HARTFORD- State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) and his colleagues voted Monday to restore $53.9 million dollars in Medicare Savings Plan (MSP) funding that was previously removed in the bipartisan budget.
MSP is an income-based program, which provides supplemental financial assistance to more than 113,000 seniors and disabled individuals around the state to help cover items such as Medicare co-insurance, deductibles, and premiums. Connecticut was one of five states whose income eligibility limits exceeded the federal minimum level. Legislators in adopting the budget in October reduced the eligibility to the federal minimum, consequently reducing or eliminating coverage for many of the program’s thousands of participants.
In order to reach the almost $54 million dollars, lawmakers needed to readdress many agreed upon aspects of the bipartisan budget that were not enacted by Governor Malloy. Some of these savings included the consolidations of multiple human resource functions into the Department of Administration Services, reductions to managers and consultants, and eliminate the carry forward from FY18 to FY19.
“This is just one of many fixes that this legislature needs to work on,” Rep. Ackert said. “We need to put a stop to the mentality that Connecticut is in recovery mode and be truly realistic about where we are financially. As we approach the start of the 2018 session, our legislative focus needs to be how we get back to the basics and doing what government is supposed to do.”
Late last year, The Department of Social Services (DSS) announced that it would delay implementation of eligibility reductions to the state’s MSP program two months (until March 1, 2018), while it conducted a review of coverage alternatives.
Realizing almost 86,000 low-income seniors would be disqualified and another 27,000 would have their coverage reduced, members from both the House and Senate of the Connecticut General Assembly petitioned the Secretary of the State to call them back into special session in order to restore the previous cut.
Rep. Ackert represents the 8th District covering the towns of Coventry, Columbia, Tolland, and Vernon