HHS finalizes rule to streamline enrollment in Medicare Savings plans

Greater access to care and making such care more affordable may be on the horizon for lower-income older adults and people with disabilities after the Department of Health and Human Services and CMS finalized a rule to streamline enrollment in the Medicare Savings Programs. The move was described in a Sept. 18 news release as the most significant HHS action in a decade for such care.

The MSPs cover premiums and some copays for certain Medicare enrollees, but only about half of eligible people sign up, largely because of burdensome paperwork. The new rule will make enrollment automatic for some beneficiaries.

In addition, states will also use the rule to make better use of data from the Medicare Part D low income subsidy, also known as the "Extra Help" program. CMS and the Social Security Administration are preparing to implement provisions of President Joe Biden's prescription drug law, which will allow for an estimated 300,000 people to take advantage of the LIS program.

"Taken together, today's final rule and the drug law's expansion of the LIS program make Medicare more affordable for seniors and people with disabilities," according to the release.

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