Alberta Improves Seniors' Drug Plan
The province has revised the proposed seniors’ drug plan to ensure it meets the government’s objectives of providing drug coverage that is affordable and predictable and supports those seniors who need it most. Under the revised drug plan, the government continues to pay about 80 per cent of the costs of seniors’ drugs.
“Earlier this year, our government made a commitment to review the proposed seniors’ drug plan in response to feedback received from Albertans,” said Health and Wellness Minister Ron Liepert. “We listened to seniors and responded to their concerns.”
The revised plan provides Alberta seniors with predictable premium and co-payment costs.  Lower income seniors, nearly 60 per cent, will either receive free prescription drugs or pay less than they do today.
Under the plan, approximately seven per cent of low-income seniors will receive free prescription drugs; they will not pay a co-payment or a premium. Another 49 per cent of seniors will pay a reduced co-payment, but not a premium. Higher income seniors will pay the co-payment and a monthly premium.
* No co-payment, no monthly premium: A single senior with a taxable income of $12,000 or less and a senior family with a combined taxable income of $24,000 or less will receive free prescription drugs.
* Co-payment only: A single senior with a taxable income of $12,001 to $24,000 and a senior family with a combined taxable income of $24,001 to $48,000 will pay 20 per cent of each prescription’s cost up to a maximum of $15.
* Co-payment and monthly premium: A single senior with a taxable income of $24,001 or more and a senior family with a combined taxable income of $48,001 or more will pay the co-payment plus a monthly premium based on their taxable income.
The plan will become effective on July 1, 2010. The plan is optional; seniors are not required to participate. A three-month waiting period will apply to seniors who choose to participate at a later date.
“Our government is changing seniors’ drug coverage so that seniors have access to an affordable and predictable plan for purchasing their drugs,” Liepert added. “Our focus is on supporting low-income seniors, those who most need our assistance.”