Last Updated: Jan 5, 2022
Recent legislation signed into law by Gov. Wolf ensures prescription savings protections for elderly Pennsylvanians.
Pennsylvania's prescription assistance programs for elderly adults, PACE and PACENET, offer low-cost prescription medication to qualified residents, age 65 and older. PACE and PACENET are funded through the Pennsylvania Lottery.
PACE and PACENET eligibility is determined by one’s income in the previous calendar year. Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLA) increases typically result in some individuals facing ineligibility due to consequential increases in their income. House Bill 291, signed into law as Act 92 of 2021, allows social security recipients to retain PACE/PACENET benefits that they would otherwise have lost as a result of Social Security COLA increases. Act 95 of 2019 enacted a COLA moratorium that was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2021. Act 291 extends this moratorium to Dec. 31, 2023.
HB 1260, signed into law as Act 94 of 2021, increases income limits to the PACENET program. These limits were last increased in 2018. With these enacted increases, to be eligible for the PACENET program, an individual must not have more than $33,500 if single or $41, 500 in the case of combined income for married couples. Act 94 will be implemented sixty (60) days after it was signed into law. This means that Pennsylvanians who are newly eligible will be able to be enrolled and begin receiving benefits starting February 21, 2022. The state estimates that an additional 100,000 Pennsylvanians will now be eligible for PACENET with this expanded eligibility.
Additional information on the PACE and PACENET programs can be accessed here.