Senate Passes Judy Ward Bill to Expand Senior Access to Prescription Drugs

(HARRISBURG) – The state Senate today approved Senator Judy Ward’s (R-30) plan to expand senior access to prescription drugs.

“As prescription drug costs continue to rise, many older Pennsylvanians who live on fixed incomes or rely solely on Social Security find themselves unable to afford their medications,” Senator Ward said. “Making these changes will provide more seniors with a sense of security that comes with knowing that they will not have to choose between life-saving medications and paying the bills.”

Senate Bill 668 makes the following changes to the PACENET program:

  • Expands the income eligibility of the program by $6,000 for both individuals and married couples;
  • Removes the requirement that a PACENET cardholder pay a monthly premium; and
  • Provides the department with discretion to have cardholders enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan that meets their prescription needs.

The anticipated savings from enrolling eligible PACENET individuals in Medicare Part D plans will provide enough savings to cover the cost of the income expansion. PACENET was established in 1996 to provide additional prescription drug benefits to Pennsylvanians age 65 and older. Eligibility for the program is based on income.

Senator Ward’s bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.


CONTACT: Cheryl Schriner



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