Abney’s bill to help keep seniors eligible for state prescription programs passes the House

HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Aerion Abney’s bill that would exclude one portion of a person’s potential revenue when determining their financial eligibility for senior prescription programs in Pennsylvania passed the state House with a bipartisan majority today.

Abney’s legislation (H.B. 2378) would not count the total dollar amount, including face value and interest earned, of redeemed savings bonds as part of an older Pennsylvanian’s income when they apply for either the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly or PACE Needs Enhancement Tier, otherwise known as PACE and PACENET.

“Rising prescription drugs costs have created a no-win situation for many PA seniors, forcing them to choose between cashing in their bonds to afford necessary medications or be disqualified from state prescription coverage for doing so. My bill would take this predicament off the table and keep more money in the pockets of our older neighbors,” Abney, D-Allegheny, said. “I’m grateful to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for passing this personal and financial investment in our state elders and look forward to seeing it become law.”

PACE is funded entirely by the Pennsylvania Lottery and has helped more than 1.6 million PA seniors pay for more than 360 million prescriptions. PACE and PACENET currently serve more than 250,000 older Pennsylvanians.

The bill is Abney’s first as a state representative to pass the House and now moves to the Senate for consideration.