The average senior citizen spends more than $1,700 per year on prescription drugs. And despite this group’s typical dependence on limited and/or fixed incomes, a great deal of that medication is paid out of pocket. Adding to this burden, the number of prescriptions and cost per prescription has increased dramatically in recent years, forcing many seniors to choose between their basic necessities such as food and housing or taking the medications they truly need.
In light of the federal government’s failure to provide seniors with prescription drug coverage under the Medicare Program during the 1990’s, more than half of the states developed their own programs to respond to this critical issue. Recognizing the acute need for prescription assistance by North Carolina senior citizens, HWTF created Senior Care as a bridge to help the state’s vulnerable seniors who lacked prescription drug coverage until the day when the Medicare Part D drug benefit would be implemented. Funded over three years, Senior Care started providing benefits to NC seniors on November 1, 2002 and ended services on December 31, 2005. HWTF continued its commitment to our needy seniors even after the launch of the Medicare Part D benefit on January 1, 2007 by creating NCRx, a new premium assistance plan to help low-income seniors participate in the Medicare prescription drug program.
HWTF Solution (program description)
NCRx is Governor Easley’s prescription drug assistance plan to help low-income seniors participate in the federal Medicare Part D prescription drug program. NCRx is available to low-income seniors who meet the eligibility requirements. The program pays up to $29 toward monthly premiums for Medicare Prescription Drug Plans that work with NCRx.