Press Release             

Contact: Nathan Heggem
Senior Communications and
Policy Associate

April 4, 2011

Consumer Group Releases Report on
Medicare Savings Program Recertification in New York State

-- Report Calls for Passive Renewal Process to
Ensure Seamless Health Coverage for New Yorkers --

New York, NY—The Medicare Rights Center today released a report on the process for determining continued eligibility for Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) in New York State. The report is part of a project funded by the New York State Health Foundation, through which Medicare Rights worked with its New York Medicare Savings Coalition and others to assess the state’s MSP recertification processes and develop reform recommendations.

The report, Recertification in New York State: The Revolving Door of the Medicare Savings Program, calls for New York to replace the current system of paper-based recertification for MSPs with a passive renewal process, in which the state would utilize income data it already has to automatically recertify consumers whose income is unlikely to change from year to year. To ensure program integrity, resources could be devoted to follow-up only with consumers who are likely to have a change in circumstances. Such a process would help to ensure seamless health coverage for New Yorkers and reduce administrative costs for New York State.

“All too often, consumers get caught in the revolving door of Medicare Savings Programs” said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center. “Although their eligibility rarely changes, they enter a cycle of gaining and losing their MSP, which comes at great expense to their well-being, and to the state’s time and resources. Our report suggests a better way: a passive renewal process that would protect consumers and save money for New York State.”

MSPs help Medicare consumers with limited incomes pay for their out-of-pocket medical costs. There are three MSPs: Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) and Qualified Individual (QI) cover the monthly Part B premium, and the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) pays for consumers’ Part A and Part B premiums and Part B coinsurance and deductible.

The report is available at:

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Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives.


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