30,000 seniors in Pa. will keep prescription-drug benefit

    More than 30,000 senior citizens enrolled in Pennsylvania’s prescription-drug benefit programs will not see their eligibility squelched by cost-of-living-adjustment increases in their Social Security payments.

    In a ceremonial bill signing Thursday, Gov. Tom Corbett officially put his signature on a law to preserve the eligibility of elders enrolled in the state’s PACE and PACENET programs.

    The governor was at a retirement community in Hershey to speak about the new law to an audience of older adults–and to the glowing reviews of former Democratic Governor George Leader.

    Corbett says the law will save those older adults from being knocked into a doughnut-hole situation.

    “And because Social Security provides cost-of-living adjustments, we found that some senior citizens in the past were at risk of being disqualified from PACE,” Corbett said. “Because they were keeping up with inflation, the law would have had them fall behind in their health care. And that’s just not right. It won’t do.”

    The bill passed with bipartisan support.

    State Secretary of Aging Brian Duke says PACE and PACENET are model programs. On average, they cover about $2,400 in prescription costs for each enrollee every year, he said.

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