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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 13, 2021 09:45 AM
From: Senator Judy Ward
To: All Senate members
Subject: PACE/PACENET Social Security COLA Moratorium
Pennsylvania’s premier prescription drug assistance programs for seniors, PACE and PACENET, provide life-sustaining medications to approximately 257,000 older Pennsylvanians. Unfortunately, while many individuals readily welcome Social Security cost-of-living adjustments, such COLA increases typically result in some individuals facing ineligibility due to the increase in income.
Act 95 of 2019 resulted in permitting approximately 12,700 PACE and PACENET cardholders to retain the benefit for 2021 that they would otherwise have lost as a result of Social Security COLA increases. The COLA moratorium under Act 95 is scheduled to expire on December 31, 2021.
Unfortunately, the Social Security COLA will be 1.3 percent in 2021 and is estimated to result in almost 5,100 PACE and PACENET cardholders exceeding eligibility limits and, thereby, losing their benefits. I am proposing to extend the current Social Security COLA moratorium until December 31, 2023.
Please join me as a cosponsor of this important legislation that will benefit nearly 17,800 seniors. This proposal is made possible due to a combination of existing Lottery Fund revenues, additional savings generated by federal changes that have provided for a “donut hole” discount in Medicare Part D and increased rebates for brand and generic pharmaceuticals.

Introduced as SB323