Lawmakers working to restore Medicare Savings Program - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Lawmakers working to restore Medicare Savings Program

Posted: Updated:

The fight continues to save the Medicare Savings Program.

More than 100,000 people in Connecticut are waiting to see if it's going to be fully funded.

Back in January, lawmakers overrode the governor's veto, extending benefits temporarily.

Those who receive these healthcare benefits are running out of options.

These benefits are extremely important because it covers things like co-pays and premiums.

Many of the people who have the program have disabilities, and without this coverage, they have to make difficult decisions.

Juliette Meyer is small and frail but says she's lucky to be alive.

"Eventually they had to do a trachea, my breathing kept stopping,” said Meyer.

She had a terrible accident 9 years ago when a horse kicked her in the face, which threw her backward causing brain damage.

Meyer has trouble seeing and moving her muscles. She also takes a lot of medication and has lots of doctor visits, but is surprisingly positive.

"How could I not be, they saved my life,” Meyer said.

The Medicare Savings Program, which supplements Medicare, covers about $400 of Meyer’s co-pays and prescriptions.

Those benefits will run out July 1 if lawmakers don't take action.

"I believe there are some efficiencies and savings in the budget which will allow us to fund that, if additional funds are required, I am open to it,” said State Representative Joe Aresimowicz, House Speaker.

If funding is not restored, 115,000 people could lose benefits.

$93 million is needed for full restoration.

The Democrats budget restores it partially, only 69,000 people would be without coverage.

The GOP budget is better with only 39,000 losing coverage.

"I hope they will realize that we are talking about 113,000 people who will be left without much recourse without medical care,” Meyer said.

As of this week, Democratic leaders said they were working on numbers and will work on restoring this important program.

Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.