Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
May 6, 2002
R. Lacy, M.D.
Further Information Contact:
Laura Otterbourg or Dennis McGowan
his commitment to protecting one of the things that matter most
to those in need, Governor James E. McGreevey has proposed a $75
million increase in the next fiscal year budget for the PAAD program
to address increases in costs for the program and to potentially
allow 15,000 more low-income seniors and persons with disabilities
to purchase needed medications at discount prices.
"The increase in funding for PAAD will help more seniors pay
for medications," said Governor McGreevey. "Seniors should
not be forced to choose between buying expensive medication and
paying for food or other vital needs. Even in these tough fiscal
times, we are committed to protecting this program, which is essential
to the economic well-being of our seniors and disabled citizens."
Meanwhile middle-income seniors and persons with disabilities can
also continue to be enrolled in the Senior Gold prescription drug
benefit program, said the Governor. Senior Gold can be funded with
$12.8 million less in this upcoming fiscal year than in the previous
year because of the program's slow but steady enrollment experience.
While currently 27,500 beneficiaries are enrolled in Senior Gold,
there are nearly 200,000 PAAD recipients.
"Together, these programs establish New Jersey as a national
leader in providing pharmaceutical assistance to low income seniors
and people with disabilities," said Commissioner of Health
and Senior Services Clifton R. Lacy, M.D. "The Governor's proposed
budget will allow more state residents to benefit from these two
programs, enabling New Jersey's older adults to live healthy and
independent lives without spending their retirement savings on costly
Governor McGreevey's proposed budget targets shifts some PAAD costs
to Medicaid and will save the State $148 million. But the transition
of PAAD beneficiaries to the Medicaid "Pharmacy Plus"
waiver would be seamless to beneficiaries and the pharmacy community.
To qualify for PAAD, eligible seniors and disabled residents must
have an annual income that is less than $19,739 if single, or $24,203
if married. PAAD cardholders pay $5 for each covered prescription.
Gold cardholders have incomes up to $10,000 above the PAAD limits
and pay $15 plus 50 percent of the remaining cost for each covered
prescription. Once Senior Gold cardholders reach annual out-of-pocket
expenses exceeding $2,000 for single persons and $3,000 for married
couples, they only pay $15 per prescription.
Besides prescription drugs, PAAD and Senior Gold help eligible New
Jersey residents pay for insulin, insulin needles, certain diabetic
testing materials and syringes and needles for injectable medicines
used for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. Only drugs approved
by the Food and Drug Administration are covered.
For more information on PAAD and Senior Gold, visit the Department
web site at www.state.nj.us/health.