Abney introduces bill to help keep seniors eligible for state prescription programs

HARRISBURG, June 5 – State Rep. Aerion Abney, D-Allegheny, has introduced a bill that would exclude one portion of a person’s potential revenue when determining their financial eligibility for senior prescription programs in Pennsylvania.

Abney’s legislation (H.B. 2378) would not count the total dollar amount, including face value and interest earned, of savings bonds as part of an older Pennsylvanian’s income when they apply for either the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly or PACE Needs Enhancement Tier, otherwise known as PACE and PACENET.

“Ever rising prescription drug costs have resulted in many seniors cashing in their savings bonds in order to afford the medications they need on a daily basis,” Abney said. “Our older neighbors should not risk disqualification from PACE or PACENET coverage simply because such transactions take place, and my bill would help ensure they remain enrolled.”

PACE is funded entirely by the Pennsylvania Lottery and has helped more than 1.6 million PA seniors pay for more than 360 million prescriptions. PACE and PACENET currently serve more than 250,000 older Pennsylvanians.

The bill has been referred to the PA House Aging & Older Adult Services Committee.