If you have Medicare, Social Security deducts money from your check each month to pay for your Medicare Part B premium.
If you qualify for one of Connecticut’s three Medicare Savings Programs (MSP), the State of Connecticut will pay this monthly Part B premium on your behalf. Your Social Security check will then increase each month.
In addition to paying the Part B premium, one of the Medicare Savings Programs, called QMB, also pays all Medicare Part A and Part B co-pays and deductibles. To benefit from this program you must use providers that accept Medicaid patients. With QMB, it may be unnecessary to purchase a Medigap policy to supplement Parts A and B of Medicare.
The Medicare Savings Programs are administered by the Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS). Program brochures and applications are available from the DSS or may be downloaded from the DSS website at: http://www.ct.gov/dss/cwp/view.asp?Q=451370&A=2345.
If you qualify for MSP, you will also automatically receive help with your prescription drug costs under Medicare Part D. This help comes in the form of a full subsidy under the Part D Low Income Subsidy (LIS), also known as “Extra Help.”
State budget legislation (Public Act 17-2, Section 50) would change the income-eligibility levels for the Medicare Savings Programs.
Updated information, January 9, 2018:
The state legislature voted on Monday to continue the Medicare Savings Program income eligibility limits at their 2017 levels until July 1, 2018 by adopting HB 7601. The state budget adopted in October had significantly reduced the income eligibility levels. Governor Malloy has threatened to veto this new bill because the legislature did not deal comprehensively with state budget problems. The overwhelmingly supportive vote in both the House and the Senate indicates that a veto could be overturned. There were concerns about the revenue used to pay for this change. This issue will have to be revisited in the regular legislative session, which starts in February, or the income limits will drop in July. More details in this CT Mirror article.
If allowed to go through, the potential cuts could affect over 100,000 Medicare beneficiaries in CT.
If you are affected (You received a letter saying you are losing your MSP benefits):
- Contact the CT CHOICES program at 1-800-994-9422.
- Review the material at these links:
- Contact your state legislators about MSP changes
A. Roozbehani, January 2018