Legislation sponsored by Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) to reform the state’s PACENET program has passed the Senate. It now moves to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature.
“Under this bill, more people will be eligible for this program than ever before,” Thomas said. “We’re expanding the program using federal money from Medicare Part D.”
House Bill 1260 would expand the PACENET program, which provides life-sustaining medications to more than 300,000 older Pennsylvanians, by raising income eligibility limits to $33,500 for single individuals and $41,500 for married couples. The current PACENET eligibility requirement is $27,500 for single individuals and $35,500 for married couples.
The legislation grants the Department of Aging the discretion to enroll eligible individuals into Medicare Part D Plans so long as it meets the needs and pharmacy preferences of the cardholder.
In addition, when a senior currently uses the program for the first time and is not enrolled in a prescription plan, they must pay all the premium costs, year to date, and the copay for the prescription. This bill changes the requirement so PACENET members would only pay that month’s premium, not retroactively to the beginning of the year.
The legislation would also require the Pharmaceutical Advisory Board that advises on any future development and modernization of the program to ensure assistance provided is completed in a fiscally responsible manner.
“I urge the governor to sign this into law,” said Thomas. “Older Pennsylvanians are dependent on it.”