Summary of the House Committee Version of the Bill


SPONSOR:  Singleton (Scheve)

COMMITTEE ACTION:  Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Children,
Families and Health by a vote of 14 to 0.

This substitute creates the Missouri Pharmaceutical Assistance
Program and Task Force within the Department of Social Services
which will allow eligible Missouri seniors to purchase
pharmaceutical insurance from the state.

The current pharmaceutical tax credit for Missouri seniors will
sunset on December 31, 2001, and the credit will apply for
one-twelfth of the 2002 tax year.

The Task Force will consist of 14 members who will conduct
public hearings, promote and improve public health, and evaluate
the health needs of senior citizens in Missouri.  The Task Force
must seek matching funds from other sources and provide grants
to certain organizations.  The Task Force must submit a report
to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 15, 2001,
which contains requests for proposals from private insurance
companies who elect to participate in the program.  If the
General Assembly rejects the report within 45 days, then the
provisions concerning the establishment of the program are

The department may enter into contracts with private health
insurers in order to provide insurance policies to senior
citizens for up to $6,000 in coverage for prescription drugs and
pharmaceutical services.  Subject to appropriations, Missouri
seniors, aged 65 and older, may purchase the policy and receive
a grant from the state to pay a portion of the insurance cost.
The senior must be a resident of the state for at least one year
and have a household income not exceeding $11,600 for an
individual or $15,700 for a couple.  A crowd-out provision is
contained in the substitute which prevents seniors from
benefitting from the program if they have Medicaid or
pharmaceutical benefits through another insurance policy, or if
they receive the pharmaceutical tax credit under Section
135.095, RSMo.  The applicant must have been without
pharmaceutical coverage for 6 months before applying to the
program.  The subsidy cannot exceed the total cost of the
insurance or $850 per year, whichever is less.

In order to receive a subsidy, a Missouri senior must apply to
the department and provide necessary proof.  Within 45 days, the
department may review the application and deny or grant the
subsidy and, if granted, determine the amount awarded.  Any
amounts will be paid directly to the insurer.  If a subsidy is
erroneously granted, the senior must refund any amounts
received.  The department may deny grants if filed with
fraudulent intent.  The applicant can appeal a decision which
denies the receipt of the subsidy.

The department may contract with pharmacy benefit management
programs and drug utilization review programs in order to manage
and review the program.

The Missouri Pharmaceutical Assistance Fund is created for any
proceeds which should be used to fund the program.  All funds
appropriated for the pharmaceutical tax credit program within
the Department of Revenue will be reassigned to the Department
of Social Services to the credit of the fund for the purpose of
funding the program.  These appropriations will continue until
other funds such as grants, gifts, or other appropriations
become available.

The substitute contains an emergency clause.

FISCAL NOTE:  Estimated Net Cost to General Revenue Fund of
$26,698,585 in FY 2002, $5,227,281 in FY 2003, and $2,220,048 in
FY 2004.

PROPONENTS:  Supporters say that the bill is an effort to
provide eligible Missouri seniors assistance with their
prescription drug expenses.  The bill contains "safeguards,"
including a residency requirement, a crowd-out provision, proof
of prescription expenses, and an anti-fraud provision.  The
provisions of the bill are subject to appropriations.

Testifying for the bill was Senator Singleton.

OPPONENTS:  There was no opposition voiced to the committee.

Joseph Deering, Legislative Analyst

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Missouri House of Representatives
Last Updated November 26, 2001 at 11:47 am