect next year and cover a significant portion of out-of-pocket costs in Medicare Part D drug coverage.

Ronald A. Wirtz