Many seniors and individuals with disabilities who rely on Medicare may be eligible to save nearly $100 in monthly premiums and other costs by enrolling in the state’s expanded Medicare Savings programs as a result of legislation passed last year and strongly supported by AARP.
Governor M. Jodi Rell and Representative Linda Scofield, Simsbury (who introduced the legislation) recently announced that nearly 83,000 individuals have already enrolled in the Medicare Savings Program and estimates they are saving nearly $97 million a year in premiums alone.
Medicare beneficiaries who enroll in the Medicare Savings Programs save the full amount of their Medicare Part B premiums – usually $96.40 per month. In some cases, the co-payments and deductibles for Medicare A and B services are covered as well. Part A covers hospital charges. Part B covers doctor visits and other services.
Enrolling in Connecticut’s Medicare Savings Programs will also help people save on the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. Medicare Savings Program members are automatically entitled to the federally-funded Medicare Part D “low-income subsidy,” which lowers co-payments on medications and pays deductibles.
A change in state law in October 2009 expanded eligibility for the Medicare Savings Programs, raising the income limits and eliminating asset limits. The income limit to qualify for the Medicare Savings Programs is now $25,100 annually for individuals or $33,800 for couples. There is no limit on the amount of assets you may have.
Overall, enrollment in the Medicare Savings Programs has risen from 71,316 in October 2009 to 82,945 this February, the most recent month for which statistics are available. The additional 11,629 enrollees are saving over $13.5 million in Medicare Part B premiums. Many are also saving on co-payments and deductibles.
The changes to the Medicare Savings Program are a win-win for enrollees and state taxpayers as the federal government currently reimburses the State of Connecticut for about 62 percent of up-front expenditures for this program.
If you believe that you or a loved one might be eligible for this program, visit the DSS website or call CHOICES at 1-800-994-9422 (toll-free).