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Feds Extend SeniorCare Through 2018

Posted by Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert, Green Bay Progressive
Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive.
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on Thursday, 24 December 2015 in Wisconsin

elderlyThe federal government has notified the state Department of Health Services that Wisconsin’s waiver to renew SeniorCare through December 31, 2018 has been approved. Green Bay's Sen. Dave Hansen gives credit for bi-partisan support to thousands who signed petitions to save SeniorCare.


MADISON - The federal government recently notified the state Department of Health Services here that Wisconsin’s waiver to renew SeniorCare through December 31, 2018 has been approved. The approval is good news for the more than 85,000 people who are currently enrolled in the popular prescription drug savings program.

The fate of SeniorCare was in doubt when Governor Scott Walker released his budget this year that included plans to eliminate the popular plan. Green Bay area state Senator Dave Hansen, other Democrats and SeniorCare advocates collected more than 13,000 signatures in a petition drive that helped create bi-partisan opposition to the Governor’s attempt to eliminate it.

dave-hansen“This is good news for everyone who depends on SeniorCare to afford their needed medications,” said Hansen who voted to create SeniorCare. "And it’s good for taxpayers too who save $90 million per year as a result of SeniorCare’s ability to negotiate for lower prices directly with drug companies."

Over 4,300 people from Northeast Wisconsin signed the petition that helped save SeniorCare. As a result, Democrats and Republicans opposed the planned elimination and the program was restored in the state budget. It just goes to show that when people get involved legislators will listen.

More than 85,000 people are currently enrolled in SeniorCare, and benefit from the program's simple enrollment process, $30 annual fee, income-based deductibles, and $5 co-pays for generic drugs. Most participants save hundreds of dollars each year, over what their costs would be on Medicare Part D, and taxpayers save $90 million per year through SeniorCare’s direct negotiation with drug companies.

"SeniorCare saves money and SeniorCare saves lives, and that's why so many people were willing to sign their names and share their stories, in support of the program," said Hansen. "Thanks to their efforts SeniorCare will be here to continue helping Wisconsin seniors save money on their prescription drugs.”

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Legislative staffer Jay Wadd contributed to this story.

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Bob Kiefert is the Publisher of the Northeast Wisconsin - Green Bay Progressive. Before moving to Green Bay in 2008, he was the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Milwaukee County. A graduate of UWM in 1971, he moved to Madison, where he was Executive Personnel Officer and Technology Manager for the State Department of Employment Relations. He is a former Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of Brown County, Director at the Human Resources Management Association of S.E. Wisconsin (now SHRM), and Technology Commission Chair for the City of Franklin. Bob is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force (1965-1971).

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