Rogers questions access to prescription programs

NDP MHA Gerry Rogers

NDP Critic for Seniors and Aging Gerry Rogers (MHA, St. John’s Centre) wants to know whether clients denied one support program are routinely informed they might qualify for another.

“Seniors have contacted us to say that [Minister Sullivan’s] Department cancelled their 65+ drug card because they were no longer eligible for the federal Guaranteed Income Supplement,” Rogers said in the House today. “Maybe they didn’t do their taxes in time to get the GIS, or maybe their income was a few dollars over the $16,368 cut-off.

“I ask the Minister, when will her Department stop tying eligibility for a provincial program to a federal one and be fair to seniors by making the 65+ plan available to all seniors?”

She also pointed out that seniors not eligible for this particular program might indeed be eligible for another, but it does not seem to be government policy to inform them of this fact. Seniors may be denied under the 65+ program, but qualify for the Access Program; others denied for the Access Program are not told about the Assurance Program for which they may, and often do, qualify.

“Mr. Speaker,” said Rogers, “I ask the Minister, will she introduce a policy that people who are denied eligiblity for one drug program will be informed about the other programs and encouraged to re-apply?”

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