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Senator Carpenter wants SeniorCare surplus used to lower enrollment minimum age.


Madison – Today State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) State Senator Tim Carpenter unveiled a plan to reduce the minimum age of participation in SeniorCare from 65 years old to 62 years old.
“SeniorCare is a successful, cost-effective program that provides vital prescription drugs that limited-income seniors need – and does so at a lower cost to taxpayers and participants than Medicare Part D; savings are realized in part because Wisconsin can negotiate volume discounts and rebates from drug makers – something the federal government is prohibited from doing,” said Carpenter.
“In fact, the discounts and rebates worked so well that SeniorCare actually ran a $20 million surplus in the last budget,” said Carpenter.
Senator Carpenter stated that reducing the eligible age to 62 years old would conform to the age that one can choose to begin receiving Social Security. “Older workers have been hard hit by our economic troubles and have had extraordinary challenges returning to the workforce. Sometimes beginning social security at 62 can be one of the only viable options available to them. Medicare will not be available to most of them until they are 65 years old, and this will help bridge the gap until they are eligible for Medicare,” said Carpenter.
Senator Carpenter sent a letter to Governor Walker and DHS Secretary Dennis Smith asking that they seek permission to make this change through a Medicaid waiver from the federal government. “Notwithstanding the waiver, the state could move ahead and use the SeniorCare surplus to provide the change to the program,” said Carpenter. A copy of the letter accompanies this release.
“Regardless, one of the first bills I plan to introduce in the next legislative session will be a bill to require our state to reduce the minimum participation age of SeniorCare to 62 years old. Our seniors and taxpayers deserve this change,” said Carpenter.