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State discontinues program that helps pay for Medicare prescriptions

State officials are discontinuing a program that helps low-income seniors pay for Medicare prescriptions.

The Department of Human Services announced Thursday that effective July 1 the department will no longer subsidize Medicare Part D co-payments under the program called the State Pharmacy Assistance Program, or SPAP.

The program began in 2007, with the state planning to cover its costs through a special fund. But officials say money was never allocated to the fund.

The agency says the program cost $1.5 million in fiscal year 2010 for more about 21,500 regular users. The average user had monthly co-payments of about $6.

About 43,500 eligible Hawaii residents are enrolled in the program.

 

Nursing facility patients with stays exceeding 30 days and individuals receiving home and community-based services are not required to make co-payments. 

 

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