AARP AARP States Pennsylvania Advocacy

New Law Expands Income Limits for RX Assistance Program

Thousands of  older Pennsylvanians now qualify for prescription drug assistance under a new law that increases income limits for the state’s Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Needs Enhancement Tier (PACENET) program.

John Fedele

AARP strongly supported House Bill 270 that was unanimously approved in the final days of the 2018 legislative session in Harrisburg. The bill raised the maximum income limits for the PACENET program for the first time in 15 years from $23,500 to $27,500 for individuals 65+ and from $31,000 to $35,500 for married couples. Once Governor Wolf signed the measure into law, the new income limits became effective immediately.

“AARP fought for the expanded income limits because no one should ever have to choose between putting food on the table or paying for their medications,” said AARP Pennsylvania State Director Bill Johnston-Walsh. “This income eligibility increase was long overdue and is great news for those seniors who need help paying for prescription drugs, but previously didn’t meet eligibility guidelines.”

State officials estimate that the expanded income guidelines will make PACENET benefits available to 17,000 additional older adults statewide. Currently Pennsylvania’s PACE and PACENET programs provide low-cost prescription drug benefits to nearly 282,000 Pennsylvanians age 65 and older. Both programs are funded with Pennsylvania Lottery proceeds.

“Pennsylvania’s PACE and PACENET programs are outstanding programs that are considered national models,” said Johnston-Walsh.  “You can even be enrolled in PACE or PACENET if you already have insurance or another prescription plan.”

To learn more about Pennsylvania’s PACE and PACENET programs, click here

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