Texas Seniors Suddenly Lose Medicare Benefits

Suzanne Blake


Nothing unique here. Just another Texas screwup while trying to eliminate people from state and federal programs. The problem being they mistakenly injure the innocents. No problem though, it happens in other states or so Texans claim.

Hundreds of Texas seniors lost their Medicare benefits after Texas Health and Human Services made an error in the Medicare Savings Program.

“Medicare is health insurance for people age 65+ and certain people with disabilities. The Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) are a sub-set of Medicaid, designed to help people with low income afford their Medicare costs.”

The agency confirmed that 350 seniors had been removed from the state’s Medicare Savings Program, which is estimated to have taken away up to $200 from seniors’ monthly Social Security checks.

The state previously mistakenly removed 100,000 people from Medicaid after the federal government withdrew its COVID-19-era rules protecting patients from losing their health insurance.

The rule concerned President Joe Biden‘s “continuous coverage provision,” which stopped states from removing Medicaid beneficiaries during the pandemic. When Texas reviewed its 6 million enrollees, that’s when the error occurred, and many were denied rightful coverage.

A year later, the state confirmed “another mistake” depriving seniors of the Medicare Savings Program. Tiffany Young, the deputy chief press officer at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), told Newsweek.

“HHSC routinely performs quality assurance measures. When, through this process, the agency discovers a Medicaid recipient was terminated in error, HHSC works expeditiously to reinstate coverage for those impacted back to the date of their termination.”

“There have been individuals identified during this quality assurance process who were erroneously removed from the Medicare Savings Program. Coverage has already been reinstated or is in the process of being reinstated for any impacted Medicare Savings Program recipients.”

Some seniors who didn’t look at their Medicare Savings Program benefits are finding themselves struggling as they wait for their applications to be approved again.

But according to Chris Fong, a Medicare insurance specialist and CEO at Smile Insurance Group, the situation is not unique to Texas. Fong told Newsweek . . .

“A lot of seniors were incorrectly removed from their Medicare Savings Program in many states. Losing the Medicare Savings Program has a very significant financial impact on seniors.”

AB: If what Chris Fong says is true, I can not find the states doing similar to what Texas mistakenly did with People on the Medicare Savings Programs. Someone is scrabbling for cover.

Since the Medicare Savings Program helps seniors cover their $174 monthly Part B premium each month, many had that amount incorrectly taken from their monthly benefits, Fong said, and they also may have been forced to pay higher co-pays for their medications. Fong adds . . .

“These individuals are put into a very hard financial situation while waiting for it to be corrected which can take several months or more. I recommend that seniors who are affected by this continue to reach out to their state’s Medicaid agency and any community resources.”