DSS Revising Implementation Timeline of Medicare Savings Program Cuts
(HARTFORD, CT) – The state Department of Social Services today announced that in response to concerns raised by beneficiaries, advocates and legislators, it will slow down the implementation of eligibility reductions in the ‘Medicare Savings Programs’ contained in the bipartisan budget.
The state budget adopted in October included reduced eligibility levels to qualify for help in paying Medicare Part B premiums and other Medicare out-of-pocket costs. As a result, up to 113,000 seniors and citizens with disabilities may be affected with full or partial benefit loss.
“Since the passage of the budget in October, we have heard from many seniors and family members with questions and concerns about these changes,” DSS Commissioner Roderick L. Bremby said. “Members of the General Assembly and health care advocates have also expressed concerns about this part of the budget legislation. We want them to know that we are listening. Over the coming weeks, we will be exploring possible coverage alternatives to MSP for current beneficiaries. While most are not likely to qualify for other coverage, we hope this effort will alleviate the financial loss for some."
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.
December 6, 2017
Connecticut Department of Social Services