Low-income Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for subsidies to help them pay premiums and cost sharing. However, these subsidies fall short of those contained in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) that help low-income families afford adequate health coverage. In this report we consider policy options to reform Medicare's low-income subsidies to better align with ACA provisions. We estimate that a significant simplification in low-income protection and cost-sharing rules could greatly reduce burdens on the poorest and sickest beneficiaries. Depending on how they are implemented, these reforms could either reduce or only modestly increase total public spending.
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