Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seniors' drug plan unveiled

From the Edmonton Journal:
Low-income seniors in Alberta will be paying less and in some cases nothing for prescriptions under a new pharmaceutical plan that will also hike drug costs for high-income seniors and triple the premiums for those on Blue Cross.

"I think it's a good idea," said Patricia O'Reilly, a volunteer at the Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton. She and her husband have an income lower than $42,650, so they won't have to pay for drugs under the new pharmaceutical strategy, which kicks in January 2010.

Currently, seniors have to pay 30 per cent of their prescriptions up to $25 for each drug, no matter what their income. A senior on 10 different drugs, for instance, would be paying $250 or less, depending on the cost of the medications.

Under the new regime, couples earning less than $42,650 and singles earning less than $21,325 won't have to pay anything.

The new program will save O'Reilly, 66, between $45 and $50 each month. "Sometimes, it's a bit tough with the cost of living," she said. "Everything else goes up. I will definitely benefit from it." ...more

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