H. B. 4789

(By Delegates Michael, Jenkins, Doyle, Leach,

Cann, Ashley and Border)

(Originating in the Committee on Finance)

[February 29, 2000]

A BILL to amend article sixteen, chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding a new section, designated section ten-a, relating to establishing a new program within the public employees insurance agency; creating a prescription drug program for senior citizens, defining eligibility, authorizing contract amendments, and requiring reporting.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article sixteen, chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated section ten- a, to read as follows:
§5-16-10a. Seniors prescription drug program.
(a) The executive director of the public employees insurance agency is authorized to establish a separate program for the purchase of prescription drugs by citizens of this state above the age of sixty-five who have been continuously uninsured for prescription drug benefits for the immediately preceding twelve months.
(b) Upon the effective date of this section, the executive director may amend any existing prescription benefit program contract, or enter into a separate contract, to establish the prescription benefit program authorized in this section: Provided, That for a new contract, the provisions of section nine of this article shall apply.
(c) Upon determining that an applicant is eligible for participation, the agency shall issue a prescription benefit program card that entitles the participant to receive the lowest pharmacy discount offered to the public employees insurance agency, as determined by the executive director.
(d) The finance board may not provide any subsidy to this program without further legislative action. Nothing in this section shall be construed as to require an appropriation for this program.
(e) For purposes of legislative reporting, the executive director is to allocate a pro rata portion of any pharmaceutical company rebates returning to the agency and attributable to this program, from which he or she may deduct any costs associated with administration of the program.

Section ten-a is new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.