The PA House of Representatives today voted unanimously to approve legislation, authored by State Rep. Frank Farry, which would increase the income eligibility guidelines for the PACENET program, extending prescription drug coverage to more than 17,000 older Pennsylvanians.
The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
The PACE and PACENET programs provide low-cost prescription drugs to nearly 282,000 Pennsylvanians age 65 and older. Both programs are funded from proceeds of the Pennsylvania Lottery.
“Every day many seniors on fixed incomes have to choose between medication and other necessities, and that’s a choice no one should have to make,” Farry said. “An expansion of the PACENET program would allow them to better afford the prescriptions they need
to maintain healthy lives.”
House Bill 270 would increase the annual maximum income limits in the PACENET program to $27,500 for a single person and to $35,500 for a married couple. Current maximum income requirements for the PACENET program, which covers those individuals with incomes exceeding PACE maximums, are $23,500 for a single individual and $31,500 for a married couple annually.
This would be the first increase in the program since 2004.
“The income limits haven’t changed in 14 years. Expanding this program is the right thing to do,” Farry said.
Additionally, the bill would allow two new pharmacy-based programs to be developed under the PACE program to assist seniors in monitoring their prescription drug usage.
Savings achieved in other areas allow the program expansion to occur without additional
costs on enrollees or additional funds from the Pennsylvania Lottery or taxpayers.