MADISON, WISCONSIN – The fact that the nation’s most innovative and cost-effective state prescription drug savings program for seniors will be extended by at least another decade is great news for Wisconsin, according to AARP Wisconsin State Director Sam Wilson.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has notified the Department of Health Services (DHS) that it approved a 10-year extension for the SeniorCare prescription drug program. The news comes just after CMS announced it was granting a temporary extension through the month of April.

SeniorCare helps about 60,000 Wisconsinites age 65-plus with their prescription drug costs. The current waiver that allows Wisconsin to offer SeniorCare as a creditable alternative to Medicare Part D, was set to expire.

“This announcement signifies a long-term commitment to provide choice and savings to Wisconsin seniors for their prescription drug needs,” Wilson said. “Our members and volunteers have spent years getting the message across loud and clear to lawmakers that SeniorCare needs to continue. We strongly supported the move toward permanency and are pleased that the federal government also recognized the value SeniorCare provides.

By any measure, Wilson said, SeniorCare is a win-win program for Wisconsin and its participants. The costs of the program are largely managed by the state’s ability to negotiate discounts and pricing as well as through services like medication therapy management to ensure proper utilization and safety.

Enrollees pay an annual $30 fee and deductibles are based on their average income. After the deductible, SeniorCare has a co-pay of $5 for generic drugs and $15 for name-brand drugs.

“A big part of SeniorCare’s popularity also stems from the fact that it’s easy to understand and enroll in for participants,” Wilson said. “Sometimes the biggest hurdle for folks is to understand how to get the assistance they need.

“With SeniorCare, Wisconsin has set the bar high for not only creating a very accessible program for seniors, but one that is also an extraordinarily cost-effective use of taxpayer dollars.

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