Republicans, Democrats Propose Cuts To Medicare Assistance For Seniors, Disabled – Hartford Courant

As budget negotiations continue at the state Capitol, advocates are calling on legislators not to include a proposal that would cause tens of thousands of low-income elderly and disabled people in Connecticut to lose financial assistance to pay for Medicare.

Both the Republican and Democratic budget alternatives reduced the income eligibility levels for the federal Medicare Savings Program, resulting in a two-year savings of between $81.9 million and $107.7 million, according to nonpartisan fiscal analysts.

But Kevin Brophy, director of elder law at Connecticut Legal Services, says the change means some 68,000 people in the state would completely lose their benefits, which include payments of Medicare premiums, and for the poorest, coverage of co-pays and deductibles, too. The state pays for half of the benefits with the federal government picking up the rest of the cost.

“For my folks, if they wind up losing this … it could make the difference between getting a prescription or having food on the table,” Brophy said.

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