Whereas , The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is forthwith to simplify the administration process by which elders and the disabled access Transitional Assistance Program Medicare drug benefits, 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. Subsection (b) of section 39 of chapter 19A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2002 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- The program may apply on behalf of enrollees to obtain Transitional Assistance Program Medicare drug benefits pursuant to 42 U.S.C. sections 1395 et seq., but the program shall permit enrollees to decline before enrollment with a discount drug card sponsor; and the program shall not reduce a person's prescription drug benefit under this section.
SECTION 2. The secretary of elder affairs, in collaboration with the secretary of health and human services, shall analyze the federal Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003, and submit a report with recommendations to the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on health care no later than September 1, 2004, on the following: (a) whether the commonwealth would be required to discontinue the Prescription Advantage program as a result of the enactment of this federal legislation; (b) whether the commonwealth should develop and request a waiver for a new program of outpatient drug assistance that combines features of the Medicare Part D benefit and Prescription Advantage; (c) how the state is spending any savings from the Transitional Assistance Program Medicare drug benefit, and (d) what legislative modifications the governor should request that Congress make in order to improve the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. The report shall also include, but not be limited to, an analysis of the number of persons who are eligible for benefits under Prescription Advantage who will not be eligible for Medicare Part D coverage and reasons therefor; a detailed summary of the additional costs that may be imposed on persons who are eligible for benefits under Prescription Advantage by the enactment of Medicare Part D legislation that were not previously imposed under Prescription Advantage; a list of the benefits that seniors and other Prescription Advantage members may lose under Medicare Part D coverage; a cost benefit analysis of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 for the commonwealth; and a detailed recommendation on implementing this act, including, but not limited to, funding sources and a schedule of implementation. The secretary of health and human services shall provide to the joint committee on health care no later than September 1, 2004, an informational chart suitable for public posting and distribution setting forth: (1) the eligibility requirements for prescription drug benefits under Medicare Part D, (2) the benefits available under Medicare Part D to eligible persons, with separate descriptions for each eligibility or benefits group or population so that residents will be able to determine the actual benefits for which they would be entitled, and (3) the additional benefits that would be available to an eligible person under Prescription Advantage that will not be available under Medicare Part D.