Great news for seniors in Wisconsin: SeniorCare has been extended to 2012. President Obama and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius officially granted the extension last month after reviewing the program.
SeniorCare is a true success story. The program, which has provided comprehensive prescription drug coverage to thousands of Wisconsin seniors since 2002, is funded with state and federal dollars. Wisconsin must get a waiver from the federal government to operate SeniorCare. Without that waiver, seniors would be forced to transition to Medicaid Part D. But thanks to an effort involving Senators Kohl and Feingold, Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation, the Governor, and state lawmakers from both parties, seniors can continue to get the medications they need at a reasonable price.
SeniorCare is an affordable alternative to Medicare Part D. The annual federal cost per enrollee for SeniorCare is $588, much lower than the average $1,690 cost for a Part D beneficiary. This difference accounts for an annual savings to taxpayers and the federal government of more than $90 million dollars.
SeniorCare also allows the state of Wisconsin to leverage additional savings because it can negotiate the lowest prices for prescription drugs.
SeniorCare has a $30 annual enrollment fee, an income-based deductible and co-payments of $5 for generic drugs or $15 for brand drugs.
To be eligible, a senior:
- Must be a Wisconsin resident.
- Must be 65 years of age or older.
- Must pay a $30 annual enrollment fee per person.
- Only income is measured. Assets, such as bank accounts, insurance policies, home property, etc., are not counted.
For SeniorCare information, call the SeniorCare hotline at (800) 657-2038 or go to http://dhs.wisconsin.gov/seniorcare/.
Note to seniors in Milwaukee County: You have a great resource available to you. SeniorLAW provides free benefits assistance to Milwaukee County residents aged 60 and older. SeniorLAW can help you if you are having problems with public benefits such as Medicare, Medical Assistance, Long Term Care, Social Security, SSI, Food Stamps, Subsidized Housing, or Homestead Credit. SeniorLAW is located at 230 W. Wells Street, Room 800, or can be reached at 414-278-1222.