New York State Sen. Terry Gipson (D-Dutchess, Putnam) announced the inclusion of $4.1 million in funding for the expansion of the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program in the 2014/2015 New York State Budget. This funding will increase the number of seniors aged 65 and over who will now be income-eligible for the program, which helps seniors supplement their out-of-pocket Medicare Part D drug plan costs.
“Reducing the cost of living for seniors in Dutchess and Putnam is one of my top priorities,” Gipson said. “The financial burden of out-of-control property taxes coupled with rising health costs have made it far too difficult for New York seniors to stay in their homes. The expansion of EPIC will help many more seniors afford their needed medications to ensure the quality of life that they deserve.”
The $4.1 million in funding will expand the income eligibility threshold from $35,000 to $75,000 for single seniors and from $50,000 to $100,000 for senior couples. Seniors can apply for EPIC at any time of the year and must be enrolled or eligible to be enrolled in a Medicare Part D drug plan.
EPIC provides secondary coverage for Medicare Part D and EPIC-covered drugs purchased after any Medicare Part D deductible is met. EPIC also covers approved Part D-excluded drugs once a member is enrolled in Part D.