Thousands could be left without health insurance - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Thousands could be left without health insurance

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Seniors are worried about losing their health insurance.  (WFSB) Seniors are worried about losing their health insurance. (WFSB)

The budget that was finally approved last month includes millions in cuts that will affect the elderly and the disabled.

More than 100,000 seniors could be left without any health insurance or reduced benefits. 

"It’s scary. I am supposed to have surgery on January 3,” Haddam resident Revalyn Hickey said. “I am going right now to postpone it."

Hickey needs a knee replacement. But, starting Jan. 1, she and more than 100,000 seniors may have no coverage or will have to pay more.

Old Saybrook Social Services organized this meeting to let people know what could happen because of budget changes.

"These people have worked their whole lives and expected to have this program available to them,” Susan Consoli with Old Saybrook Social Services said. "In fact, they paid into it with lots of taxes." 

Legislators voted for reductions, mainly to keep Connecticut in line with other states. Connecticut is one of five that exceeds federal eligibility limits. However, it costs more to live in Connecticut than many states.

"They were looking at what other states had implemented and the reality is it’s a lot worse than other states,” State Rep. Devin Carney (R-Old Lyme) said.  

"There will have to be a shift from other line items in the budget to fill this gap,” State Sen. Paul Formica (R-Niantic) said.   

Some lawmakers didn't realize the impact of these cuts, but since they passed the budget, they've been flooded with calls.

Old Saybrook resident Rhonda Harbour said many seniors will be forced to choose between groceries or their medications.

"The whole outlook that elderly people didn't save for their later years that's your fault,” Harbour said. “Well, they don't understand the circumstances of the things in your life."

This has gotten so much attention that legislators were saying Wednesday they may have to call another special session and soon to adjust these cuts. 

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