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Photo of Senator Marilyn Moore.

STATE SENATOR

Marilyn Moore

Honesty & Integrity

Information on Changes to the Medicare Savings Program

I’ve been receiving a lot of calls from constituents who are concerned and/or confused about the changes in the Medicare Savings Program. I want to give you the facts so you can better plan if you are affected by these changes.

Background:
In Connecticut, the State Department of Social Services administers the Medicare Savings Program (MSP), which offers financial assistance to eligible Medicare enrollees.

On November 18, the state Department of Social Services sent a letter to MSP beneficiaries informing them they may be affected with full or partial benefit loss. The bipartisan state budget adopted in October decreased income eligibility for the three Medicare Savings Programs from a range of 211% -246% federal poverty level (FPL) , to a new range of 100%- 135% FPL. Here’s a chart with some examples using monthly and yearly income.

healthcare

These changes were originally set to take effect on January 1, 2018.

Latest Update:
This week, DSS announced that in response to concerns raised by beneficiaries, advocates and legislators, it will slow down the implementation of eligibility reductions in the MSP and will explore possible coverage alternatives to MSP for current beneficiaries.

The DSS review will result in moving the date of changes in the Medicare Savings Program past January 1, 2018. DSS expects that its review process will take at least two months to complete, at which time the reduced income limits will go into effect. DSS will continue to keep beneficiaries informed as the process is put into place.

While current beneficiaries will receive some temporary relief, this longer phase-in of the Medicare Savings Program eligibility changes will reduce the savings likely to be achieved. The impact of the increased cost on the overall budget will be addressed in the forthcoming deficit mitigation plan.

In the meantime, legislative leaders continue meeting at the State Capitol to discuss possible options.

Who can be contacted?
Call 2-1-1 or call Connecticut’s program for Health insurance assistance, Outreach, Information and referral, Counseling, Eligibility Screening (CHOICES) at 1-800-994-9422.