Gov. Baker proposes expanding Medicare savings program

BOSTON (AP) — Low-income seniors would see a break in how much they pay for health care under a plan Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is including in his state budget proposal.

Under the plan, seniors who earn 130 to 165 percent of the federal poverty level — from just under $16,000 to about $20,000 each year — would be eligible for Medicare savings programs, which help reduce health care expenses, including out-of-pocket costs.

Currently seniors earning from 100 to 135 percent of the federal poverty level — from about $12,100 to $16,400 — are eligible for the savings programs. They also qualify for help with prescription drug coverage.

Baker's budget would set aside about $10 million for the change, which would leverage about $100 million in federal money for roughly 40,000 seniors.