Madden votes to expand prescription assistance for seniors

HARRISBURG, Oct. 17 – State Rep. Maureen Madden, D-Monroe, recently voted to expand the state’s prescription-drug assistance program to more senior citizens in Monroe County and across Pennsylvania.

“It’s unconscionable to think that some senior citizens are forced to choose whether to pay their rent and utilities or buy their needed prescription medications. Fortunately, Pennsylvania has been a leader in its PACE and PACENET programs in helping low-to-moderate income seniors to pay for their medicines. But we haven’t increased the income limits for many years and this vote was a long time coming,” said Madden, a co-sponsor of H.B. 270.

The legislation would increase the income limit for PACENET prescription-drug coverage for people 65 or older from $23,500 to $27,500 for single people and from $31,500 to $35,500 for married couples.

The Pennsylvania Department of Aging estimates that more than 14,000 seniors would become eligible under the expanded income limits.

“Additionally, some current enrollees in the program have seen their income rise above the limits, so this bill would allow them to continue receiving benefits,” Madden said.

Madden said her office staff in Stroudsburg and Tobyhanna can help people apply for the program and other state-related services.

PACE and PACENET are funded by proceeds from the Pennsylvania Lottery.

Today, the bill passed the state Senate unanimously and sent it to the governor's desk.