Expanding Health Care Coverage


Medicare Rights Center

Funding Area

Expanding Health Care Coverage


September 22, 2017


This NYHealth-funded issue brief by Medicare Rights Center examines the difficulties low-income Medicare beneficiaries face in accessing Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) and offers recommendations for improving the screening, enrollment, and recertification processes for these individuals.

Half of all New Yorkers with Medicare live on annual incomes of $24,150 or less. Given that Medicare beneficiaries are spending an average of 15% of their household incomes on health care, many older adults and people with disabilities need financial help to maximize their Medicare coverage. Programs that offer financial help are crucial to ensuring that some of the neediest New Yorkers get care. MSPs can help low-income Medicare beneficiaries save thousands of dollars in health care costs each year, covering services that include outpatient care, preventive services, and provider visits. However, MSPs are consistently under-enrolled and underused.

The issue brief outlines opportunities for State and local agencies to remove obstacles and boost access to MSPs and other related benefits for eligible New Yorkers. It offers a snapshot of the key MSP enrollment hurdles in New York State and ways in which education, screening, and enrollment can be improved.