The Bristol Blog features news and information about Bristol, Connecticut.
March 19, 2009
Wright talkes about ConnPACE program
Press release from state Rep. Chris Wright, a Democrat from northeastern Bristol's 77th District:
REP. WRIGHT WELCOMES NEW ConnPACE Plus PROGRAM THAT
WILL HELP BRISTOL ENROLLEES
State Representative Christopher Wright (D-Bristol) says Bristol enrollees will benefit from a new program called ConnPACE Plus which provides $4.6 million in state savings that was included in the deficit mitigation plan approved by the General Assembly last month and was signed into law by the Governor.
Legislative leaders have called for the state Department of Social Services to implement the program as soon as possible.
According to the state Department of Social Services, there were 813 Bristol enrollees in the program during February 2009.
“Once the state Department of Social Services has the program up and working Bristol enrollees on the state’s ConnPACE program will see an increase over $1,000 in their Social Security checks per year and they will also pay less for their drugs and other Medicare co-pays,” Rep. Wright said. “This is a significant helping hand for the program’s enrollees.”
Rep. Wright credited one of his colleagues, Rep. Linda Schofield of Simsbury, with proposing the plan that was unanimously supported in the House.
The following is a summary of the program:
ConnPACE members, who are all seniors and disabled persons with limited incomes, will qualify for the following new benefits:
their Medicare part B premiums will be paid for, saving them $96.40/month, $1,156.80/year;
their prescription copays will be lowered from the ConnPACE copay of $16.25 to $2.25 for generics and $5.60 for brand drugs;
and some people with very low incomes will get other Medicare cost sharing covered, such as the deductibles and copays for physician and hospital services.
Rep. Wright explained, “ConnPACE is funded with state money.“ We’ll now give ConnPACE enrollees the opportunity to become eligible for largely federally funded programs.So we’ll be substituting state dollars with federal dollars.”
The legislation gives senior citizens and disabled persons on ConnPACEthe chance to be eligible for the Medicare Savings Program(MSP).Under federal law, persons eligible for the MSP program are automatically also eligible for federal “extra help” under Medicare Part D, in addition to the benefits available in the MSP programs.
The savings in ConnPACE will be $35 million, because the federal “extra help” benefits will substitute for ConnPACE benefits.These savings in ConnPACE are off-set by the state share of costs for the MSP benefits, which will be $30.4 million.Thus, the net fiscal impact on the State is a savings of $4.6 million per year.
In addition to the savings for the State, the improved benefits will put an estimated $47 million per year into the pockets of low-income disabled and senior citizens in Connecticut.
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