Governor Nixon is touring the state today to send a message to the legislature to renew Missouri Rx; a $20 million a year program.

“For those that are eligible, which is seniors, especially those with disabilities; it helps them by covering 50% of their drug costs. About 207,000 Missouri seniors currently get benefits under the program,” Nixon said.

Missouri R-X was established in 2006 when Medicare Part D took effect. The program works with Part D plans to lower out-of-pocket drug costs. It also provides coverage once seniors fall into the coverage gap, otherwise known as the ‘donut hole’ in Medicare Part D coverage.

“We’re very hopeful that the legislature moves forward on this. It’s been a program that has enjoyed bipartisan support in years past and we would certainly hope and expect that would continue and that they will move this forward.  But this is the year they have to do it. If they do not get it done in the upcoming legislative session, we’ll be in a situation where this benefit that these Missourians have used to remain independent in their homes will be taken away from them,” Nixon said.

Nixon wants the legislature to renew the program for another five years. Otherwise, the program is set to expire August 28, 2011. 

There is no enrollment fee, premium or deductible to join Missouri Rx, although enrollees do have to meet income-eligibility limits.

AUDIO: Ryan Famuliner reports [1 min MP3]