2004 Memorandums
IM-89      09/13/04
As discussed in Memorandum IM-#42, dated May 11, 2004, Medicare implemented a Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card and Transitional Assistance program effective June 1. Persons entitled to Medicare Part A or enrolled in Part B may apply for a Medicare Approved card that provides discounts for some drugs. Additionally, such persons with income under 135% of poverty can apply for a $600 subsidy per year in prescription drug transitional assistance for 2004 and 2005. The law creating the program requires that no food stamp applicant or participant who uses the drug discount card will lose food stamp benefits. Based on the options provided for implementing this policy, we selected the option that most closely parallels current policy for budgeting prescription expenses. In order to select this option, casework staff must obtain the verification of the prescription expenses so it doesn't discourage an individual from applying and to ensure program accessibility.

Prescription Policy

Effective September 1, 2004, for food stamp recipients who have the Medicare drug discount card, continue to allow the full amount of the cost of prescription drugs when determining the food stamp medical expense.

  • During the interactive interview, ask each EU with elderly or disabled members if they participate in the Medicare Prescription Drug Discount Card and Transitional Assistance Program.
  • Pend the application for verification of the full prescription expense but do not require the EU to provide verification.
  • FSD staff are responsible for verifying the expense. For verifying these non-discounted costs, the policy at 1102.005.00 stating that the household has primary responsibility for providing documentary evidence does not apply.
  • The EU is required only to provide information regarding participation in the Medicare Prescription Discount Card program, an adequate description of the prescriptions, and the pharmacy where the prescription is filled.
  • Budget the full amount of the prescription. This would be the amount the prescription would normally cost an individual who does not have Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance plans with no discounts applied. The full cost of prescriptions may already be listed on pharmacy receipts or printouts provided by the EU. Enter the verified full amount(s) on the FAMIS Medical Expense (FMXA) screen using expense type code RX.
  • All delays in obtaining verification of the full cost of the prescriptions are agency delays.

Restored/Supplemental Benefits

This policy is retroactive to June 1, 2004. EUs with elderly or disabled members certified between June 1 and September 1 may be owed additional benefits, if the lower prescription costs were budgeted. Issue restored benefits through WIBCA for June, July, and August if food stamp benefits were calculated using reduced drug costs. When the correct drug costs are entered for September, FAMIS will issue supplemental benefits if necessary.

  • Review this memorandum with appropriate staff.