Farry Bill to Expand Prescription Coverage to Over 32,000 PA Seniors Clears State House
HARRISBURG – The House of Representatives today voted unanimously to approve legislation, authored by Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks), which would increase the income eligibility guidelines for the PACENET program, extending prescription drug coverage to over 32,000 older Pennsylvanians.
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.
“This expansion would be a long overdue enhancement of what already is regarded as one of the nation’s best prescription drug assistance programs,” Farry said.
House Bill 2069
would increase the annual maximum income limits in the PACENET program to $31,000 for a single person and to $41,000 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 expansion of the program since 2002.
“The income limits haven’t changed in 14 years. That’s quite a long time both for seniors who are currently in the program and risk disqualification due to a change in income and for seniors who are trying to enroll in the program for the first time,” Farry said. “Expanding this program is the right thing to do.”
In response to a recent readjustment in drug pricing at the federal level, House Bill 2069 would also deliver a needed rebalance of the established formula, by which pharmacies are reimbursed for the costs of purchasing prescription drugs. The formula adjustments would allow the program expansion to occur without additional costs on enrollees or additional funds from the Pennsylvania Lottery or taxpayers.
“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 afford the prescriptions they need to maintain healthy lives.”
Additionally, the bill would allow two pharmacy-based programs to be developed under the PACE program to assist seniors in monitoring their prescription drug usage.
House Bill 2069 now moves to the Senate for full consideration.
Representative Frank Farry
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Abbey Haslam