Hello Advocates for a NC Prescription Drug Assistance Program:
This will be brief and to the point. The NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission voted to continue both NCRx and ChecKmeds for the next couple of years. We will know more details later. This is great news.
However – words of caution:
1) The final state budget has NOT been created and we may need to spring into action to actively protect the funds that remain in the Health and Wellness Trust Fund. Right now – as far as we know - things are okay.
2) The Commission did not vote to improve NCRx in the cost-effective ways we suggested (including all Medicare beneficiaries – not just those 65 and older – and improving the monthly benefit max. from $29 to $35/mo in premium assistance). However, we hope to advocate with the Commission on these issues in the coming months as these are investments with great returns.
We know there are major Medicare D adjustments coming down the pike for 2010 and beyond and we will try to keep you informed esp. as the issues relate to our SPAP (state pharmacy assistance program). As you may know NCRx and the AIDS Drug Assistance Program are NC’s TWO qualified SPAPs at this time. This means STATE investments qualify to “pull down” federal benefits to NC citizens!
We appreciate your patience and if you have helped with this – GREAT job. In fact, the work of the Advocates is highlighted in a new report (which focused mainly on Senior PharmAssist during the interview process) – from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. See http://www.ncrp.org/campaigns-research-policy/communities/gcip/gcip-in-north-carolina for more info. This report was released on Monday.