The state of Maine offers two prescription assistance programs for its residents. Both programs provide financial assistance to participants, though they differ on the amount of assistance and the eligibility requirements. The Low Cost Drugs for the Elderly and Disabled Program (DEL) is more commonly referred to as the DEL Program. It is designed for disabled and elderly individuals with low incomes.
The Maine RX Plus Program is intended for low- to middle-income individuals and families of all ages. There are no costs to enroll in either of these programs.
Did You Know?
Low-income seniors are 7x more likely to fail to adhere to their prescription regimens than younger adults.
To be eligible for the DEL Program, the following criteria must be met:
- Legal resident of Maine
- 62 years or older, or at least 19 and designated as disabled by the Social Security Administration
- Meet certain income eligibility criteria (see “Financial Requirements” below), or be eligible for both MaineCare and Medicare Part D
- Cannot be receiving full MaineCare pharmaceutical benefits
Rx Plus Program
Eligibility for the Rx Plus Program only requires that you be a resident of Maine, any age, and meet certain financial criteria, as detailed in the “Financial Requirements” section below.
Applicants cannot have an income of more than 185% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). For 2022, this works out to a maximum annual income of $25,141.50 for single applicants, and $33,873.50 for married couples or two-person households.
There is one exception to this income rule. Applicants who spend a minimum of 40% of their income on unreimbursed direct medical expenses for prescription drugs and medications are allowed a higher income limit. As of 2022, this limit is 200% of the FPL, which equates to an annual income limit of $27,180 for a single applicant. For married couples or households with two people, the income limit is $36,620 a year.
A single applicant can have liquid assets (cash, savings bonds, certificates of deposit, checking accounts, etc.) no greater than $50,000. Married applicants are permitted up to $75,000 in assets.
Rx Plus Program
Maine residents with an annual income of less than 350% of the Federal Poverty Level qualify for Rx Plus. In 2022, for a single applicant, this limit is $47,565 per year. For a married couple living together, the annual limit is $64,085.
Those with higher incomes may still be eligible if at least 5% of their income is spent on prescription drugs or 15% or more is spent on medical-related expenses.
Unlike the DEL Program, the Rx Plus Program does not consider one’s assets.
Benefits and Services
The DEL Program pays up to 80% of a senior’s out-of-pocket drug costs after Medicare Part D or other insurance coverage. Eligible medications include those that treat Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and many other conditions. Please note that there may be a co-payment of up to $2.
Rx Plus Program
The Maine RX Plus Program offers discounts off the purchase price of brand name and generic drugs. For generic drugs, discounts are offered up to 60%, and for brand name drugs, discounts are offered up to 15%.
How to Apply / Learn More
Maine residents can learn more about these programs or apply for assistance by contacting their local Area Agency on Aging. Maine’s Department of Human Services also provides a brochure on the programs. Or an application can be downloaded here.
Maine has another program that provides assistance to the elderly, though not necessarily for medications. The Home Based Care Program can help families caring for aging loved ones at home.