Friday, July 14, 2017
Justice in Aging has released a new issue brief for July about Medicare Savings Programs (MSP). Proposed Cuts to Medicaid Put Medicare Savings Programs At Risk explains the importance of the MSP for many Medicare beneficiaries, including paying their premiums. If the MSP program were cut or eliminated, many beneficiaries may no longer be able to afford Medicare.
Many low-income older adults are only able to participate in Medicare because Medicare Savings Programs help with their Medicare premiums, deductibles and co-pays. These critically important programs reach over 7 million people with Medicare, including 1.7 million older adults who are too poor to be able to afford Medicare but do not qualify for other Medicaid programs.1 With $772 billion in Medicaid cuts, the Better Care Reconciliation Act now being considered in the Senate could knock many older adults and people with disabilities off these programs, making Medicare unaffordable. As a result, those with the greatest needs will lose access to Medicare benefits because they will be unable to shoulder Medicare costs.
The brief explains QMBs, SLMBs, and QIs. It also explains the relationship between MSP and "Extra Help". Regardless of the Senate vote (maybe this week) on repeal and replace, the information in the brief about MSP and the other programs is really helpful. Check it out!