November 21, 2002
Kurt Galbraith, the state Department of Healths care coordinator, said Wyoming has nearly depleted this years $340,000 grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services that funds the programs. The funding renews each April 1, meaning no new money will be available until April 1, 2003. "We anticipate that our funds will be totally exhausted within the next 30 to 45 days," Galbraith said.
People qualify for the programs if their household income is at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level, or $26,580 for one person. Galbraith said 77 people in Wyoming are currently receiving assistance for their medicine and health care under the federal Ryan White CARE Act. A major factor in the shortfall is the increasing cost of medication, which last year took up about 73 percent of the funding, Galbraith said.
Galbraith said the Department of Health is working with nursing care managers in the state to place current clients on pharmaceutical companies patient assistance programs. These programs provide essential medication when the patient has no other resources. He said he is also working to secure health care services for current patients.
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