More Seniors in Pennsylvania Now Eligible for State Prescription Assistance Programs

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Thousands of other Pennsylvania seniors can now rest easier knowing that they will qualify for programs that will help them pay for their medications over the coming year.

Gov. Tom Wolf enacted two bipartisan bills on Wednesday that adjust income limits for the PACE and PACENET Prescription Assistance Programs that provide low-cost prescription drugs to qualified residents aged 65 or older. PACE has lower income limits than the PACENET program. Both are funded by the proceeds of the Pennsylvania Lottery.

One of the new laws ensures that older Pennsylvanians who were enrolled in these programs as of December 30, 2020, will remain eligible to stay regardless of their 5.9% cost-of-living increase in their Social Security benefits. 2022 until the end of 2023.

According to the state’s Department of Aging, without this change, approximately 15,700 PACE registrants would be eligible for PACENET coverage rather than PACE coverage and 2,100 PACENET registrants would lose PACENET coverage.

The other law increases the income limits for PACENET for the first time since 2018.

Now, singles with incomes of up to $ 33,500 and married couples with incomes of up to $ 41,500 will be eligible. These limits were $ 27,500 for singles and $ 35,500 for married couples.

This measure also provides financial incentives for people enrolled in PACENET to also enroll for federal Medicare Part D prescription coverage. Additional funds generated by increased participation in the federal prescription program will be used to pay the cost. increase resulting from the increase in the number of registrations to PACENET.

Extensions to the income cap mean an additional 100,000 older people are now eligible, according to the Department of Aging. An additional 20,000 seniors are expected to register in 2022. Registration begins in February.

“The PACE and PACENET programs serve as lifelines for hundreds of thousands of seniors who need help paying for their prescription drugs,” said Tom Snedden, Director of PACE. “These two new laws will continue to help older Pennsylvanians get the savings they need and deserve and will allow even more seniors to take advantage of these programs.”

According to the department, more than 10,000 Pennsylvanians who have applied for PACENET in the past year were outside of previous income limits, but they will now be processed and receive their cards.

Jan Murphy can be reached at jmurphy@pennlive.com. Follow her on Twitter at @JanMurphy.

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