Longietti: Bill would help thousands more seniors pay for medicine

HARRISBURG, Oct. 11 – Thousands of seniors in the commonwealth would receive vital assistance paying for prescription medicines under a bill the House passed unanimously today, according to the bill’s co-sponsor, state Rep. Mark Longietti, D-Mercer.

House Bill 270 would increase the income limit for PACENET prescription-drug coverage from $23,500 to $27,500 for single people and from $31,500 to $35,500 for married couples. According to estimates from the state Department of Aging, the expanded guidelines would make more than 14,000 additional seniors eligible for the state-sponsored prescription assistance program.

“I have spoken to a number of area seniors who are in need of prescription assistance but who don’t meet the current income guidelines,” Longietti said. “This legislation aims to provide these folks with the help that they need. Our Mercer County seniors are the backbone of our community. They should never have to choose between paying for food, rent or heat and paying for prescription medications.”

The PACE and PACENET programs offer lower-cost prescription medications to qualified residents 65 or older. Funding is provided by proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery.

The bill now heads for the state Senate for consideration.