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Current Processes for Enrolling Medicare/Medicaid Dual Eligibles in Medicare Savings Programs and Efforts to Increase Enrollment

By: Elizabeth Cusick and Ken Nibali
Published: February 2006
Medicare provides health insurance coverage for eligible people who are over age 65 or who have a disability. However, the program requires beneficiaries to make out-of-pocket payments for cost sharing (premiums, coinsurance, and deductibles) as well as for services not covered. The Medicare Savings Programs provide low-income beneficiaries with assistance in meeting the out-of-pocket payments for cost sharing (not payment for the uncovered services). This paper looks at the processes for enrolling beneficiaries in these programs and identifies the barriers that have contributed to the low rates of enrollment. It was prepared for the National Academy of Social Insurance's study panel on Medicare/Medicaid dual eligibles.