Governor Celebrates Expansion of Senior Prescription Assistance Programs

Governor Tom Wolf was joined by state and local officials and older Pennsylvanians to celebrate recently signed legislation to expand eligibility in the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (PACE) and the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Needs Enhancement Tier (PACENET) programs.

“Ensuring that older Pennsylvanians have access to necessary services, including quality health care and affordable prescription drugs, is a priority of my administration,” said Gov. Wolf. “I commend the legislature, especially bill sponsors Reps. Wendi Thomas and Steve Samuelson, for working with my administration on this critical issue and passing this legislation. Programs like PACE and PACENET serve as a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of older adults who need assistance with paying for their prescription medications and provide critical support to older Pennsylvanians.”

On December 22, Gov. Wolf signed into law Act 92 of 2021 and Act 94 of 2021, both priorities for the Pennsylvania Department of Aging.

Act 92 of 2021 extends the moratorium until December 31, 2023, allowing enrollees to maintain their PACE benefits despite disqualifying increases in their overall income due to Social Security cost-of-living adjustments. The original moratorium was set to expire December 31, 2021.

Act 94 of 2021 expands the income eligibility limits for PACENET by $6,000 and removes the PACENET premium clawback, which will result in premium cost savings for some enrollees. The clawback will only apply to those individuals enrolled in the program’s Part D partner plans. This will reduce the premium obligation for about 28,000 individuals.

PACE and PACENET currently enroll more than 250,000 older Pennsylvanians. The income limit expansions mean that an additional 100,000 older adults are now eligible with an expected 20,000 older adults expected to enroll in 2022. Enrollment begins in February.