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PO Box 360
Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

For Release:
June 07, 2004

Clifton R. Lacy, M.D.

For Further Information Contact:
Donna Leusner
(609) 984-7160

PAAD Beneficiaries Begin Receiving New Medicare-Approved Drug Discount Card


            TRENTON -- Nearly 81,000 beneficiaries in the state’s Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled Program (PAAD) will receive their new Medicare-approved drug discount card in the mail within a week.

                The new red, white and blue card has both the PAAD state seal and the logo of Medco’s Preferred Prescription Discount Card Program, the Medicare-endorsed vendor chosen by the state to provide federal benefits to eligible PAAD participants.  The new card will enable PAAD participants to take advantage of both all the federal Medicare benefits to which they’re entitled and all the same PAAD benefits they are currently receiving. 

                Once PAAD participants receive the card, they may begin to use it at their retail pharmacies immediately.

                “Many people in PAAD are taking medications on a maintenance basis.  PAAD beneficiaries should remember to take their new card with them the next time they pick up their refills, or give the card to a family member or other person who picks up prescriptions for them,” said Kathleen Mason, assistant commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

                 “If it is convenient for them to do so, PAAD members may choose to bring the new card to pharmacies before they need their next prescription.  Pharmacists can record the new discount card information in advance and PAAD beneficiaries can avoid any delay in picking up prescriptions in the future,” added Clifton R. Lacy, M.D., New Jersey Commissioner of Health and Senior Services.     

                PAAD will require pharmacists to submit prescription claims to the Medco Preferred Prescription Discount Card Program, then bill PAAD for any costs not covered by the Medicare-approved discount card.  The federal program is expected to save the state about $90 million in state fiscal year 2005, which begins July 1, 2004.

                Beneficiaries will continue to pay no more than the $5 co-pay for all PAAD-covered prescriptions.

                The approximately 81,000 PAAD participants who will receive new cards are single individuals with incomes below $12,569 and married individuals with incomes below $16,862 who are enrolled in Medicare.  They are eligible for the $600 annual federal benefit, called Transitional Assistance, in addition to PAAD. Senior Gold beneficiaries and PAAD participants with incomes over these levels are not eligible for Transitional Assistance and will not be automatically enrolled by the state in a Medicare Discount Card Program.  This group will continue to use only their PAAD/Senior Gold benefits.

                For more information about PAAD and the Medco Preferred Prescription Discount Card Program, call the PAAD hotline at 1-800-792-9745.

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