50 Wishes for
Medicare’s Future

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Wish #10:
Eliminate (or ease) the asset test for Medicare low-income assistance programs

Eligible low-income Medicare beneficiaries can benefit from government assistance to pay for premiums and cost-sharing. Unfortunately, these programs (Medicare Savings Programs) have very low asset thresholds, making health care costs less affordable for those who saved even a small nest egg for retirement or for emergencies. In addition, administering these asset tests creates a tremendous burden for the state Medicaid departments that operate these programs. Congress follow the lead of some states to eliminate (or ease) the asset tests for these programs to help vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries access needed assistance.