Connecticut’s Medicare Savings Program will be implementing significant changes that will affect thousands of Medicare enrollees.
What is changing?
In late 2017, the State passed a new budget, reducing the income eligibility for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP), which assists elderly and disabled Medicare enrollees with the monthly cost of their Medicare premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs. The effective date of these changes has been pushed back to start July 1st, 2018 with three different levels of MSP.
- QMB (Qualified Medicare Beneficiary): Pays for Medicare Part A and B Premiums, and Medicare Deductibles, and Coinsurance
- Income levels up to 211% FPL (Single $2,135.32/mo – Couple $2,894.92/mo)
- SLMB (Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary): Pays for Medicare Part B Premiums
- Income levels up to 231% FPL (Single $2,337.72/mo – Couple $3,169.32/mo)
- ALMB (Additional Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary): Pays for Medicare Part B Premium (may not have any other Medicaid at the same time – funding is limited for the program, when funds are exhausted applications will be denied)
- Income levels up to 246% FPL (Single $2,489.52/mo – Couple $3,375.12/mo)
The Governor of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, has threatened to veto this new budget, but with overwhelming support from the House and Senate the veto will likely be overturned.
Why is this important?
With MSP eligibility requirements changing, many Medicare enrollees on the program may be moved to a different level, or may not receive any benefit at all. Those individuals may see:
- A decrease of Social Security benefit, because they will now be responsible for their monthly Medicare Premiums.
- An increase of out-of-pocket costs due to deductibles, copays, and coinsurance that MSP previously paid.
Opportunity for agents!
According to the Connecticut Center for Medicare Advocacy, this change to MSP could affect more than 100,000 current Medicare Enrollees.
The individuals whose MSP levels decrease, or lose eligibility altogether, will be eligible for a special election period (SEP) to enroll into a Medicare Health Insurance Plan. This is a huge opportunity for an independent insurance agent to service the individuals affected by this change. The state has already started mailing MSP enrollees to inform them of the changes for eligibility, so now is the time to begin your own marketing efforts.
Call JSA Marketing today to build your marketing plan at 1-800-203-0433.
Individuals who need additional assistance with bills, such as food and grocery expenses, utility bills, medical costs, and other expenses can dial 2-1-1 on their phones. The State 2-1-1 program will connect individuals with dozens of assistance programs for help with various expenses.