What is MIPPA?
The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) of 2008 is a multi-faceted piece of legislation related to Medicare. One important provision of MIPPA was the allocation of federal funding (through Section 119) for State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs), Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs), and Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) to help low-income Medicare beneficiaries apply for programs that make Medicare affordable. In addition to SHIPs, AAAs, and ADRCs, Tribes can also receive small grants to do MIPPA outreach in their communities.
MIPPA grants are administered by the U.S. Administration for Community Living and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Medicare benefits & MIPPA
MIPPA grantees specifically help low-income seniors and persons with disabilities to apply for two programs that help pay for their Medicare costs:
- The Medicare Part D Extra Help/Low-Income Subsidy (LIS/Extra Help), which helps pay for the Part D premium and reduces the cost of prescriptions at the pharmacy, and
- The Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs), which help pay for Medicare Part B.
MIPPA grantees also provide Part D counseling to Medicare beneficiaries who live in rural areas, and are tasked to promote Medicare’s prevention and wellness benefits.
Current MIPPA funding
On Sept. 26, 2014, following the receipt of proposals from states and Tribes, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) released funding to states and Title VI Native American programs. Currently, 47 states and the District of Columbia and receive state funding; over 90 Tribal entities also received Tribal MIPPA funding to conduct at least one outreach event. Read more about what they have planned under this grant in our fact sheet, MIPPA IV at a Glance.
In April 2015, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 was enacted. This legislation held two important updates for MIPPA grantees:
- It made the Qualified Individual (QI) program permanent, meaning low-income Medicare beneficiaries with incomes between 120-135% FPL will still be able to take advantage of this Medicare Savings Program that helps pay their Part B premiums.
- It expanded and increased funding for MIPPA outreach and enrollment activities through FY17. States that did not apply for funding in 2014 were able to apply in 2015; funding for these states and states previously awarded grants was issued in late September 2015.
NCOA’s role in MIPPA
The Center for Benefits Access at NCOA serves as the resource center for MIPPA grantees. The Center provides training, collects data, and disseminates information and best practices to grantees.
MIPPA outreach: Promising practices and materials
The Center for Benefits Access has a broad range of materials that can help MIPPA grantees achieve their goal of enrolling Medicare beneficiaries into LIS and MSP. These include:
- Promising practices in outreach and enrollment from the field
- Data visualization tools that help identify where there are areas of need in each state/county
- Fliers developed specifically for outreach to American Indians/Alaskan and Hawaiian Natives, available in our Resource Library
- Outreach posters/fliers developed in collaboration with the National Association of States United for Aging and Disability (NASUAD) specifically for younger adults with disabilities
- Sample outreach materials that have been successful with MIPPA grantees across the country, also available in our Resource Library
- Maintaining online benefits screening tools, including an online application for LIS/Extra Help that is transferred directly to the Social Security Administration
Since 2009, MIPPA grantees have submitted more than 900,000 LIS and MSP applications for a total value of benefits of over $2 billion. Read more about the results of the first three years of MIPPA grants to states in our report, MIPPA—Three Years On.