74.09.611  <<  74.09.650 >>   74.09.653

Prescription drug assistance program.

(1) To the extent funds are appropriated specifically for this purpose, and subject to any conditions placed on appropriations made for this purpose, the department shall design a medicaid prescription drug assistance program. Neither the benefits of, nor eligibility for, the program is considered to be an entitlement.
(2) The department shall request any federal waiver necessary to implement this program. Consistent with federal waiver conditions, the department may charge enrollment fees, premiums, or point-of-service cost-sharing to program enrollees.
(3) Eligibility for this program is limited to persons:
(a) Who are eligible for medicare or age sixty-five and older;
(b) Whose family income does not exceed two hundred percent of the federal poverty level as adjusted for family size and determined annually by the federal department of health and human services;
(c) Who lack insurance that provides prescription drug coverage; and
(d) Who are not otherwise eligible under Title XIX of the federal social security act.
(4) The department shall use a cost-effective prescription drug benefit design. Consistent with federal waiver conditions, this benefit design may be different than the benefit design offered under the medical assistance program. The benefit design may include a deductible benefit that provides coverage when enrollees incur higher prescription drug costs as defined by the department. The department also may offer more than one benefit design.
(5) The department shall limit enrollment of persons who qualify for the program so as to prevent an overexpenditure of appropriations for this program or to assure necessary compliance with federal waiver budget neutrality requirements. The department may not reduce existing medical assistance program eligibility or benefits to assure compliance with federal waiver budget neutrality requirements.
(6) Premiums paid by medicaid enrollees not in the medicaid prescription drug assistance program may not be used to finance the medicaid prescription drug assistance program.
(7) This program will be terminated within twelve months after implementation of a prescription drug benefit under Title XVIII of the federal social security act.
(8) The department shall provide recommendations to the appropriate committees of the senate and house of representatives by November 15, 2003, on financing options available to support the medicaid prescription drug assistance program. In recommending financing options, the department shall explore every opportunity to maximize federal funding to support the program.

NOTES:

FindingIntent2003 1st sp.s. c 29: "The legislature finds that prescription drugs are an effective and important part of efforts to maintain and improve the health of Washington state residents. However, their increased cost and utilization is straining the resources of many state health care programs, and is particularly hard on low-income elderly people who lack insurance coverage for such drugs. Furthermore, inappropriate use of prescription drugs can result in unnecessary expenditures and lead to serious health consequences. It is therefore the intent of the legislature to support the establishment by the state of an evidence-based prescription drug program that identifies preferred drugs, develop programs to provide prescription drugs at an affordable price to those in need, and increase public awareness regarding their safe and cost-effective use." [ 2003 1st sp.s. c 29 § 1.]
Severability2003 1st sp.s. c 29: "If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 2003 1st sp.s. c 29 § 14.]
Conflict with federal requirements2003 1st sp.s. c 29: "If any part of this act is found to be in conflict with federal requirements that are a prescribed condition to the allocation of federal funds to the state, the conflicting part of this act is inoperative solely to the extent of the conflict and with respect to the agencies directly affected, and this finding does not affect the operation of the remainder of this act in its application to the agencies concerned. Rules adopted under this act must meet federal requirements that are a necessary condition to the receipt of federal funds by the state." [ 2003 1st sp.s. c 29 § 15.]
Effective date2003 1st sp.s. c 29: "This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and takes effect immediately [June 26, 2003]." [ 2003 1st sp.s. c 29 § 16.]
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