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Wilson Introduces Medicare Help for Dual-Eligible Seniors

Location: Washington, DC

Wilson Introduces Medicare Help for Dual-Eligible Seniors

Legislation Will Ensure Access to Former Medicaid Prescriptions

Washington, DC - Congresswoman Heather Wilson today introduced a bill to improve Medicare so that many of the seniors and disabled who need prescription help the most can get better assistance.

Many dual-eligible seniors or disabled should continue to receive the same prescription help they had under their previous Medicaid assistance. Wilson's bill would ensure that these Americans, those receiving Medicare who are also eligible for Medicaid, can receive the same prescription drugs under the new Medicare prescription plan that they received previously through Medicaid with no bureaucratic barriers.

"These are some of our seniors and disabled who need this help the most," Wilson said. "The Medicare plan gives much-needed help to New Mexico seniors, but this is a problem we've discovered that needs to be corrected. My bill would make sure that these New Mexicans get the medicines already prescribed for them, no questions asked."

Under the new Medicare prescription drug benefit, the drug coverage for these seniors and disabled was transferred from Medicaid to Medicare, and they were automatically enrolled in a plan that in some cases may not cover all the drugs they had previously, or the coverage is subject to new quantity and dosage limitations. Medicaid patients have been going through appeals processes and medication changes to keep prescription drugs that already work for them. This legislation would ensure that low-income seniors and the disabled have access to the same drugs, at the same strength and quantity, as they did on December 31, 2005.

"This program needs to be accountable," Wilson said. "This important change would improve the Medicare prescription drug benefit program. A new program of this size may need more legislative changes, and as we discover needs like this one, I'll continue to work to make those improvements."

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