Authorizes the commissioner of health to adopt policies to exclude certain non-recurring items from income that would artificially inflate the availability of funds to meet current needs relating to eligibility for the program for elderly pharmaceutical insurance coverage.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the elder law, in relation to policies excluding certain non-recurring items from income for purposes of the program for elderly pharmaceutical insurance coverage
PURPOSE: To exclude non-recurring income from the definition of "income" for the purposes of eligibility for the EPIC program.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1 - Amends subdivision 3 of section 241 of the Elder Law. Defines income for the EPIC program. Authorizes the Commissioner of Health to adopt policies to create an exclusion for "non-recurring items that would act to artificially inflate the availability of funds to meet current needs."
Section 2 - Effective Date
EXISTING LAW: The current EPIC statute makes no provision for the exclusion of certain types of income.
JUSTIFICATION: There are more than 300,000 seniors in New York State that rely on the EPIC program for access to low cost, high quality prescription drugs. Qualification for this program is based on income and it is fair to say that most of the enrollees are middle class, middle income people, and in some cases lower income people. What this legislation aims to do is exempt non-recurring income from the definition of income for the EPIC program. Non-recurring income can include withdrawals from a 401K or other retirement account an employer buyout or severance package, lottery or casino winnings or inheritances. These one-time influxes of money can inflate a persons household gross income and take them off the EPIC program for a year and force them to pay for drugs out of pocket until they are able to qualify again the following year.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011: S.122 - Reported and Committed to Finance/A.243 - Reported, Referred to Ways and Means 2009-10: S.5457 - Reported and Committed to Finance/A.8044 - Reported Referred to Ways and Means
FINANCIAL IMPLICATION TO STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 122--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. DIAZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Aging -- recommitted to the Committee on Health in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the elder law, in relation to policies excluding certain non-recurring items from income for purposes of the program for elder- ly pharmaceutical insurance coverage THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 3 of section 241 of the elder law is amended to read as follows: 3. "Income" shall mean "household gross income" as defined in the real property tax circuit breaker credit program, pursuant to subparagraph
[(C)](C) of paragraph one of subsection (e) of section six hundred six of the tax law, but only shall include the income of program applicants and spouses and shall exclude the income of other members of the house- hold; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT THE COMMISSIONER OF HEALTH MAY ADOPT POLI- CIES TO EXCLUDE FROM INCOME CERTAIN NON-RECURRING ITEMS THAT WOULD ACT TO ARTIFICIALLY INFLATE THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS TO MEET CURRENT NEEDS INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, A RETIREE'S PREVIOUS YEAR'S WAGES, AND NON-RECURRING DISTRIBUTIONS FROM AN INDIVIDUAL RETIREMENT ACCOUNT. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD03235-03-2