2013-01-30 / Front Page

Addabbo Brings ‘EPIC Changes’ To Ozone Park

State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. is co-sponsoring a “Changes to EPIC”  lecture at 1 p.m. on February 7 at Nativity BVM/St. Stan’s Senior Center, 101-41  91st Street, with New York State Department of Health Medicare-EPIC program representative Gema Diaz.  The series began last summer and continued through October 2012 at senior centers around the senator’s district and covers the changes to New York’s Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) prescription drug program, now that the 2012-13 state budget restored $30.6 million. This will reinstate co-payment assistance for almost 300,000 EPIC enrollees, thereby returning the EPIC program to two plans again.
One year ago, more than a quarter of a million seniors all over New York state were affected by major cuts to New York’s EPIC  prescription drug program. Consequently, EPIC provided prescription drug coverage only after a member fell into the Medicare prescription coverage gap (the doughnut hole) when the total drug costs for an individual reached $2,930.
Currently, seniors enrolled in the EPIC program are forced to pay 25 percent of the cost of each prescription drug. With the co-payment assistance restored, enrollees will return to paying no more than a $20 co-payment for each prescription.
All EPIC members will be notified by letter of the changes and how they will be affected. Eligibility requirements remain the same: New York state resident, 65 or older, with income up to $35,000 single or $50,000 married. Applicants cannot be receiving full Medicaid benefits but may have a Medicaid spend-down. If a member cancels their Medicare Part D coverage, they will not receive any benefits from EPIC and coverage may be canceled.
For more information, call either of Addabbo’s two district offices, at Howard Beach 718-738-1111, or Middle Village 718-497-1630.

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