Under the Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs), state Medicaid programs are required to help pay for Medicare premiums and, in some cases, Medicare cost sharing for low-income adults over age 65 and adults with disabilities. MSPs have had low participation, but the reasons behind this and the characteristics of people eligible but not enrolled are not well understood. Studies on MSP eligibility and enrollment have been difficult to conduct because household surveys do not collect information on MSP participation and administrative data sources do not identify the universe of individuals eligible for MSP enrollment. Other studies have linked household survey data with administrative data but have not distinguished between the different types of MSPs. This analysis, prepared for MACPAC under contract by the Urban Institute, links survey data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation with administrative data from the Medicaid Statistical Information System to estimate program-specific participation rates for different types of MSPs and to identify individual and geographic sources of variation in those rates.
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