Monday, June 27, 2011

Bill would protect Pennsylvania Seniors Prescription Drug benefits

Update: HB 463 was signed into law as Act 21 of 2011 on June 30, 2011

Seniors who were receiving benefits from Pennsylvania’s PACE or PACENET prescription drug programs on December 31, 2010 would not be bumped off their program in 2012 and 2013 due to increased income from Social Security cost-of-living adjustments if House Bill 463 is enacted.  It is projected that Social Security payments will increase 1.2 percent in 2012. 

The Department of Aging estimates nearly 22,000 seniors would be forced from PACE to PACENET if the bill does not become law. More than 9,000 would lose their coverage entirely. If enacted, the legislation would take effect immediately and expire Dec. 31, 2013.

To be eligible for PACE or PACENET, Pennsylvania residents must be at least 65 and cannot have prescription coverage through Medicaid. Eligibility is determined based on the applicant’s previous calendar year income. 

For PACE, a single person cannot make more than $14,500. For a married couple, the combined income limit is $17,700. Co-payment for a 30-day supply of medication is $6 for generics and $9 for brand name prescriptions. 

For PACENET, the income limits is between $14,500-$23,500 for a single person and $17,700-$31,500 for couples. The co-pay is $8 for generics and $15 for brand name prescriptions. PACENET has a monthly premium of between $20 and $30.

HB 463 passed the House by unanimous vote on June 6, 2011 and is now in the Senate.

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