More Seniors Now Eligible to Buy Discounted Drugs


More low-income seniors in New Jersey are eligible for discounted pharmaceutical drugs after the state raised its income threshold in two of its long-standing grant programs, the Murphy administration said Thursday.

The change in part means that people 65 and older who earn less than $ 38,769 a year could buy generic drugs for $ 5 and brand-name drugs for $ 7, officials said.

“Few problems have a greater financial impact on New Jersey families than the ever-increasing cost of prescription drugs,” Murphy said in a statement. “Making New Jersey a more affordable place to live means working to lower the cost of prescription drugs.”

Discounts are available through two programs: Pharmaceutical Assistance for the Elderly and Disabled, or PAAD, and the Senior Gold Prescription Discount program.

The expansion comes as the Build Back Better Act, a federal bill that includes a provision allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with drug makers, has stalled in Congress.

More on the invoice:NJ Democrats Accept Medicare Pricing Negotiations, But Will A Bigger Bill Pass?

The Murphy administration said the state was taking steps to provide financial assistance. It included $ 25 million in its budget this fiscal year to reduce the cost of medicare and prescription drugs.

As part of this plan, Murphy increased the income limit by $ 10,000 on the PAAD and Senior Gold programs. The expansion went into effect Jan. 1 and could be available to 20,000 New Jersey residents.

PAAD is now open to residents 65 years of age and over and people with disabilities who earn up to $ 38,769 if single and $ 45,270 for couples. It cuts prices to $ 5 for covered generics and $ 7 for covered trademarks.

The Senior Gold Prescription Discount program is for seniors and people with disabilities who earn up to $ 48,769 if they’re single and $ 55,270 if they’re married. He offers drugs at half price after a co-payment of $ 15.

Medicare-eligible consumers must be enrolled in Medicare Part D, the prescription drug plan, to participate. To complete a request, go to

The expansion of the program was approved unanimously last year by the Assembly and the Senate. And it got approval from AARP New Jersey, a consumer group that found Americans pay three times more for prescription drugs than their counterparts in other countries.

“Residents of all ages depend on their prescriptions, and no one should have to choose between food, medicine or rent,” Evelyn Liebman, director of advocacy for AARP New Jersey, said last year of the law Project. “Prescription drugs don’t work if people can’t afford them. This extension will also extend eligibility for assistance programs to essential public services for those who need them most.”

Michael L. Diamond is an economics reporter who has written about the New Jersey economy and the health care industry for over 20 years. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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