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Pickett Votes to Keep PACE/PACENET Card Holders Eligible
HARRISBURG – Legislation that will allow participants in the state’s two leading prescription drug assistance programs to continue eligibility for benefits if they receive income adjustments for Social Security passed the state House on Monday, said Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna).

“If senior citizens receive a modest cost-of-living adjustment from Social Security, that additional income could very well put them over the limit in terms of eligibility requirements, and that just doesn’t seem fair,” Pickett said. “Hundreds of senior citizens living here in the 110th District rely on PACE and PACENET to afford their life-saving medications. It would be a shame for them to lose their eligibility if they are just a few dollars over income limits.”

Under House Bill 777, senior citizens receiving Social Security COLAs would not lose their eligibility for PACE and PACENET, which offer prescription drug assistance for residents age 65 and older.

Rep. Pickett’s Video Comments:

This legislation follows Act 21 of 2011 that authorized a similar moratorium three years ago and allowed 30,000 PACE and PACENET cardholders to retain the benefit which they would otherwise have lost as a result of Social Security COLA increases. The current moratorium under Act 21 expired on Dec. 31, 2013.

“This legislation is necessary as the COLAs from the past two years could result in up to 40,000 PACE and PACENET participants to losing their coverage, including hundreds in rural areas like ours,” Pickett explained. “It just makes sense to extend this moratorium for another two years, and I am pleased we have moved this legislation onto the Senate for its consideration.”

In addition, the legislation seeks to exclude Medicare Part B premiums from the current definition of income. According to the state Department of Aging, that would allow nearly 8,200 senior citizens to qualify for the programs. 

Representative Tina Pickett
110th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
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