State Extending Medicare Drug Assistance until March 17

FEBRUARY 15, 2006 - Posted at 8:19 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas will continue to fill prescriptions that are being denied by the new Medicare drug program through March 17.  A spokeswoman for the Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services says it is not clear, however, whether the federal government will reimburse the state for the extended help.

Since January, Arkansas has paid at least $4,800,000 as of February 3 to fill prescriptions that were wrongly denied under the new federal program that went into effect this year.  The claims have affected more than 21,000 Arkansans.

In January, after the new federal program began, Governor Huckabee declared a public health emergency because of glitches with the new program.

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