To the Editor:

In 2023, the Maine legislature took historic action by expanding eligibility for Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) for thousands of Mainers. MSPs are for people on Medicare who have limited income and resources so they may afford healthcare expenses such as copayments, deductibles, and Medicare Parts A and B.

The expanded eligibility for these programs was significant. Under the law passed in 2023, people 65 and older with incomes up to $27,681 would save $7,300, and people with incomes between $27,682 and $36,450 would save $2,000 on Medicare costs.

Unfortunately, the progress made last year is at risk because, in her supplemental budget, the Governor has proposed rolling back the MSP expansion. Under the current budget proposal, nearly 30,000 older Mainers will lose access to this critical new benefit.

Approximately 345,000 Mainers are enrolled in Medicare for their healthcare coverage. As a share of household expenses, Medicare households spend more than double that of non-Medicare households on their healthcare needs. Despite growing over time, enrollment in MSPs remains persistently low.

Maine should be expanding the availability of this program, not scaling it back. By advancing enrollment in the program, vulnerable Mainers will be more motivated to be proactive with their healthcare.

Advertisement

We must protect these essential programs that provide support to thousands of Mainers who need help covering their healthcare costs. I urge readers to contact their legislators and tell them that Maine should not consider a budget that cuts critical support to those who need it most.

André Chassé

AARP Maine Volunteer State President

Bangor

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: