|Ensuring Seniors Stay Eligible for PACE and PACENET
This week, the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee approved a package of bills designed to help seniors in need continue to receive PACE and PACENET prescription drug benefits.
House Bill 754 would ensure any individual enrolled in PACE and PACENET as of Dec. 31, 2018, remains eligible if their maximum income limit is exceeded due solely to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.
House Bill 375 would exclude the cashing of savings bonds for seniors age 65 and older from being counted towards income when applying for lottery funded programs, including PACE and PACENET.
The final part of the package, House Bill 684, would remove the value of federal veterans’ disability payments and the value of all state service-connected payments from income eligibility calculations for the PACE and PACENET programs.
The bills now go to the full House for consideration.
How Much Do My Prescriptions Cost?
The state Department of Aging maintains a database to help consumers compare the cost of frequently used medications.
The cost of prescriptions for cash-paying customers can vary widely between pharmacies, as each pharmacy sets its own prices for cash payers. Patients with prescription insurance coverage will also find price shopping useful if their coinsurance is based on a percent of the total cash price.
The online tool updates prices weekly, lists prices by ZIP code or distance from location, includes pharmacy store details, and lists pharmacies with low-cost generics and those that match lower prices.
You can learn more about the tool by clicking here or calling 1-800-835-4080.
Keeping Vaping Products Out of the Hands of Minors
To help keep harmful vaping products out of the hands of minors, the House this week passed legislation that would add “electronic nicotine delivery systems” (ENDS) to the law that currently makes it illegal to sell tobacco products to minors and, for students, to possess or use such products on school grounds.
ENDS include, but are not limited to, e-cigarettes, JUULs and vape pens.
While the products are touted as harmless by some, medical experts have warned that the high doses of nicotine available in many products negatively affect the developing adolescent brain, and the long-term effects of inhaling vaporized chemicals is unknown.
House Bill 97 now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Safety Tips for Kids on the Internet
The internet comes with benefits, as well as risks, especially for children. Parents are encouraged to help kids follow safe and responsible computer practices.
The best way to keep kids safe online is to start conversations about being online early and continue to monitor their internet use and discuss how to use it responsibly. It is important children know that some people online have bad intentions, including bullies, predators, hackers, scammers and people sharing inappropriate content.
Ensuring children use cell phones responsibly and safely means establishing what responsible use looks like, including if calls or texting are allowed during dinner or while doing homework, ensuring they treat others the same way they want to be treated, and deciding on the privacy settings, web filters and child safety controls you want on your child’s phone.
Teens and tweens communicate online using social media, chat rooms, and virtual worlds, and it is important they know how to safely navigate these spaces. They should understand that after they post something, it cannot be taken back. Even if they delete it, they should limit what they share.
You can learn more about keeping your kids safe on the internet by clicking here.
Weiser State Forest Earth Day Tree Planting
The Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and other groups are hosting an Earth Day tree planting event at Weiser State Forest on Saturday, April 20, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
If you would like to participate, you’ll need to wear boots or sturdy shoes. Supplies and food will be provided.
To RSVP for this event, contact Laura Gray at the Pennsylvania Environmental Council by calling 412-481-9400 or by emailing her at LBray@pecpa.org. You also can register by visiting pecpa.org/weiser.