McKeesport, August 5, 2011 – State Sen. Jim Brewster today detailed a new state law that protects PACE/PACENET recipients from losing their eligibility due to small Social Security cost of living increases.

“A Social Security COLA should be welcome news for seniors, not some threat to their prescription drug program eligibility,” Brewster said. “This new law I supported will hold PACE/PACENET enrollees harmless for three years. During that period, I hope to find the means to extend this eligibility protection even further.”

PACE and PACENET provide comprehensive prescription coverage to seniors and covers most prescription medications, including insulin, syringes and insulin needles. Brewster said that without the change, about 9,000 people receiving PACENET would have lost their benefits while an estimated 21,000 PACE enrollees would have had to move to PACENET, making them responsible for higher co-pays.

To be eligible for PACE or PACENET, one must be 65 years of age or older, a state resident for at least 90 days prior to applying for benefits, and cannot be enrolled in the Department of Public Welfare’s Medicaid prescription benefit. Eligibility for both programs is determined by previous year’s income.

To qualify for PACE, a single person’s income cannot total more than $14,500. For a married couple, combined total income must be less than $17,700. Once you are enrolled in PACE, you will be sent a benefit card and pay no more than $6 for each generic prescription medication and no more than $9 for each brand name prescription.

PACENET’s income limits are slightly higher than those for PACE. A single person’s total income can be between $14,500 and $23,500. A couple’s combined total income can be between $17,700 and $31,500. PACENET cardholders that do not enroll in a Part D plan will pay a nominal deductible each month at their pharmacy, which will be calculated through the cost of their medications. In addition, the individual will pay no more than $8 for each generic prescription medication and no more than $15 for each brand name.

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