Updated: January 2024 – MIPPA Funding
The U.S. Congress just announced a spending agreement for all FY 2024 appropriations bills after determining the final amounts for defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending.
The NDD figure is good news for Older Americans Act (OAA) programs, considering the cuts that were originally proposed. However – we still have concerns about a possible federal government shutdown and the expiration of the latest continuing resolution (CR) on February 2nd.
Congress needs to hear your voices now to protect funding levels for Older Americans Act and other key aging programs! Another major concern for advocates is a legislative oversight that leaves MIPPA (Medicare Low-Income Outreach and Enrollment) unauthorized and unfunded. Without this authority and funding, our SHIBA and AAA outreach programs won’t be able to reach out to Medicare beneficiaries most in need of Medicare’s cost-savings programs such as the Medicare Savings Programs. Members of Congress need to hear that advocates care about this!
December 2023 Alert:
Since 2008, the Medicare Improvements for Patients Act (MIPPA) low-income outreach and assistance program has provided funding for State Health Insurance Programs (SHIPs), Area Agencies on Aging, and Disability Resource Centers to conduct targeted outreach and assistance for Medicare enrollees to enroll in the Medicare Savings Program (MSPs) and the Part D Low Income Subsidy (LIS). Both of these provide significant financial support to older adults living on limited fixed incomes, covering the cost of Medicare premiums and reducing cost-sharing, but millions of people who are eligible are not enrolled. Progress on getting these individuals enrolled in MSPs and LIS will stall if Congress does not act quickly to reauthorize and fund the MIPPA low-income outreach and assistance program.
Unfortunately, the Continuing Resolution (CR) that passed Congress (in November) to keep the government open and extend some health programs did not include the reauthorization of MIPPA.
Please contact your US Representatives and Senators to urge immediate action to restore this important funding!
MIPPA has been successful in providing assistance to millions of low-income beneficiaries and their families. From September 2020 to August 2023, partners assisted almost 3 million beneficiaries at over 60,000 group outreach events and conducted about 3.2 million one-on-one contacts with Medicare beneficiaries, their families, or caregivers. Additionally, they helped about 350,000 beneficiaries with applications for MSP and LIS. The program has contributed to increasing the number of low-income Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in the MSPs from 6.4 million in 2008 to 12.2 million in June 2022.*
Despite this progress, too many low-income beneficiaries who are eligible are still not receiving needed assistance. For example, according to a recent CMS estimate, up to 3 million seniors and people with disabilities could benefit from the LIS program but are not enrolled.*
Improving Medicare outreach and enrollment will also help to address health disparities in Medicare. Together, Black and Hispanic beneficiaries account for 18% of the total Medicare population, but 40% of the Medicare-Medicaid dually eligible population.*
*Source: NCOA (National Council on Aging)
Dear [Senator/Representative LAST NAME]:
Please be aware of an unfortunate oversight of an important program that helps low-income Medicare beneficiaries.
The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act’s (MIPPA) provides low-income outreach and assistance program provides essential funding to Area Agencies on Aging, State Health Insurance Programs (SHIPs) and Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) that serve low-income older adults in our community.
The MIPPA program, administered at the federal level by the U.S. Administration for Community Living, wasn’t included in the recent continuing resolution for FY 2024 funding, even though other “health extenders” were.
We are grateful the November funding bill prevented a shutdown and included continued funding for key aging programs such as the Older Americans Act, but it is also important that Congress approve the MIPPA efforts swiftly!
Please take action to ensure that MIPPA is updated and funded as soon as possible or at least included in the next spending bill.
[NAME, address, etc.]