|FOOD STAMP POLICY FOR MEDICARE PRESCRIPTION DRUG CARDS|
| 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.
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.
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.