50 Wishes for
Medicare’s Future

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Wish #11:
Ease and align income tests for Medicare low-income assistance programs

The existence of multiple programs to help beneficiaries pay for Medicare premiums and cost-sharing is vitally important to the most vulnerable people with Medicare. These varied programs (Medicare Savings Programs and Part D’s Extra Help) have disparate income tests that are administered by multiple federal and state agencies. This disjointed system—combined with income thresholds that are simply too low—create barriers to allowing beneficiaries to access the help they need. To address this, Congress should increase and align income tests for low-income assistance programs.