Arkansas to Pay at Least $1.5 Million for Prescriptions

JANUARY 19, 2006 - Posted at 7:53 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas health officials say the state should expect to pay more than $1.5 million to fill prescriptions because of problems in the new Medicare drug program.

The state Department of Health and Human Services said about 21,000 claims have been filed for the prescriptions since the state announced it would provide short-term relief.

The claims are for about 7,000 people and they won't be paid until the end of this week.  Governor Huckabee ordered a public health emergency last week after problems with the federal drug program crept up.  The governor ordered the state Health and Human Services Department to pay for drugs that are being rejected wrongfully by the plan.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)