HARRISBURG—Legislation introduced by Rep. Wendi Thomas (R-Bucks) to prevent seniors from losing their PACE and PACENET benefits due to an increase in the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) has passed the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee.
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 an important prescription program that assists about 300,000 Pennsylvania seniors in receiving life-sustaining medications,” Thomas said. “Unfortunately, while many individuals welcome Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, these COLAs often push seniors out of the program 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.
The bill now moves to the whole House for consideration.
Representative Wendi Thomas
178th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: David Foster