Thomas bill to protect PACE and PACENET benefits goes to the governor

The legislation, which passed the Senate, would prevent seniors from losing their benefits due to an increase in the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment

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 Senate.

House Bill 754 now moves to the governor for his signature.

“This prescription program is critical for the 300,000 Pennsylvania seniors who depend on it for their life-sustaining medications,” Thomas said. “Unfortunately, each year Social Security’s annual cost-of-living adjustments push seniors out of the program due to the increase in income.”

This year, the Social Security COLA will be 2.8 percent and cause about 9,200 PACE and PACENET cardholders to exceed their eligibility limits and lose their benefits.

House Bill 754 would allow these seniors to continue to receive their benefits through Dec. 31, 2021.

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.

“We must do all we can to help our seniors,” Thomas said.