Pennsylvania– A House committee has approved a bill to extend the moratorium on Social Security cost-of-living adjustments in determining eligibility for the state’s senior prescription drug program.
Bill 1184 was introduced by Rep. Patti Kim and passed by the House Committee on Services for the Elderly on Wednesday, June 7
Currently, approximately 231,000 elderly Pennsylvania residents benefit from PACE and PACENET programs, providing essential support and access to essential medicines. The proposed extension will be made possible by combining existing lottery fund revenues with increased rebates on branded and generic drugs. However, when the Social Security COLA is increased, some individuals face the unintended consequence of exceeding the income threshold and consequently disqualification from these programs.
This measure represents an important step in protecting the health and welfare of older adults in Pennsylvania
Approximately 10,000 PACE and PACENET cardholders have been able to retain their benefits, despite the COLA increase in social security, thanks to the final extension in 2021. However, this grace period will end on December 31st.
We will ensure that they have access to essential medicines through the PACE and PACENET programs without incurring an undue financial burden,” Kim said. Unfortunately, the Social Security COLA for 2023 is projected to be 8.7%, with nearly 29,400 seniors at risk of losing benefits because they have exceeded their claim limits. Recognizing this upcoming challenge, Kim proposed extending the current COLA social security grace period to December 31, 2025.