October 22, 2013/News, Seniors



CountMeInMedicareAndSS Count Me In seniors

Connecticut Democrats have consistently supported the creation and expansion of programs that benefit seniors — most notably Social Security and Medicare — and have fought against attempts to do away with these crucial safety nets.

Health Care: Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicare now covers certain preventive services, like mammograms or colonoscopies, without charging for the Part B coinsurance or deductible. Seniors can also get a free yearly wellness visit. Since 2010, more than 32.5 million seniors nationwide have received at least one of these preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs.

Seniors who are in the donut hole will get a 50 percent discount when buying Part D-covered brand-name prescription drugs. The discount is applied automatically at the pharmacy counter. The donut hole will be closed completely by 2020. Since passage of the ACA in 2010, more than 6.6 million people with Medicare saved over $7 billion on prescription drugs.

Because of the ACA, the life of the Medicare Trust fund will be extended to at least 2029 — a 12-year extension due to reductions in waste, fraud and abuse, and Medicare costs, which will provide seniors with future savings on premiums and coinsurance.

Retirement Security: Democrats across the board oppose privatizing Social Security. For many of these Americans, Social Security is a key source of income. In fact, for more than half of Social Security recipients aged 65 or over, the program provides more than 50 percent of their family income and, because of its lifetime income protection and survivor benefits, Social Security is particularly important for elderly women.

Republicans’ plans have consistently called for shifting Social Security funds to private retirement accounts, reducing benefits and gradually raising the age of eligibility.

Quality of Life: In June 2013, Connecticut Democratic Legislators passed and Governor Malloy signed legislation that expanded the rights of nursing home residents, and that required nursing home staff to be trained on the rights of residents to file complaints. And earlier this month, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to create a “bill of rights” for nursing home residents

Governor Malloy also helped established the Department of Aging, which will make services more easily accessible to the state’s growing population of seniors.