Earlier this month, legislators agreed to a Continuing Resolution (CR) which kept current funding levels steady for a few months and avoided a shut down of the federal government. In the last-minute negotiations, authorization and funding for the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) low-income outreach and assistance program was dropped. The continuation of this critical program and funding, which has historically passed with broad bipartisan support has been jeopardized by strategic negotiation, not substantive disagreement.
This oversight leaves the program – which ensures that low-income people can access the services and benefits they are entitled to – in a precarious position, unauthorized and unfunded. The lack of authorization will make it difficult to administer in the next few months, and the lack of funding will create significant problems and hardships for the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs), Area Agencies on Aging, and Aging and Disability Resource Centers that rely on this funding to conduct targeted outreach and assist people in enrolling in the Medicare Savings Program and the Low Income Subsidy (LIS), also known as Extra Help.
Make your voice heard! Take action today, and tell your members of Congress to support this essential outreach and ensure that people with Medicare in need of help are reached with information about these crucial cost-assistance programs.
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