Oct. 05, 2021

HARRISBURG – Today the House approved legislation sponsored by Rep. Shelby Labs (R-Bucks) to extend PACE/PACENET benefits until Dec. 31, 2023.

“Extending this program supports older Pennsylvanians by ensuring they have access to the medications they need, regardless of changes in cost of living,” Labs said. “After cost of living adjustments, some enrolled in the PACE and PACENET programs would be deemed ineligible, resulting in their medical needs being unfulfilled, which is unacceptable.”

PACE and PACENET, Pennsylvania’s prescription drug assistance programs for seniors, provide life-sustaining medications to nearly 300,000 older Pennsylvanians. Although, when Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) are implemented, some residents are deemed ineligible for the program because of increased income.

House Bill 291 would continue Act 95 of 2019, which resulted in permitting approximately 12,700 PACE and PACENET cardholders to remain in the program and benefit an additional 5,100 cardholders who will exceed the income limits following the 1.3% COLA in 2021. This measure would amend the State Lottery Law to extend a moratorium on increases in income due to a Social Security COLA, thereby extending benefits until Dec. 31, 2023. Without this legislation, the current COLA moratorium under Act 95 will expire on Dec. 31, 2021. More than 17,000 cardholders will benefit from House Bill 291.

“I am pleased to be supporting our older Pennsylvanians with this legislation,” Labs said.

The measure now moves to the state Senate for consideration.

Representative Shelby Labs
143rd Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives