I’m in Connecticut visiting friends and family and enjoying the cool rain. A friend who is on Medicare was bemoaning her high drug costs and going into the donut hole, so I did a little research to see if she could qualify for help from the state of Connecticut. I was shocked by what I found.
While most states use standard income levels (up to 135% of the federal poverty level) to determine if a person should get help with their Medicare costs, Connecticut will help people who have nearly twice the standard limit.
Income of $1,246 per month for an individual and $1,675 for a couple is generally the cut-off for getting your state to pay your Part B premium ($96 – $115.40 per month). The income limit in Connecticut is $2,091 for an individual and $2,816 for a couple. And Connecticut does not consider assets a person has such as bank accounts, investments, or retirement accounts. They only look at a person’s income, so people who live on their Social Security check would likely qualify for help from the state of Connecticut.
If my friend qualifies for help from the state of Connecticut, the state will inform Social Security that she also qualifies for help with her Part D costs. When this goes into her Medicare record, she will pay $6.30 for her brand drugs and $2.50 for generics, which is the help she really needs. And she will have no donut hole in her Part D coverage, saving her thousands of dollars each year.
Now, before you decide to move to Connecticut, I must warn you that my home state is an expensive place to live. My friend had mail from a Medicare supplement company and I was shocked to see that the cost of a Medigap Plan F is $220 per month for a person turning 65 in Connecticut. That is $100 more than the cost in Arizona for the same coverage with the same company.
Medicare Advantage plans are also more expensive in Connecticut. My friend is enrolled in an Advantage plan for which she pays $110 per month – though it offers much better coverage than $0 premium plans in Arizona. And we won’t even talk about property taxes, which are three to five times higher than in Arizona.
Maybe, when I’m 65, I’ll buy a Medicare supplement in Arizona and spend my summers in Connecticut – though I can probably only afford a single-wide trailer at Connecticut prices.
For more info on getting help with Medicare and Part D costs, check out a previous post: Help with Medicare Costs
Folks in Connecticut should contact an Agency on Aging for more info and an application. Here is a link to a web site that provides phone numbers for offices across the state. http://www.ctagenciesonaging.org/pages/home.php
I came across a website for Connecticut elder services and found an application there – but the application was four pages and asked for lots of info. Turns out that is an old, out-of-date application. The new application is just two pages. I used the link above and talked to a very nice lady in Norwich who sent my friend the correct application for the Medicare Savings Program.