News Release Archive

  Ninety-four per cent of Nova Scotia senior citizens have
  responded to the new provincial Pharmacare program for
  seniors. Seniors were given the option to join the program
  starting September 1995.
  "We are very encouraged with this excellent response rate to
  date," said Health Minister Dr. Ron Stewart. "Seniors have
  examined their options, contacted their private insurer and
  have decided Pharmacare will provide the insurance they
  require for their drug costs now and in the future."
  Seniors who are not currently using prescription medications
  have also responded to the program so they are protected if
  they should become ill or suffer injuries from an accident.
  The more than 105,000 responses received are currently at
  different stages of processing. This includes verifying
  incomes of seniors requesting credit, setting up special
  payment plans, and processing payments and credits. Only
  2,600 seniors have decided not to join the program to date.
  The Department of Health is making every effort to ensure
  the 6,000 seniors who have not yet responded are contacted.
  The association representing pharmacists has offered to
  assist the department by advising these seniors at the
  pharmacy level to contact Pharmacare. 
  The Pharmacare board of directors, introduced in September
  1995 to manage the Pharmacare program, is addressing a
  variety of issues. These include the current income levels
  used to determine credits for married and single seniors and
  the eligibility criteria for seniors who do not join
  Pharmacare at this time and decide to join later. The board
  is working with physicians, pharmacists and seniors to
  develop educational programs for seniors that focus on
  maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the proper management of
  their medications. The board is also working with physicians
  and pharmacists to address the appropriate use of medication
  by seniors.
  The new Pharmacare program was introduced in April 1995 in
  response to increasing drug costs, more expensive drugs and
  an increasing seniors population.
  Seniors participating in the program are required to pay a
  $215 premium and a 20 per cent co-payment to a maximum of
  $200 a year. Low-income seniors are eligible to receive a
  credit of up to $300 from the province to help offset their
  costs. The costs for the program are shared 50/50 between
  seniors and the Nova Scotia government.
  Coverage termination letters for seniors who opted out of
  the program are currently being issued. The letter gives
  seniors another opportunity to join Pharmacare. They have
  the option to join the program within 30 days of receiving
  the letter.
  If anyone has any questions about Pharmacare, please call
  Contact: Sue McKeage  902-424-3581
  trp                        Jan. 09, 1996