WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03), Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-03) and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL) introduced the Helping Seniors Afford Health Care Act, H.R. 4671, a bill that would increase access to affordable health care for senior citizens.
“For too many seniors, the question of whether or not they can afford health care isn’t a question of dollars and cents, it’s a question of life and death,” said Congressman Kim. “This bill provides a lifeline to help seniors afford the care they need and will save the lives of those who depend on it. I’m proud to introduce this bill with Congressman Evans and Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, and hope my colleagues in the House join us in giving our seniors the affordable health care they desperately need.”
“Seniors who would qualify for the Medicare Savings Program under our bill could save hundreds of dollars per year. This would make a positive difference for many seniors who struggle to make ends meet on fixed incomes,” said Congressman Evans, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees much of Medicare. “Andy Kim is once again showing why he’s one of the hardest-working new members of Congress, and I’m pleased to partner again with Congresswoman Blunt Rochester on an important bill that would benefit many of our constituents.”
“During my time in Congress, as I’ve traveled across our state and spoken with Delaware’s seniors, there has been one issue they are consistently concerned about – health care, ” said Congresswoman Blunt Rochester, a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. “I’m proud to join with Congressman Kim and Congressman Evans to make this common-sense improvement to the Medicare Savings Program, which will result in more money in the pockets of our seniors living on fixed incomes and provide them with the peace of mind they deserve.”
The Helping Seniors Afford Health Care Act would expand access to affordable care by increasing the income eligibility levels for Medicare recipients to qualify for the Medicare Savings Program. The Medicare Savings Program provides financial assistance to help seniors who qualify based on income level, pay for Medicare premiums, copayments, prescription drug costs and other health expenses.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently more than 6.8 million Americans with Medicare coverage that fall within the current income requirements for the Medicare Savings Program. By increasing income eligibility, the bill would make the Medicare Savings Program available to an additional 4.6 million people, or a 68 percent growth in the number of people who would see access to health care savings.
The bill would also provide funding for states to cover the cost of additional seniors added to the program, as well as grants to help states conduct outreach to inform seniors about their eligibility of this program.