Gov. Jay Nixon today called on the General Assembly to reauthorize Missouri Rx, the state program that provides prescription drug assistance to low-income seniors and individuals with disabilities, for five more years. Without reauthorization, the program would expire on Aug. 28, 2011.
"For hundreds of thousands of Missouri seniors and those with disabilities, Missouri Rx is a lifeline," Gov. Nixon said. "Seniors and individuals with disabilities shouldn't be forced to choose between purchasing essential medications and putting food on the table. Missouri Rx dramatically lowers the cost of prescription drugs for seniors and those with disabilities, and helps Missourians make ends meet. I call on the General Assembly to support Missouri's seniors and those with disabilities by reauthorizing this critical program."
Established in 2006, when Medicare Part D took effect, Missouri Rx works with Part D plans to lower the out-of-pocket expenses eligible seniors and individuals with disabilities pay for prescription drugs. The program pays 50 percent of all out-of-pocket costs for medications that are covered by a senior's Medicare Part D plan, including the cost of the deductible and co-payments. Missouri Rx continues to provide benefits when seniors are in the Medicare Part D coverage gap, also known as the "donut hole." There is no enrollment fee, premium or deductible to join Missouri Rx.
Missouri Rx is open to Missouri residents who are enrolled in a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan and who meet income-eligibility limits. To be eligible for the program, an individual senior's annual gross income cannot exceed $21,660. For married couples, the annual income limit is $29,140. Elderly and disabled Missourians enrolled in MO HealthNet are automatically enrolled in Missouri Rx.
As of April, almost 207,000 Missourians were enrolled in the program.
Gov. Nixon announced today that State Rep. Tishaura Jones (D-St. Louis) and State Sen. Jolie Justus (D-Kansas City) will sponsor legislation to reauthorize Missouri Rx for five more years.
"Caring for our seniors and those with disabilities is one of our most important responsibilities," Rep. Jones said. "I look forward to working with Gov. Nixon and Sen. Justus to pass this important legislation for all of Missouri's seniors."
"Missouri Rx makes a tremendous difference for seniors in every corner of Missouri, and it's critical that we continue this effective program," Sen. Justus said. "Reauthorizing Missouri Rx must be a priority this session."