Visualizing LIS Eligibility
Shortcut Navigation:
Change Text Size: A A A

Visualizing LIS Eligibility

SHARE: 
Print

The Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS/Extra Help) is a valuable resource for Medicare beneficiaries with limited means to afford their prescriptions.

Yet many people with Medicare remain unaware of and unenrolled in LIS. This mapping tool enables benefits counselors to find information on these individuals potentially eligible for but not enrolled in LIS down to the county level.

How to use this graphic

Counties colored blue are those areas likely to have unmet need for enrollment in LIS/Extra Help. The darker the shade of blue, the larger the percentage of Medicare beneficiaries in the county who are estimated to be eligible but not enrolled in the subsidy.

Counties shaded gray are unlikely to have a high degree of unmet need. That’s not to say there’s no one who’s eligible but not enrolled in these localities, especially with 10,000 people a day in the United States aging into Medicare and needing help getting into benefits for which they may qualify – and, as noted below in the data sources, these are underestimates.

Mousing over a bubble or county will provide more information about the corresponding area. Zoom controls for the map will appear in the upper left when you mouse over the map. In addition, you may pan the map by holding both mouse buttons and dragging.

Data sources

Enrollment data for LIS comes from county-level data as of March 2014 (available through CMS at http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/MCRAdvPartDEnrolData/LIS-Contract-Enrollment-by-County.html). Potential eligibility is based on a 3-year sample of the American Community Survey (2011-2013). The latter data was crosswalked from public use microdata areas to counties. 

The methodology overestimates potential eligibles on one hand because it does not take into account assets, which are not captured in the ACS. However, it also underestimates potential eligibles because the 3-year sample means that demographic change (i.e. growth of Medicare population) in the intervening years goes uncaptured. 

Questions about the map may be directed to Conor McGovern, Senior Research Associate for Economic Security, at conor.mcgovern@ncoa.org.