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California enacts emergency prescription drug coverage

Physician Practice Advisor, January 18, 2006

Declaring an emergency, California health officials announced January 12 that Medi-Cal-California's Medicaid program-will provide temporary, emergency prescription drug coverage for low-income seniors and the disabled who have been unable to get needed medicine under Medicare's new Part D drug plan, according to the Sacramento Bee.

State officials promised emergency coverage to California's one million Medi-Cal beneficiaries for up to the next 15 days at a cost of $70 million, although they will seek reimbursement from the federal government.

California is one of 14 states to take action in response to complications with the Medicare Part D program since it began January 1, the Sacramento Bee reports. Other states include Arkansas, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont.