Updated: February 16, 2024 – MIPPA Funding at Risk!

Millions of people can’t afford their Medicare out-of-pocket costs. Help is available, but many of the ones most in need are not aware of the benefit programs and/or how to enroll.

MIPPA (Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers) funds programs like Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and Missouri SHIP to help low income Medicare recipients navigate and to enroll in free programs.

For 15 years, Congress has funded these efforts with bipartisan support and, in a recent Senate committee with a unanimous bipartisan vote – approved MIPPA funding. However, currently this funding is blocked in the House. Missouri Congressman Smith serves as Chair for the Committee on Ways and Means and has a pivotal role right now. Contact Congressman Smith

Without this funding, an important tool will be taken away from trusted community organizations that support older adults, like the AAAs and Missouri SHIP.

Benefits outreach and enrollment works—but without continued federal funding, low-income adults on Medicare will be left behind, unable to afford basic health care. 

Thanks to federal funding that supports efforts to find and enroll low-income people on Medicare into benefits they are eligible for, low-income older and disabled adults receive assistance that can help them to afford their prescription drugs and doctor visits.

Please contact your US Representatives and Senators to urge immediate action to restore this important funding!

You can find your Representatives and Senators below and use/modify the sample language below.

Contact MO US Senators

Find Your US Representative

Or you can use the NCOA Act Now link below to reach out to Congress:

Sample Messagingupdated 2/16/24

Dear [Senator/Representative LAST NAME]:

Please help older adults in Missouri by ensuring that MIPPA (Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers) is included in the next budget package. MIPPA 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. This funding does not raise costs. Instead of expanding benefits, MIPPA helps vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare receive the assistance they are already eligible for. Without this funding, low-income older adults on Medicare will be left behind, unable to afford basic health care costs. Please ensure that MIPPA is updated and funded as soon as possible. Thank you for your support.

Sincerely, [NAME, address, etc.]

Updated: January 23, 2024 – MIPPA Funding – Action Alert!

Last week, the U.S. Congress passed another Continuing Resolution (CR) that overlooks important funding for MIPPA.

Since 2008, the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) has provided funding for State Health Insurance Programs (SHIPs), Area Agencies on Aging, and Adult Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) 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). These benefits 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.

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)

Learn more about MIPPA: NCOA Fact Sheet on MIPPA