A Bill To Expand Prescription Drug Coverage

October 23, 2018 - 4:29 pm

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – On Tuesday, Governor Tom Wolf signed a new bill which will authorize enhancement to the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for Elderly Needs Enhancement Tier (PACENET) program.

This bill, Act 87 (previously known as House Bill 270), will make the PACENET program available to an additional 17,000 seniors.  This income eligibility increase will go a long way in helping thousands of seniors access their prescription medications more economically and conveniently, according to Governor Wolf.

The PACENET program, administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Aging, has not had an income eligibility increase over the past 15 years. The bill will provide a $4,000 increase for both single and married Pennsylvanians. Total income for a single person can now be between $14,500 and $27,500; for a married couple, the combined total can be between $17,700 and $35,500.

This increase will also allow an additional 14,000 older Pennsylvanians to receive prescription drug coverage through PACENET. Nearly 3,000 Pennsylvanians will be ensured their program without the fear of losing it due to an income increase.

“Situations pertaining to older Pennsylvanians, who are on fixed incomes and are simply trying to make ends meet, are regularly brought to our attention,” said Secretary of Aging Teresa Osborne. “No senior should have to choose between paying their bills, buying groceries, or purchasing the medications they need.

Act 87 also authorizes medication synchronization. This will allow pharmacists to align pharmaceuticals for the seniors by filling partial supplies of a prescription. This offers added convenience and improves medication adherence without additional out-of-pocket costs.