45th District Rep. Kevin Skulczyck Votes to Restore MSP Funding

HARTFORD – State Representative Kevin Skulczyck (R-45) 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 <http://www.ct.gov/agingservices/cwp/view.asp?Q=599134> 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.

“In a fiscal tsunami we can look at other areas to cut and find savings instead of affecting the most needy and dependent residents of Connecticut,” Rep. Skulczyck said. “We need to do more to correct the existing budget that Governor Malloy has tried to restructure and destroy rather than going against it and the will of the people and the bipartisan vote that took place.”

Late last year, The Department of Social Services<http://portal.ct.gov/dss> (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.