Agency on Aging

Take Action - Changes in the CT Medicare Savings Program (MSP)

Latest Update - Hartford Courant January 5, 2018

Cuts to the Medicare Savings Program continue to be the focus of legislative advocacy efforts.  You might know someone who received a letter from the Department of Social Services explaining about cuts to the program. The letters indicate that the changes are effective December 31.  However, in response to advocacy efforts by many groups throughout the state, the CT Legislature has pushed back the date of implementation of the cuts for at least 2 months.  Many legislative leaders have called for s special session to reverse the cuts.

However, the bad news is that they are talking about fully funding the Medicare Savings Program until July 18, 2018 BUT no assurance of funding beyond that point.  

In addition, the Medicaid eligibility cut passed by the legislature which removes 13,000 low income people from Husky A has not been proposed to be reversed.
Call your state legislator NOW and tell them to fully restore the Medicare Savings Program and Husky A.  Tell them you want a long term fix, not just a band aid while there is a lot of attention focused on the program. 

To find out who your State Representative and Senator are call 860-240-0100.

Additional Information:
Message From New Haven Legal
Talking Points
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About the Changes in MSP

Because of severe cuts in the state budget passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor in October 2017, over 100,000 CT residents are facing the loss of assistance in paying for medical costs. 
Breakdown by town.

MSP has three levels of coverage. The current monthly income guidelines for QMB are $2,120 for an individual, $2,854 for a couple - new guidelines as of January 1 are $1,025/$1,374.  MSP Income Guidelines   

If you lose MSP, your Medicare Part B monthly premium,which is  is currently $134, will be deducted directly from your Social Security benefits.  QMB recipients (over 90% of MSP recipients) will also have additional costs in relation to copays and deductibles for Medicare Part A hospital and Part B medical covered services.

From the State of Connecticut:

Beginning January 1, 2018, the income eligibility levels for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP), that is administered by the State of CT Department of Social Services (DSS), will decrease to match the federal income limits. This change is due to CT State budget legislation (Public Act 17-2, Section 50). Eligibility for MSP is based on income and not assets. 

MSP has three levels of coverage: Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) and Additional Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (ALMB). The State pays the Medicare Part B premium for all levels of the program. In addition, MSP recipients are automatically enrolled in the Extra Help/Low Income Subsidy program, which helps pay Medicare Part D prescription costs. QMB recipients receive additional assistance to help with cost sharing (premiums, deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance for Medicare A & B covered services).  

In response to concerns raised by beneficiaries, advocates and legislators, the Department of Social Services, will slow down the implementation of eligibility reductions in the ‘Medicare Savings Programs’ contained in the bipartisan budget.  Read the press release.