Washington Report

An NIHB Publication

The Washington Report is an e-newsletter produced by the National Indian Health Board. Each issue contains a listing of current events on Capitol Hill, information on passed and upcoming legislation, Indian health policy analysis and action items.

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CMS Takes Action to Make Care for Older Adults & People with Disabilities More Affordable and More Accessible

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its final rule updating Medicaid regulations that aim to make it easier for low-income older adults and people with disabilities to get help with their Medicare costs. The new final rule on “Streamlining Medicare Savings Program Eligibility Determination and Enrollment” simplifies the burdensome processes for applying to, and verifying income and assets for, the Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) across states.

The agency notes that only about half of the people eligible for MSPs are currently enrolled, so reducing the paperwork burden and streamlining the enrollment rules will help many older adults get the financial help that MSPs offer. The changes are designed to help the millions of people who currently have MSPs retain coverage during redeterminations and renewals, especially our Elders who we have seen dropped from coverage.

Under the final rule, many recipients of supplemental security income (SSI) will now be enrolled automatically into the most comprehensive form of MSP coverage: the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) eligibility group, which covers Medicare premiums and cost sharing. According to CMS, this should ease the burden on MSP applicants and enrollees to provide documentation of income and assets and should ensure QMB enrollment for people with Part A premiums is effective when Medicare entitlement begins.

Learn more about the new rule in CMS’s press release.

National Indian Health Board
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