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Local Promise: Maximizing Enrollment into Low-Income Medicare Programs through State-Based Consumer Advocacy

July 2010 | Scott Dershowitz

This paper examines several collaborative advocacy efforts in New York, Maine, Kansas, and Florida to increase enrollment in the Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs, which help people with Medicare and low incomes afford medical care), through eligibility expansion and improvements to enrollment and recertification processes. The report also explores opportunities for future reforms in the four states and nationwide, particularly through implementation of recently passed legislation, including the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) of 2008, which in turn can inform implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) of 2010. Opportunities include expanding MSP eligibility and promoting additional eligibility and administrative reforms at the local, state, and federal levels, increasing cooperation between state agencies and policymakers and consumer advocates, and improving communication among state and federal agencies.