(December 12, 2019 – Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Menéndez (D-NJ) introduced The Territories Medicare Prescription Drug Assistance Equity Act of 2019, which would make Puerto Rico’s low-income Medicare beneficiaries eligible for Medicare Part D subsidies. Puerto Rico and other U.S. territories are currently ineligible for the Medicare Part D low-income subsidies; however, the Island receives a fixed amount of federal grant funding called the “Enhanced Allotment Program” to provide low-income Medicare beneficiaries with prescription drug assistance.
This Enhanced Allotment Program receives about $59 million annually, but the Puerto Rican government is required to contribute nearly half of the funding for any prescription drug assistance. Due to this matching requirement, Puerto Rico has only been able to use an average of 51 percent of this funding. Senator Menéndez’s legislation would aid low-income seniors in Puerto Rico who struggle to cover their prescription drug costs.
“Today, Senator Menéndez introduced legislation which would help low-income seniors in Puerto Rico by providing much-needed financial assistance to cover the costs of prescription drugs. If enacted, this legislation would help ensure that we meet the healthcare needs of thousands of low-income Medicare beneficiaries in Puerto Rico and do justice to our senior citizens.” said Governor Vázquez Garced. “My Administration’s commitment is to provide an equitable healthcare system for Puerto Rico and this legislation would provide seniors the necessary assistance to cover their prescriptions. I urge Congress to act on this piece of legislation.”
“This legislation would provide essential services to thousands of Medicare beneficiaries that currently struggle with their prescription drug costs.” said Jennifer M. Storipan. “PRFAA will continue to work with Congress to achieve parity for low-income seniors who participate in Medicare.”
“We are committed to the people of Puerto Rico. Our north has always been to provide the people of Puerto Rico a sustainable health care system that covers their basic needs.” Said Puerto Rico Health Secretary Dr. Rafael Rodríguez. “We will continue to work together with Congress so that low-income seniors can have access to the prescriptions drugs that they need.