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Transitioning from Medicaid Expansion Programs to Medicare: Making Sure Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries Get Financial Help

The Affordable Care Act allows states to offer Medicaid coverage to low-income adults who would not have qualified under previous law. Thus far, 28 states and the District of Columbia offer such coverage. This population will face higher cost-sharing requirements when they transition to Medicare, although some may be eligible for traditional Medicaid benefits and/or Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) that will reduce their costs. This “Insight on the Issues” by Lynda Flowers of the AARP Public Policy Institute, and Matthew Buettgens and Jay Dev of The Urban Institute discusses how Medicare beneficiaries can qualify for traditional Medicaid and MSPs. It also provides new state data on the number and characteristics of eligible individuals and discusses the potential impact of expanding traditional Medicaid income and asset rules in the Medicaid expansion states. Finally, the report outlines policy options that would make it easier for Medicare beneficiaries to qualify for traditional Medicaid benefits and MSPs.

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