SeniorRx program began locally in 2001 as a Prescription Drug Assistance Program resource available through the Alabama Department of Senior Services.
The program is a joint effort between the Alabama Department of Senior Services and Disability Resource Center and the State Health Insurance Assistance Program.
Since 2002, the program has been state-funded, helping provide brand name prescription drugs for citizens.
SeniorRx Coordinator for the DeKalb City Council on Aging DiAnne Callahan said they are still serving seniors 55 and older, individuals of any age who have been declared disabled, or individuals who have lost their job due to COVID-19.
“The program has expanded by leaps and bounds, not only by the COVID-19, but by the drug companies lessening their eligibility restrictions,” said Callahan.
She said the program also assists Medicare Part D coverage gap beneficiaries.
Although the COA office is closed to the public, Callahan said they are initially doing everything over the phone and then asking clients to come by the office to bring all the necessary information.
They have a mailbox by the front door that is used as a drop-off location, and individuals can call, blow their horns, wait for someone to open the door, retrieve the documents, copy them and return them to the mailbox for car pickup.
“This has been working well so far. We are no longer personally visiting the doctors' offices and are handling everything by mail,” said Callahan.
She said the program saw an increase in the number of new clients they can help.
“We have added about 80 new clients in the first nine months of this year and hope to add another 20. We should reach a total savings of $1,000.000 by the end of the year,” Callahan said.
Enrollment for the Alabama SeniorRx program is open year-round.
“Since some companies have eliminated their restrictions for out-of-pocket spend downs for insulin and other medications, they may continue this in the coming year,” said Callahan.
Callahan said they also answer questions about Medicare, food assistance, home-delivered meals, Farmers Market Coupons, transportation, and refer individuals to TARCOG’s caregiver assistance program, among other resources for people age 60 or older.
“All of us have had to adjust our way of thinking during this time. Nothing has been easy, but nothing has been too difficult to achieve,” she said.
She said, recently, they have begun to slowly add their transportation services back for doctor appointments and trips for groceries.
“We have also added new food programs that have been helpful during this limited access to outside facilities. Most of our clients are seniors who are dependent on local grocery stores, drug stores and department stores,” Callahan said.
Callahan said they have learned they can manage to do things differently but still get them done.
“There is less personal contact, and we certainly miss that, but hopefully, we will soon be back with open doors, seeing those smiling faces up close. Until then, call us we are waiting to serve you,” she said.
For more information or to set up an appointment, call 256-845-8590 and ask to speak with DiAnne Callahan or leave a voicemail with your name, number and a brief message with what you need assistance with.
For regular updates, follow DeKalb County Transportation and Council on Aging on Facebook @DeKalbCoA.
The Fort Payne Council on Aging is located at 600 Tyler Ave. SE Fort Payne.