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Estimates show MSP enrollment increased 2007 through 2011

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Efforts to increase enrollment in the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) with the Medicare Improvement for Patients and Providers Act of 2008 (MIPPA) seem to have paid off.

The Government Accountability Office estimates enrollment increased each year from 2007 through 2011, according to data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Enrollment had the largest increases in 2010 and 2011 (5.2 percent and 5.1 percent respectively)—the first two years the MIPPA requirements were in place.

To eliminate barriers to MSP enrollment, the Social Security Administration:

  • Spent $12 million from 2009 through 2011;
  • Transferred more than 1.9 million Low-Income Subsidy program applications to state Medicaid agencies between 2010 and 2012;
  • Made information available to potentially eligible individuals, conducted outreach and trained staff on MSPs.

SSA officials said implementing the MIPPA requirements did not affect its workload in a significant way and that the funding provided under the law would be enough to carry out the requirements.

Some states did report that the SSA application transfers changed eligibility systems that increased the time spent processing MSP applications.

Under the federal law, states can align methods for counting income and assets for MSPs with those for LIS and could reduce the administrative work load of processing the transferred applications. Though, this would likely increase enrollment, which would increase state Medicaid costs.


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