Michigan Seniors Enroll in State’s Rx Program

Published October 1, 2001

Low-income seniors already enrolled in the state of Michigan’s prescription drug assistance programs will be given the first opportunity to sign up for a new one, says a state health official.

Members of the Michigan Emergency Pharmaceutical Program for Seniors (MEPPS) and the state’s Prescription Drug Tax Credit program will be the first to be eligible for year-round prescription drug coverage under the state’s new Elder Prescription Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program, according to James K. Haverman, director of the Michigan Department of Community Health.

“The benefits in the EPIC program are much broader than those currently available to seniors in need,” says Lynn Alexander, director of the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging.

The EPIC program will cover most prescription drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration, including insulin and syringes. According to Haverman, there will be a monthly co-payment based on an individual’s income. To be eligible, low-income seniors must not be enrolled in Medicaid. Seniors who are enrolled in Medicare are eligible as long as they do not have any other form of prescription drug coverage.

Seniors who have received MEPPS benefits in the current fiscal year and who also enroll in EPIC will begin receiving EPIC benefits on October 1.

The next group to be enrolled will be those who received the senior tax credit this tax year. According to Haverman, this group can expect to begin receiving enrollment information in the mail in October. Those who qualify from this second group will begin receiving EPIC benefits on December 1.

Open enrollment will follow and will be dependent on fund availability. EPIC will eventually be open to all seniors age 65 and over who aren’t enrolled in Medicaid and who meet income eligibility requirements.

Vicki Lankarge is a health insurance reporter for Insure.com The Consumer Guide.