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Medicare Part D costs could go up for New Jersey seniors

Monday, April 12th, 2010

New Jersey’s Health Commissioner today answered questions at an Assembly Budget Committee hearing. Democratic lawmakers are upset with the proposed increase in some prescription drug costs.

The Christie Administration’sĀ  budget plan would require senior citizensĀ  participating in the state’s discount drug program to pay a Medicare Part D deductible of $310 for their prescriptions, beginning January 1, 2010.
Assemblyman Gary Schaer says that will be tough for some seniors to afford.

Schaer: I can only imagine that those seniors who are living hand to mouth faced with $310 would probably not buy those drugs.”

State Health Commissioner Poonam Alaigh says the deductible is needed to maintain the discount drug program.

Alaigh: It aches us when we make these decisions but the reality of what’s happening in our budget and our fiscal crisis is there.

Democratic lawmakers are hoping ways can be found to avoid imposing those deductibles or develop plans to help senior citizens pay them.

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