On Friday January 16, 2015 approximately 250 Massachusetts seniors from across the Commonwealth went to the State House to deliver to Governor Charlie Baker almost 5,000 signature cards.
The signed cards were collected as part of a health care campaign initiated by Mass Senior Action Council (MSAC) demanding that Massachusetts “bridge the gap” to affordable health care for seniors living below 300 percent of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL) ($35,000) just as they have done for residents under the age of 65.
- High out-of-pocket costs for health care prevent thousands of seniors from accessing the health care they need.
- Seniors spend an average of 15 percent of their income on health care compared to individuals 19-64 who spend 5 percent. (Seniors spend three times more)
- Seniors in good health spend an average of $467.00 per month for health care.
- Eliminate the asset test and raise income eligibility for the Medicare Savings Programs to 300 percent FDL (MassHealth Buy-In Programs)
- Raise the MassHealth asset and income eligibility limits for Massachusetts residents age 65 and over to reduce the age-based inequality.
- Simplify the application process to reduce barriers to assistance for eligible seniors.
After handing over the nearly 5000 signed cards to Governor Baker the members of Mass Senior Action Council then split up into groups and went to meet with their respective State Representatives and State Senators asking for support on two bills that have been submitted by lead sponsors Representative Denise Garlick and Senator Daniel Wolf. The two bills in The House are HD667 and HD670; in The Senate are SD41 and SD42.
Eleven states, including New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Mississippi, Alabama and Arizona have already expanded access to federal programs that help seniors with Medicare costs. Massachusetts has not expanded the access yet, and Mass Senior Action Council members along with thousands of Massachusetts residents are asking “Why Not Mass?” –Marcia Manong and Karen Lynch
Check out more senior power in the video below.
Wow! Great coverage of Governor Charlie Baker!
Congratulations on your, as always, zealous and important advocacy. It is a privaledge to work with you.
Diane F Paulson
Medicare Advocacy Project
Greater Boston Legal Services