SENATE, No. 2549

 

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

 

211th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 19, 2005

 

 

Sponsored by:

Senator ROBERT W. SINGER

District 30 (Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean)

Senator ANDREW R. CIESLA

District 10 (Monmouth and Ocean)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

    Establishes "Pharmaceutical Assistance Savings for Senior Services Fund" and specifies use of savings to State from Medicare Part D.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

    As introduced.

 


An Act expanding services for senior citizens and supplementing Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.

 

    Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

    1. The amount of any savings to the State in the cost of providing prescription drug coverage through the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled program, P.L.1975, c.194 (C.30:4D-20 et seq.), and the Senior Gold Prescription Discount Program, P.L.2001, c.96 (C.30:4D-43 et seq.), which is due to the implementation of the "Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003," Pub. L.108-173, including savings realized in 2004 and 2005 from the $600 credit for which certain Medicare beneficiaries are eligible and savings realized in 2006 and each year thereafter from the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, shall be deposited in the "Pharmaceutical Assistance Savings for Senior Services Fund" established pursuant to section 2 of this act.

 

    2. There is established the "Pharmaceutical Assistance Savings for Senior Services Fund" in the Department of Health and Senior Services.

    a. The fund shall be a nonlapsing fund and shall be comprised of monies deposited pursuant to section 1 of this act, and any interest earned on monies in the fund. The fund shall be administered by the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services.

    b. The monies deposited in the fund shall be dedicated for use by the State for the purpose of expanding services for senior citizens 65 years of age or older, by providing:

    (1) quality home and community-based long-term care and services that are provided efficiently and effectively to senior citizens, including, but not limited to: respite care, training and other services that assist caregivers; homemaker services; home-delivered meals; personal care; legal services; case management; transportation; environmental accessibility adaptations to senior citizens' residences; special medical equipment and supplies; and other services that the commissioner deems appropriate to enable senior citizens to age with dignity in the community; and

    (2) grants to county offices on aging to provide services and programs to improve the quality of life of senior citizens residing in the community.

 

    3. a. The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services shall determine the extent to which monies are available to provide expanded services, in accordance with section 2 of this act, based on the amount of savings deposited in the "Pharmaceutical Assistance Savings for Senior Services Fund," and the amount anticipated to be deposited in future years. The commissioner shall report his findings and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature by January 1, 2006.

    b. The commissioner shall report to the Governor and the Legislature by July 1, 2006 on the status of the fund, and the actions the commissioner has taken to maximize savings to the State through coordination of the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled program and Senior Gold Prescription Discount Program with Medicare Part D benefits.

 

    4. This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

    This bill establishes, in the Department of Health and Senior Services, the "Pharmaceutical Assistance Savings for Senior Services Fund" to ensure that any savings the State realizes in the cost of providing prescription drug coverage, due to the implementation of the federal Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, is used for the purpose of expanding home and community-based services for senior citizens.

    Under the provisions of the bill, savings to the State pharmaceutical assistance programs (the Pharmaceutical Assistance to the Aged and Disabled program and the Senior Gold Prescription Discount Program) that are due to the implementation of the "Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003," including savings realized in 2004 and 2005 from the $600 credit for which certain Medicare beneficiaries are eligible and savings realized in 2006 and each year thereafter from the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, would be deposited in the fund.

     The monies deposited in the fund would be dedicated for use by the department for the purpose of expanding services for senior citizens by providing:

   quality home and community-based long-term care and services that are provided efficiently and effectively to senior citizens, including, but not limited to: respite care, training and other services that assist caregivers; homemaker services; home-delivered meals; personal care; legal services; case management; transportation; environmental accessibility adaptations to senior citizens' residences; special medical equipment and supplies; and

    other services that the commissioner deems appropriate to enable     senior citizens to age with dignity in the community; and

   grants to county offices on aging to provide services and programs to improve the quality of life of senior citizens residing in the community.

    The bill requires the Commissioner of Health and Senior Services to determine the extent to which monies are available to provide these expanded senior services, based on the amount of savings deposited in the fund and the amount anticipated to be deposited in future years. The commissioner is required to report his findings and recommendations to the Governor and Legislature by January 1, 2006.

    In addition, the commissioner must report to the Governor and the Legislature by July 1, 2006 on the status of the fund, and the actions the commissioner has taken to maximize savings to the State through coordination of the State pharmaceutical assistance programs with Medicare Part D benefits.