PA Legislature signs bill allowing seniors to continue accessing two prescription programs

11 December 2023- The state House today approved legislation introduced by Sen. Judy Ward (R-30) and Sen. Maria Collett (D-12) that would ensure older Pennsylvanians do not lose access to two state prescription medication programs due to an increase in their Social Security payments.

“With the passage of this legislation, senior citizens will not go into 2024 worrying about losing access to critical prescription medication coverage because of an increase in their Social Security payments,” Ward said. “I am hopeful for Gov. Josh Shapiro’s quick consideration and signature of this vital legislation.”

The PACE and PACENET programs provide comprehensive prescription coverage to Pennsylvanians age 65 or older. Senate Bill 607 would prevent PACE and PACENET participants from losing their benefits due to a Social Security cost-of-living increase.

“The PACE and PACENET programs make it possible for hundreds of thousands of older Pennsylvanians to afford their medications, and SB 607 will ensure these folks aren’t disqualified due to annual Social Security adjustments,” said Senator Collett. “I have been proud to work with my fellow nurse in the Senate to advance this commonsense legislation, and I’m grateful to our partners in the House for sending it to the Governor’s desk.”

Eligibility for the programs is governed by income limits. PACE is available to single older Pennsylvanians earning $14,500 or less, or married couples earning $17,700 or less. PACENET is available for individuals earning between $14,500 and $33,500 or married couples earning between $17,700 and $41,500.

Pennsylvanians on Social Security received an 8.7% cost-of-living increase in their benefits for 2023. Some PACE and PACENET participants could lose their eligibility if Senate Bill 607 is not enacted into law.

Senate Bill 607 now heads to Gov. Shapiro’s desk for his signature.