Benefits System Change
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Benefits System Change


Millions of seniors are missing benefits that can improve their economic security. There are many reasons behind why this happens, but one critical element is that the administrative systems for benefits access are fragmented—different agencies administering programs operate different systems that don’t align or “talk” to one another. The result is a high societal cost for those who aren’t enrolled: increased food insecurity, untreated chronic conditions, and earlier (and expensive) institutionalization.

The solution

In late 2012, NCOA received a two-year grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies to pilot an effort to effect benefits systems change by:

  • Influencing state and federal policy to simplify application rules and procedures
  • Harnessing technology & improving referrals between programs that administer benefits
  • Ensuring low-income, new-to-Medicare population gets screened
  • Identifying best practices for replication in other states
  • Optimizing investment to ensure sustainability
  • Promoting extension of federal funding (MIPPA)

The project focuses on three core benefits programs—the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Part D Low Income Subsidy (LIS/Extra Help), and Medicare Savings Programs (MSP) and in three geographic areas:


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