Last week, Paul Ryan—House Budget Chairman and the likely incoming chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee—released a plan proposing the broad reform and streamlining of the nation’s safety net programs for the poor. Tellingly, the plan (an outline that is reportedly intended to portray a softer side of conservatism) sidesteps the budget proposals put forth by Ryan over the past four years that have actually been voted on and passed by the Republican-led House.
Four Strategies for Improving Programs that Help Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries with Health Care Costs
Low-income people with Medicare often struggle with high out-of-pocket health care costs. This brief identifies four strategies that advocates and policymakers can use to improve the programs that help these beneficiaries.
Congress Should Vote to Make Permanent Two Federal Programs Benefitting Low-Income Families and Individuals
Unless Congress acts quickly, funding for two federal health programs that are critical to low-income families will expire on March 31. Both the Qualified Individual (QI) program and the Transitional Medical Assistance (TMA) program are integral to providing health care to families transitioning from welfare to work and to helping low-income seniors pay their Medicare monthly premiums. Making both programs permanent is the best way to ensure that these small but important programs continue to meet the needs of the individuals who rely on them.
Explains the Qualified Individual (QI) program and provides a 50-state look at how people benefit, including how many people get help and how much money QI puts in their pockets.
A recent report from the Government Accounting Office (GAO) points to one more reason why expanding health coverage under the Affordable Health Care Act (ACA) makes good economic sense. Expanding Medicaid can eliminate gaps in the health coverage of those who eventually enroll in Medicare. This drives down Medicare’s costs because enrollees tend to enroll in the program in better health.
More than 450,000 low-income Medicare beneficiaries rely on a little-known program called the Qualified Individual (QI) program to pay for their Medicare Part B premium. Without QI, they would face more than $100 per month in additional health care premiums. Currently, QI is a temporary program. Since Congress will be determining the future of QI over the next few months as it considers major Medicare legislation, this is an excellent opportunity improve QI by making it permanent.
Explores why low-income people with Medicare struggle to pay for their health care and offers three ways to enable more Medicare beneficiaries to afford the care they need.
When President George W. Bush passed the Medicare Part D act in 2003, its launch raised some technological problems that left consumers frustrated. Now, most American seniors view their prescription drug coverage as invaluable and support this once-controversial legislation.
Enacted to subsidize increasingly high out-of-pocket costs, Medicare Part D makes prescription drug coverage affordable for its beneficiaries. But in the months following its inception, the media criticized virtually every aspect of the federal program.
This is the first blog in our Expert Q&A series on the Affordable Care Act. Our experts will answer common questions that people may have about open enrollment, which starts on October 1.
Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, more than 6.6 million people with Medicare have saved more than $7 billion on prescription drugs. That’s an average of $1,061 per beneficiary.