Plan to Protect PACE and PACENET Benefits in Pennsylvania

Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) has introduced legislation to protect seniors from losing their PACE and PACENET benefits due to an increase in the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

The Social Security COLA will be 2.8 percent this year and will cause about 9,200 PACE and PACENET cardholders to exceed their eligibility limits and lose their benefits.

“This is Pennsylvania’s premier prescription drug assistance programs for seniors, which provide life-sustaining medications to approximately 300,000 older Pennsylvanians,” Thomas said. “Unfortunately, while many individuals welcome Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, such COLA increases typically result in some individuals facing ineligibility due to the increase in income.”

Act 62 of 2017 permitted about 13,000 PACE and PACENET cardholders to retain the benefit that they would otherwise have lost as a result of Social Security COLA increases. Unfortunately, the COLA moratorium under Act 62 is scheduled to expire on Dec. 31, 2019.

Thomas’ legislation—House Bill 754— would allow these seniors to continue to receive their benefits through Dec. 31, 2021.

“We must do all we can to help our seniors,” Thomas said.