A reader of this blog alerted me to HR3765, which is the bill that extended the payroll tax until February 29th, 2012. This bill also includes continuation of block grants to states to fund the QI-1 program for Medicare. I wrote about the QI-1 program yesterday and how 12,500 seniors and disabled Medicare beneficiaries in Arizona have received letters from AHCCCS telling them they will no longer get help with their Medicare premium ($99.90 per month) starting in January.
I called the AHCCCS Client Advocate Office to ask if, due to HR 3765, Arizona will continue to pay the Medicare premium for those 12,500 people currently in the QI-1 program. I was told by a woman named Kathy that “we haven’t heard about this yet”. Kathy said AHCCCS is unaware of the continued funding through HR 3765, and the QI-1 program will still end as of January 1st. She said, if there is any change, it will be posted on the AHCCCS web site and the 12,500 people in the QI-1 program will get letters.
Why doesn’t AHCCCS know about the continued funding? Does the state of Arizona have a choice in whether or not to use the block grants to help Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for help?