Whereas , The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to immediately provide for implementation of the senior pharmacy assistance program, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. To provide for implementation of the senior pharmacy assistance program, the sums set forth in section two are hereby appropriated from the Children's and Seniors' Health Care Assistance Fund, and shall be for the several purposes and subject to the conditions specified in said section two and subject to the provisions of law regulating the disbursement of public funds, and the conditions pertaining to appropriations acts for the fiscal year ending June thirtieth, nineteen hundred and ninety-seven.
SECTION 3. Section 16B of chapter 118E of the General Laws, inserted by section 15 of chapter 203 of the acts of 1996, is hereby amended by striking out the fifth paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following two paragraphs:-
Application to said program shall be made during an open enrollment period commencing on February first and ending on April thirtieth of each year, or such other period that is concurrent with the enrollment period required for Medicare supplemental coverage pursuant to chapter one hundred and seventy-six K. Coverage shall be effective on the first day of the month of July which follows the closing of said open enrollment period.
An annual enrollment fee in an amount not to exceed fifteen dollars shall be collected by the division for any eligible person enrolled in the pharmacy assistance program. Said annual enrollment fee shall be collected by deducting said fee from the five hundred dollar covered benefit authorized by this section. The total amount so collected shall be certified by the commissioner of the division and shall be used to defray the administrative costs of said program.
SECTION 4. Item 4000-0325 of section 2 of chapter 151 of the acts of 1996 is hereby amended by striking out the figure "29,325,322" and inserting in place thereof the following figure:- 27,721,284.
SECTION 5. Notwithstanding the provisions of section sixteen B of chapter one hundred and eighteen E of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, the commissioner of the division of medical assistance is hereby authorized and directed to extend the enrollment period for the senior pharmacy assistance program established by said section sixteen B until May thirtieth, nineteen hundred and ninety-seven.
SECTION 6. Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, the division of medical assistance is hereby authorized and directed to redetermine the eligibility of applicants for the pharmacy assistance program established pursuant to section sixteen B of chapter one hundred and eighteen E of the General Laws whose initial eligibility for the benefits of said program in fiscal year nineteen hundred and ninety-eight is denied solely due to the income eligibility criteria in effect for said program on March first, nineteen hundred and ninety-seven; provided, however, that said redetermination shall take place only after (1) the enrollment period for said program has been closed, and (2) if projected spending for the number of applicants determined initially eligible during said enrollment period does not exceed thirty million dollars in said fiscal year. Said redetermination shall be based on any revised federal poverty levels as may be promulgated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services during said enrollment period. Redeterminations shall be processed in the order of the date of application and shall finish when the number of applicants so redetermined, in combination with the number of persons initially determined eligible for said program, reach the projected spending amount of thirty million dollars. Enrollment in said program shall not be opened for the benefits of said program in said fiscal year at any time after the redetermination process has concluded.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect as of February first, nineteen hundred and ninety-seven.