PA Senate greenlights bill that would ensure Social Security recipients won’t lose prescription coverage during cost of living increases

20 June 2023- The state Senate 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.

“Senior citizens should be able to receive a bump in their Social Security payments without jeopardizing their prescription medication coverage,” Ward said. “I encourage my colleagues in the House to move swiftly to advance this legislation protecting prescription benefits for Pennsylvania senior citizens.”

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.

“Pennsylvanians should never lose access to vital health supports like the PACE and PACENET prescription assistance programs simply because of Social Security adjustments,” Collett said. “I am proud to work with Senator Ward to pass Senate Bill 607 and look forward to when Governor Shapiro will sign it into law.”

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 the state House of Representatives for consideration.