More low-income Ontario seniors to save on drug costs

seniors_drug costsIf you are a low-income senior 65 years or older, you may be eligible to save money on your prescription drugs.

Starting August 1, 2016, more than 170,000 additional low-income seniors in Ontario will be eligible to save approximately $130 per year on their prescription drug costs through changes to the Seniors Co-Payment Program, which is part of the Ontario Drug Benefit Program.

Beginning August 1st, the income threshold to qualify for the Seniors Co-Payment Program will increase from $16,018 to $19,300 for single seniors and from $24,175 to $32,300 for senior couples. This means that almost half-a-million Ontario seniors can now benefit from the Seniors Co-Payment Program and pay no annual deductible and only a co-payment of up to $2 per prescription. The new thresholds are aligned with the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System and will be indexed to ensure they remain aligned in the future.

Seniors who do not qualify for the Seniors Co-Payment Program pay the first $100 of their prescription drug costs every year and up to $6.11 each time they fill a prescription covered under the Ontario Drug Benefit Program. Seniors are encouraged to talk to their doctor and pharmacist when they have any questions regarding their medication. Seniors who are taking three or more medications are eligible for a MedsCheck — a one-on-one consultation with a pharmacist to make sure medications are being taken in a safe and proper way.

Ontario seniors continue to have the lowest on average out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs among seniors among all of the provinces in Canada.

To get an application for the Seniors Co-Payment Program, you can:

1. Download the Co-Payment Application for Seniors (http://ontario.ca/cv8v) from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website.

2. Pick up an application at your local pharmacy, MPP or Ministry of Community and Social Services office.

3. Call the Seniors Co-Payment Program at 1-888-405-0405 to request a form.

4. Call the ServiceOntario Infoline at 1-866-532-3161 to request a form.

Seniors who are already in the program do not need to re-apply. – NewsCanada

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