Page Reviewed / Updated – July 13, 2022

Program Description

The Rhode Island Pharmaceutical Assistance to Elders program, or RIPAE for short, provides financial assistance to elderly state residents for their prescription medications. RIPAE pays a portion of the cost of medication during the deductible stage of Medicare Part D plan.

There are 4 levels to this program. Each level pays a different percentage of the cost of medication, ranging from 15% – 60%. Levels 1 – 3 are for seniors 65 and over and level 4 is for persons 55 – 64 years of age who are disabled. The senior’s annual income determines into which level of the program they are placed.

Eligibility Guidelines

General Requirements

To be eligible for this program, seniors must meet the following criteria:

  • Rhode Island resident
  • 65 years of age or older (or between 55 and 64 years old, if officially disabled)
  • Ineligible for Medicaid or the Social Security Administration Extra Help Program
  • Enrolled in Medicare Part D plan

Financial Requirements

In 2022, individuals 65 and over, as well as disabled persons 55 – 64 years of age, must have an annual income under $72,628 — under $82,848 for married couples. This is equates to $6,052 and $6,904 per month for individuals and couples, respectively. The participant’s income dictates what level of the program they are placed in.

The following membership levels are current for 2022:

Member Level

Income Limit

Individuals

Married Couples

Level 1

$0 – $32,996

$0 – $41,249

Level 2

$32,996 – $41,424

$41,249 – $51,798

Level 3

$41,424 – $72,628

$51,798 – $82,848

Level 4 (ages 55-65)

$0 – $72,628

$0 – $82,848

Benefits and Services

Depending on their membership level (which is determined by income), RIPAE pays between 15% and 60% of a participant’s cost of medication during Medicare Part D’s deductible stage.

The following financial assistance is current for 2022:

Member Level

Portion Paid by RIPAE

Level 1

60%

Level 2

30%

Level 3

15%

Level 4 (ages 55-65)

15%

There are no applicant fees or enrollment fees to participate in the RIPAE program.

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How to Apply / Learn More

RIPAE is administered by the Rhode Island Office of Healthy Aging (OHA). One can learn more on OHA’s Drug Cost Assistance webpage or by calling (401) 462-0560. To apply, download the a RIPAE application, or call (401) 462-3000.

The state of Illinois has two programs designed to provide financial assistance to the elderly to help them purchase their prescription drugs.  Rx Basic is for individuals without Medicare insurance and the Rx Plus is designed for those on Medicare.

Rx Plus is known as a Medicare wraparound program which means the benefits wrap around those benefits provided by a Medicare Part D plan.  When making a prescription purchase, Medicare Part D is the first payer and then this program contributes towards those costs the Part D plan does not cover.

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