The replacement for SeniorCare, called WisconsinCare, gets support from the state's seniors group.

AARP Wisconsin is thrilled with the newly unveiled prescription drug program for low-income seniors, as a wrap-around to Medicare Part-D. Lisa Lamkins, the Federal Issues Advocacy Director with AARP, says experts tried to keep WisconsinCare simple and comprehensive, using SeniorCare as a model.

The program, with a one-page application, would provide for a smooth transition as SeniorCare ends at the end of the year. Lamkins says Governor Doyle recognized that senior citizens would need information about their options and help with the transition. He'll be providing additional funding to help with outreach efforts, including benefits specialists in each county.

Also, Lamkins says advocate groups like AARP will have events around the state providing one-on-one assistance to help provide information on which Medicare Part-D program might work best for seniors in conjunction with WisconsinCare. Lamkins says there will be no asset test to apply for WisconsinCare, and seniors will have access to cheap drugs, with copays of about 2 bucks.

Some details to the proposed program have yet to be worked out, including a possible automatic enrollment for some seniors, which can be changed if needed. The state Legislature and federal government must first approve of the plan.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:49 MP3)

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