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Budget Cuts Will End Medical Program for the Needy on November 1, 2009



SEPTEMBER 22, 2009

Budget Cuts Will End Medical Program for the Needy on November 1, 2009.

Legal Aid Advocates Advise on Other Options for Assistance

According to legal aid advocates for low income persons, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is terminating its Disability Medical Assistance (DMA) program effective November 1, 2009. “If you have been getting your prescription drugs through the DMA program, your last month to do so will be October 2009,” says Rebecca Steinhauser, Regional Managing Attorney for Government Benefits at Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO). “If possible, DMA program recipients should refill their prescriptions at or near the end of the month in order to give themselves time to make other arrangements,” she adds.
 

Legal Aid Advocates Advise on Other Options for Assistance

According to legal aid advocates for low income persons, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is terminating its Disability Medical Assistance (DMA) program effective November 1, 2009. “If you have been getting your prescription drugs through the DMA program, your last month to do so will be October 2009,” says Rebecca Steinhauser, Regional Managing Attorney for Government Benefits at Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO). “If possible, DMA program recipients should refill their prescriptions at or near the end of the month in order to give themselves time to make other arrangements,” she adds.

Advocates say those other arrangements could come from a variety of options. “People who are on the DMA program should ask their caseworkers at Job and Family Services to help them apply for Medicaid and to review their eligibility under all the Medicaid categories,” says David Koeninger, Senior Attorney at Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE). If that fails, he encourages DMA recipients to apply for assistance from two programs: the Ohio’s Best Rx Program, www.ohiobestrx.org, and the Rx for Ohio program, www.rxforohio.org

Ohio’s Best Rx provides prescription drug assistance to seniors and low-income families. Rx for Ohio assists individuals and families in enrolling in the patient assistance programs offered by prescription drug manufacturers. Large retail chains also may have prescription drug assistance programs available.

The DMA program has operated entirely with state funds and is not to be confused with the Medicaid program, which will continue unchanged. Close to 1,300 Ohio residents currently receive DMA.