As we age, our health may deteriorate, and prescription medications are often needed to live our best lives. Unfortunately, seniors on fixed incomes are often hard pressed to afford skyrocketing prescription drug costs, which is why the state offers both PACE and PACENET prescription drug assistance programs.
These programs help nearly 282,000 low-income individuals age 65 and older across Pennsylvania obtain prescription drugs at lower prices. However, the income eligibility levels for these programs has not been updated for more than a decade, which means the programs are not helping as many seniors as intended.
To rectify this problem, in October, the governor signed into law legislation to increase the income eligibility guidelines for the state’s PACENET program, extending prescription drug coverage to an additional 17,000 older Pennsylvanians.
The new law expands the eligibility of the PACENET program from $23,500 to $27,500 for single individuals and from $31,500 to $35,500 for married couples.
This marks the first increase in the PACENET program’s income guidelines since 2004.
Savings achieved in other areas allow the program expansion to occur without additional costs on enrollees or additional funds from the Pennsylvania Lottery, which helps fund the program, or taxpayers.
It is important to note that PACENET has higher out-of-pocket costs than PACE, in that PACENET cardholders must pay either their Medicare Part D premium or, if they do not have a Part D Plan, the federally established Benchmark Premium (currently $36.57 per month). This is in addition to the copayments.
For more information about PACE or PACENET or to obtain an application, please contact my offices in Harborcreek at (814) 897-2080 or Corry at (814) 664-9126.
Representative Curt Sonney
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Tricia Lehman