Bill would cut drug co-pays for assisted living dual eligibles

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A new House bill introduced Thursday would provide dual eligibles living in assisted living facilities with the same co-pay coverage under Medicare Part D as nursing home residents. 

Long-term care providers, including the Assisted Living Federation of America and the National Center for Assisted Living, praised Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and 13 other congressmen for introducing the bill. Dual eligibles in assisted living facilities take, on average, eight to ten prescription medication with co-pays that range from $1 to $5, according to the American Health Care Association. In some cases, the added costs of their medications exceed their allotted Medicaid allowance. Dual eligibles receive both Medicare and Medicaid coverage

The Medicare Part D Home and Community Services Co-Payment Equity Act of 2008 (H.R. 5604) was originally proposed as a House companion bill to a Senate health bill.