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Tuesday - May 22, 2018 3:30 am

10-year waiver would keep Seniorcare alive in Wisconsin

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While President Donald Trump has rolled out a plan he says will lower prescription drug costs, advocates are pushing for a renewal of a program to help seniors pay for drugs now.

The state's seeking a 10-year fed waiver that will allow the popular Seniorcare program to continue.

Critics contend the program duplicates what's in the federal Medicare Part D program. But the AARP's Helen Marks Dicks says the two can be complementary.

"It's supplements Part D," she said. "For some people it gives a better benefit. For some people it's less costly."

About 92,000 seniors in Wisconsin are currently enrolled in Seniorcare, lowering the costs of drugs to $5 co-pays for generic drugs and $15 co-pays for name brands.

Marks Dicks says Seniorcare has survived and thrived even after the federal Medicare Part D program was passed 15 years ago.

"When that happen, many of the states stopped their state specific drug program because they thought people should go to Part D," she said.

Comments on Wisconsin seeking a federal waiver will be taken until June 7.

Mitch Reynolds

Mitch Reynolds is the News Director at Midwest Family Broadcasting. He covers the internecine agonies of La Crosse city hall. He really likes basketball.

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