Gov. Shapiro Signs Bill Ensuring Prescription Benefits for Pennsylvania Seniors Despite Income Increases”

HarrisburgCredit: Commonwealth Media Services

PENNSYLVANIA — Governor Josh Shapiro recently signed into law Senate Bill 607, a measure that safeguards prescription medication benefits for 20,000 older Pennsylvanians. These individuals, whose overall income has seen increases due to Social Security cost-of-living adjustments (COLA), were at risk of losing these vital benefits.

The new law specifically extends the cost-of-living moratorium for two key programs: the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly (PACE) and the Pharmaceutical Assistance Contract for the Elderly Needs Enhancement Tier (PACENET). The extension will last through 2025.

The bill, sponsored by Senators Judy Ward and Maria Collett, the Republican and Democratic chairs respectively of the Senate Aging & Youth Committee, was a priority for the Pennsylvania Department of Aging in the 2023-24 legislative session.

Secretary of Aging Jason Kavulich praised the passage of the bill, stating, “The PACE and PACENET programs play an important role in supporting older adults and offering tremendous savings by helping them pay for their prescription medications. The benefit of this new law will allow enrollees to keep money in their pocket.”

Senate Bill 607 is part of a broader effort by the Shapiro Administration to make living in Pennsylvania more affordable for older adults. This past August, Governor Shapiro signed the largest targeted tax break for seniors in nearly two decades with the expansion of the Property Tax/Rent Rebate (PTRR) program.

The PACE and PACENET programs, which currently serve more than 250,000 older Pennsylvanians, offer comprehensive reimbursement coverage for prescription medications to qualified older residents aged 65 and older. The programs are funded with revenue from the Pennsylvania Lottery.

READ:  Pittsburgh Wins Bid to Host 2026 NFL Draft, Boosting State's Tourism and Economy

With the signing of Senate Bill 607, now Act 62 of 2023, the cost-of-living moratorium will be extended until December 31, 2025, allowing enrollees to maintain their PACE/PACENET benefits. The original moratorium was set to expire at the end of 2023.

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News and Microsoft Start.