The Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program will once again help more than 280,000 income-eligible seniors aged 65 and older to supplement their out-of-pocket Medicare Part D drug costs.
Previous cuts to the EPIC program eliminated this assistance for all seniors, except those in the Medicare ‘donut hole.’ Working with Governor Cuomo, Senator Kemp Hannon was able to restore $30 million to the program. The reinstated coverage just began January 1, 2013.
In order to receive EPIC benefits, members must be enrolled in a Medicare Part D drug plan. EPIC will provide eligible members with secondary coverage for Medicare Part D covered drugs once the Part D deductible is met, and will also cover many Medicare Part D excluded drugs. After members pay a fee or meet their EPIC deductible, they will only be responsible for a co-payment which will range from $3-$20. EPIC will continue to pay Medicare Part D plan premiums for members with an annual income below $23,000 if single or $29,000 if married.
EPIC will once again cover those medications not covered by Medicare Part D, such as prescription vitamins, and cough and cold meds.
EPIC operates a toll-free Helpline which is available from 8:30AM to 5:00PM, Monday through Friday. Seniors may call 1-800-332-3742 for more information or to request an application. Seniors can also request an application by writing to: EPIC; P.O. Box 15018; Albany, NY 12212-5018; or by E-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 to receive EPIC benefits and maintain coverage. The program is easy to join, and applications are available on-line. The application can be downloaded directly by going to this web address: www.health.ny.gov/forms/doh-3409.pdf.