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Medicare Savings Programs: Enrollment Trends

The Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) provide Medicaid assistance with Medicare premiums and cost sharing to individuals who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare. A 2017 study conducted by the Urban Institute under contract with MACPAC estimated participation in late 2009 and 2010 at around 50 percent in the MSPs with the most enrollment. The Commission subsequently made recommendations aimed at improving participation in the MSPs.

The policy landscape has changed considerably since our 2017 analysis with the Urban Institute, so we decided to examine enrollment trends to better understand MSP policy today. We contracted with the Urban Institute to revisit our prior work, this time by analyzing enrollment in each of the MSPs, using Medicare administrative data. This session offered an up-to-date look at enrollment in these programs over a 12-year period from 2010 to 2021. We focus primarily on the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program and Specified Low-Income Beneficiary  programs because together, they account for more than 90 percent of all MSP enrollees.