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The original item was published from 6/8/2017 11:50:48 AM to 8/1/2017 12:30:04 AM.

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Human Services

Posted on: June 8, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Nelson’s bill for seniors’ prescription drug assistance passes House

From the Latrobe Bulletin

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives this week approved legislation, sponsored by Rep. Eric Nelson (R-Hempfield Township), to prevent seniors from losing their eligibility for the state’s prescription drug assistance programs due to a Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.

“I’m pleased my first bill to pass the House will protect seniors from losing their prescription drug assistance,” Nelson said in a news release. “Without this legislation, a small Social Security COLA can make a senior ineligible for benefits. This can then cause hardships and force seniors to pick between lifesaving medications and other needs. I’m hopeful the Senate will act quickly so about 12,000 Pennsylvanians will not lose their eligibility.”

The state’s PACE and PACENET programs provide prescription drug assistance to about 300,000 Pennsylvania seniors. A2015 state law allowed seniors previously eligible to not lose their PACE and PACENET benefits due to a Social Security COLA. However, this law sunsets in December. Under House Bill 425, the COLA moratorium would be extended through Dec. 31, 2019.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

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