Update On Status Of MORx In Missouri Legislature

With just days to go in this year’s legislative session, proposals regarding the MORx prescription drug assistance program are still being debated. Here’s a short synopsis of where various proposals stand as of May 1.

Mo Rx Prescription Drug Program

  • HB 1110 (Representative Wood) would eliminate MO Rx eligibility for seniors on Medicare only; only those who are dual eligible (Medicaid and Medicare) would be eligible.
  • This recommendation is also included in the House and Senate Budget.
  • If MO Rx is changed to cover only dual eligible (those on Medicaid and Medicare) 60,000 seniors on Medicare will lose their assistance.
  • This will likely result in chronic conditions worsening until they become acute and these seniors end up in a nursing home; OR they will try to pay for their Rx and spend themselves into Medicaid.
  • Ma4 opposes this bill and opposes this in the proposed Budget.
  • In addition ma4 supports extending the Mo Rx program, as it sunsets this August. SB 423 (Senator Sater) removes the termination date for the program.

Why The MORx Program Is So Important To Seniors

MO Rx because is vital in providing medication access to 240,000 eligible seniors and individuals with disabilities in Missouri.

MO Rx does this by paying 50% of out-of-pocket costs for medications that are covered by a senior’s Medicare Part D plan, including the cost of the deductible and co-payments.

Moreover, MO Rx continues to provide benefits when seniors are in the Medicare Part D coverage gap, also known as the “donut hole.”

To qualify for MO Rx: must be a Missouri resident; enrolled in a Medicare Part D Plan and single — with an annual gross household income of $21,660 or less or married — with an annual income of $29,140 or less.

The Area Agencies on Aging work to help keep seniors healthy and independent and able to live in their communities for as long as possible. Proper medication management is key to this, as it helps seniors manage their chronic illnesses. This, in turn, reduces the cost to the state for nursing home care and for other services.

It is estimated 12% of nursing home admissions and 10% of hospital admissions are due to medication non-compliance.

While seniors comprise 13% of the US population they utilize more than 25% of all prescription drugs. One in five (5) elderly takes at least five (5) prescriptions per day. So this program is vital to this population.

 

  • MO Rx protects Missouri’s seniors from having to make a choice between filling their prescriptions or buying food or other necessities.

 

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