National and Iowa Assisted Living Organizations Praise Senator Tom Harkin for Supporting Bill that Seeks to Eliminate Part D Co-Pays
Washington, D.C. – The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) and the Iowa Center for Assisted Living today praised Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) for cosponsoring the Senate’s Home and Community Services Copayment Equity Act of 2007 (S 1107). This legislation would provide dual eligibles—those covered by both Medicare and Medicaid—living in our nation’s assisted living residences and other home- and community-based settings (HCBS) the same co-pay coverage under Medicare Part D as those residing in nursing facilities.
“NCAL thanks Sen. Harkin for his support on an issue that is critically important to low-income, elderly, assisted living residents in Iowa and our nation,” said David Kyllo, executive director of NCAL and a native Iowan. “NCAL is actively pursuing this policy solution because these seniors often require the same number of prescriptions as seniors in nursing facilities. Yet this group of low-income assisted living residents is often unable to afford their copayments and therefore may be denied access to these crucial medicines.”
Dual eligible assisted living residents on average take eight to ten medications. With Part D drug copayments ranging from one to more than five dollars, their expenditures can quickly add up and exceed a resident’s monthly personal allowance under state Medicaid plans.
“The passage of the Medicare Part D Home and Community Services Copayment Equity Act of 2007 (S 1107) would ensure that all residents receive their needed medications,” stated Cindy Baddeloo of the Iowa Center for Assisted Living. “Sen. Harkin’s support will help ensure Iowan’s have affordable access to the medications they need.”
NCAL organized a coalition of more than 35 national organizations representing consumers, geriatric care professionals, health care and long term care providers, pharmacists, and state officials to work together to remedy this gap in prescription coverage for low-income seniors.
The National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) represents more than 2,700 not-for-profit and proprietary assisted living and residential care communities dedicated to continuous improvement in the delivery of professional compassionate care and services for the elderly and disabled. NCAL is the assisted living voice of the American Health Care Association.