SENATE RESOLUTION No. 75

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

212th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 18, 2006

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator BARBARA BUONO

District 18 (Middlesex)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Memorializes Congress and President to enact legislation to eliminate the prescription drug coverage gap (donut hole) in Medicare Part D.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


A Senate Resolution memorializing Congress and the President of the United States to enact legislation to eliminate the coverage gap in the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit.

 

Whereas, The United States Congress passed and the President signed into law the “Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of  2003” (MMA); and

Whereas, The MMA added a voluntary prescription drug benefit under Medicare Part D, beginning January 1, 2006, which is offered to Medicare beneficiaries; and

Whereas, To receive Medicare Part D benefits, a participating beneficiary with an income greater than 150% of the federal poverty level must enroll in a private prescription drug plan and pay a monthly premium, deductible, and copayment toward the cost of covered prescription drugs until the beneficiary’s total annual prescription drug costs reach $2,250; and

Whereas, At the point at which a beneficiary’s total annual drug costs reach $2,250, the MMA creates a $2,850 gap in coverage, which is known as the “donut hole”; and

Whereas, It is not until drug costs reach $5,100 in a year, the catastrophic threshold, that the participating Medicare beneficiary would again receive prescription drug coverage, this time paying a 5% copayment for covered prescription drugs; and

Whereas, The $2,850 “donut hole” means that many Medicare beneficiaries who reach $2,250 in prescription drug costs will continue to pay monthly premiums, but will not receive coverage for their prescription drugs, unless and until their total annual prescription drug costs reach the $5,100 catastrophic threshold; and

Whereas, Many participating beneficiaries who reach the “donut hole” will not reach the catastrophic threshold before the end of the year; and

Whereas, The MMA should be revised to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries who enroll in prescription drug plans and pay their premiums, deductibles and copayments continue to receive coverage for their covered prescription drugs, without a “donut hole” that contravenes the laudable goal of the MMA to provide prescription drugs to Medicare beneficiaries; and

Whereas, Those Medicare beneficiaries who took the initiative and acted responsibly, by purchasing prescription drug coverage as insurance against future, unknown prescription drug needs or to help defray the prescription drug costs of managing their current medical conditions, should not lose sorely needed prescription drug coverage because their annual prescription drug costs placed them in the “donut hole”; now, therefore,

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey:


     1.    This House respectfully memorializes the Congress of the United States to pass, and the President to sign into law, legislation that would revise the “Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003” (Pub.L.108-173), to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries who enroll in prescription drug plans and pay their premiums, deductibles and copayments continue to receive coverage for their covered prescription drugs without a gap in coverage, or “donut hole,” after annual prescription drug costs reach certain limits.

 

     2.    Duly authenticated copies of this resolution, signed by the President of the Senate and attested by the Secretary of the Senate, shall be transmitted to the presiding officers of the Congress of the United States, each member of New Jersey’s Congressional delegation, and the President of the United States.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This resolution respectfully memorializes the Congress of the United States to pass, and the President to sign into law, legislation that would revise the “Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003” (MMA) (Pub.L.108-173), to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries who enroll in prescription drug plans and pay their premiums, deductibles and copayments continue to receive coverage for their covered prescription drugs without a gap in coverage, or “donut hole,” after annual prescription drug costs reach certain limits.