Activists dressed in hospital gowns will gather on the steps of the Massachusetts Statehouse to urge state lawmakers to use $17 million of about $5.1 billion in federal pandemic relief funds to close the gap that they say prevents seniors from being able to afford needed health care.
Monday’s rally is being organized by the Massachusetts Senior Action Council. Members will press state lawmakers to expand the Medicare Savings Program to include those living at up to 200% of the federal poverty line — or about $2,146 per month.
Supporters said the program helps thousands of Massachusetts seniors save hundreds of dollars a month on health care expenses. Activists who pushed to expand the program to include those at 165% of the federal poverty level in the 2020 budget said thousands of seniors who still don’t qualify are struggling.
Nearly all Massachusetts seniors with incomes below $2,000 a month, and without MassHealth or other assistance, spend more than 20% of their income on Medicare premiums according to the council. COVID-19 has only thrown more seniors into economic insecurity, activists said.
The protest is planned for 10 a.m..
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