Senator Judy Ward Plan to Ensure Seniors Access to Prescription Drugs Passes Senate

(HARRISBURG) – The PA Senate adopted a plan by Senator Judy Ward (R-30) that will allow thousands of Pennsylvanians to retain eligibility for PACE and PACENET.

PACE and PACENET are the state’s prescription drug assistance programs that provide life-sustaining medications to 257,000 seniors. Eligibility for the programs are based on income. The Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2021 is estimated to result in almost 5,100 PACE and PACENET cardholders exceeding the income eligibility limits, meaning those seniors will lose their benefits.

Senate Bill 323 extends the current moratorium on increases in income due to a Social Security COLA for PACE and PACENET enrollees for two additional years until Dec. 31, 2023, benefitting 17,800 seniors.

“Unfortunately, while many readily welcome Social Security COLAs, such increases in income result in some seniors becoming ineligible for the programs that provide their life-saving medications,” Senator Ward said. “We need to ensure that our most vulnerable population maintains access to affordable prescription drugs through PACE and PACENET and this measure will do just that.”

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

CONTACT: Cheryl Schriner

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