Grove’s Senior Medication Protection Legislation Passes House
1/27/2014
HARRISBURG – In an effort to allow nearly 40,000 Pennsylvania senior citizens to maintain access and allow 10,000 seniors to gain access to affordable prescription medications through the PACE and PACENET programs, the House unanimously passed House Bill 777, authored by Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover). The bill would allow seniors who would be bumped from eligibility by Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) to stay on the PACE and PACENET programs and removes Medicare Part B premiums as income to increase eligibility for PACE and PACENET.

“The lifespan of the average American continues to increase, thanks in part to prescription medications,” Grove said. “However, medications are expensive for our senior citizens. My legislation would allow more Pennsylvanians access to these life-sustaining drugs at an affordable price.”

PACE and PACENET provide life-sustaining medications to approximately 300,000 older Pennsylvanians. Unfortunately, while many individuals readily welcome Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, such COLA increases typically result in some individuals facing ineligibility due to the increase in income. House Bill 777 would place a moratorium on PACE and PACENET benefits for those receiving Social Security COLA increases. Plus, the bill would change the definition of income to exclude Medicare Part B premiums, which would allow an additional 10,000 senior citizens to participate in the programs. Medicare Part B is money seniors never actually see, so it is unfair to include it in determining whether or not they qualify for PACE or PACENET funds.

Current income eligibility levels for PACE are set at less than $14,500 for a single person and less than $17,700 for a couple. PACENET, which covers those individuals with incomes exceeding PACE maximums, is open to individuals earning between $14,500 and $23,500 and couples with incomes between $17,700 and $31,500. The minimum age to participate in these programs is 65, and they are funded from proceeds of the Pennsylvania Lottery. The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration.

This spring, Grove will be hosting a series of assistance programs to help individuals understand the assistance available with PACE/PACENET. They will be held as follows:

• Thursday, April 3, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Windy Hill Senior Center, located at 1472 Roths Church Road. Suite 103, Spring Grove, 17362. (717-225-0733)

• Thursday, April 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Heritage Senior Center, located at 3700 Davidsburg Road, Dover, 17315. (717-292-7471)

• Thursday, April 24, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Grove’s district office, located at 1954 Carlisle Road, York, 17408. (717-767-3947) 
 
For more information on Grove’s legislative goals visit www.repgrove.com or www.Facebook.com/RepSethGrove.

Representative Seth Grove
196th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Mike Straub
717.260.6479
mstraub@pahousegop.com  
RepGrove.com / Facebook.com/RepSethGrove
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