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The Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Elderly program, or RIPAE for short, provides financial assistance in the form of discounted prescriptions to elderly state residents. There are 3 levels to the program; each level receives a different percentage discount on their medications ranging from 15% - 60%. The senior’s (and their spouse's) annual income(s) determine into which level of the program they are placed. The following numbers are current as of March 2018; an increase is expected July 1st.
-Individuals with income under $22,499 or couples under $28,126 receive a 60% discount
-Individuals with income under $28,243 or couples under $35,317 receive a 30% discount
-Individuals with income under $49,520 or couples under $56,489 receive a 15% discount
The RIPAE Program is designed and intended to work in tandem with a Medicare Part D insurance plan. The cost of fulfilling a prescription is first addressed by the Medicare Part D plan, RIPAE then applies to the portion of the cost not paid for by Medicare Part D.
To be eligible for this program, seniors must meet the following criteria:
Depending on their income level, program participants receive a discount of between 15% - 60% on their prescriptions. Generic medications will always be used in place of brand name drugs unless a doctor has specifically determined that the brand name variety is a medical necessity.
There are no applicant fees or enrollment fees to participate in the RIPAE program. Some seniors have the perception that there is an additional cost if they are not already enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan as they are required to do so. However, this is a Medicare Part D premium, not a RIPAE cost.
RIPAE is administered by the Rhode Island Department of Elder Affairs. One can learn more or apply for the program by visiting the RIPAE program webpage or calling (401) 462-3000.