Medicaid is Essential for Millions of Medicare Beneficiaries

Congress is now considering the AHCA, the Bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  The proposed repeal legislation would lead to extreme cuts in Medicaid.  Thus, it is essential to underscore the role Medicaid plays for millions of Medicare beneficiaries. Kaiser Family Foundation recently released a report, Medicaid’s Role for Medicare Beneficiaries, which details the crucial role Medicaid plays for the 10 million Medicare beneficiaries who also receive Medicaid:

  • Medicare beneficiaries who receive Medicaid have low incomes and few assets, and are typically poorer than other Medicare beneficiaries.
  • Over 60% of Medicare beneficiaries who receive Medicaid need help with daily self-care activities, such as eating, bathing, or dressing, which are important for independent living.
  • Nearly 6 in 10 Medicare beneficiaries who receive Medicaid have a cognitive or mental impairment, such as dementia, which can create the need for supports to live safely at home.
  • Most long-term care spending for Medicare beneficiaries who also receive Medicaid is for nursing home residents, with the rest providing support in the community for frail older and disabled people.
  • All states generally must provide Medicaid to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries, and states can extend Medicaid eligibility for other seniors and people with disabilities up to 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL, $12,060 for an individual in 2017)
  • States can expand financial eligibility for people who need long-term care services, in nursing homes and/or in the community, up to three times the SSI benefit rate (equivalent to 219% FPL or $26,460/year for an individual in 2017). These generally have asset limits set by the state, which typically are at the SSI level of $2,000.
  • Medicare beneficiaries who do not qualify for full Medicaid benefits may be eligible for Medicaid’s help with their financial obligations under Medicare through the Medicare Savings Programs, which covers Medicare premiums and/or cost-sharing for certain low-income Medicare beneficiaries.

Take Action:

Our friends at Justice In Aging have made it easy to tell policy-makers not to decimate Medicaid as proposed in the AHCA, the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act!

For more information, see:

Medicaid’s Role for Medicare Beneficiaries available at: http://files.kff.org/attachment/Issue-Brief-Medicaids-Role-for-Medicare-Beneficiaries

CMA’s response to the proposed repeal bill available at: http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/american-health-care-act-ahca-a-repeal-and-regress-plan/

Joint Advocates’ letter to Congress on Medicaid cuts available at: http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/100-national-organizations-urge-congress-to-reject-radical-changes-to-medicaid/

CMA Alert regarding Medicaid and nursing home residents available at: http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/what-will-happen-to-nursing-home-residents-if-medicaid-becomes-a-block-grant-program/

More information on Medicare Savings Programs available at: http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/medicare-info/medicare-savings-programs/

KFF Income and Assets of Medicare Beneficiaries : http://kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/income-and-assets-of-medicare-beneficiaries-2014-2030/