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The state-sponsored Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage program is a fine example of prescription help for senior citizens -- as long as those seniors are single. Singles can either be living alone or living with a significant other in order to receive benefits on EPIC. However, the story is completely different for married seniors.

When married people apply, they must report the total income for both spouses, even if only one person is enrolling. Even Social Security income and IRA payments, both of which are clearly individually earmarked, must be reported for both people. There is something wrong here.

Every individual should be able to apply for EPIC using only his or her own income figures, regardless of marital status. Married people are being penalized for being married, and this is discrimination. Married people should be eligible for EPIC benefits without the high deductible that occurs because of the double-income qualification.

Elizabeth Dunbar