PACE Pharmacy Program Offers Prescription Extensions during COVID-19 Mitigation Effort

With the ongoing directive from Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Health to stay home and limit social interaction during the COVID-19 mitigation effort, Department of Aging Secretary Robert Torres announced that as of March 5, the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (PACE) Program can help older adult enrollees with refill extensions.

“The department has fielded several calls from older Pennsylvanians who are heeding the state directive and who are concerned about potentially running out of their needed medications,” Secretary Torres said. “To help alleviate those fears, PACE is working to ensure older adults remain in their residences and receive their prescriptions when they desire them. All enrollees should be able to receive free home delivery of their medications from their pharmacies.”

Under regular circumstances, enrollees with prescriptions must use 75% of their supply before refills will be reimbursed. PACE will now reimburse refills even though the required 75% of the days’ supply has not passed – except for opioids and other controlled substances – which will be handled on a case by case basis. Enrollees wishing to receive that exception must have their pharmacy provider contact PACE at 1-800-835-8040, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to make that request. The program has traditionally not offered this exception unless an enrollee’s medications were lost or stolen. Enrollees who have difficulties obtaining their refills can call cardholder services at 1-800-225-7223.

The PACE program, funded with revenue from the lottery, began July 1, 1984 to provide comprehensive reimbursement coverage for prescription medications to qualified older Pennsylvanians. The program enrolls 250,000 older Pennsylvanians, 65 years of age and older, many of whom require multiple medications for several chronic conditions.