Each May, the Social Security Administration (SSA) mails letters to people enrolled in Medicare who are likely eligible for but not receiving the Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS), also known as Extra Help, and the Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs).

There are two variations of these letters (examples are from 2017):

SSA has released the number of letters mailed to each zip code in the United States in May-June 2018 in order to help community-based organizations and state and local agencies more effectively target outreach on these vital benefits programs.

Note: While these data help identify those likely eligible for these two programs based on their Social Security benefit, remember that Medicare beneficiaries may have additional sources of income or assets above the amounts allowed for the programs, and not all letter recipients may be eligible to enroll.

Find additional information, including federal eligibility guidelines, for LIS and MSP.

Using the visualization tool

Click on the map image to go to the full visualization tool or visit the tool using this link.

The map includes:

The two maps can be panned by clicking and dragging the screen. Zoom in and out using the controls in the lower right or with your mouse wheel. At the farthest zoom, the data points will appear as red dots, but when you zoom in, it will fill in the zip codes with a gradient based on the number of letters mailed (dark shades = greater number of letters). Clicking on a zip code will provide the following information: the state name, the zip code, the name of the place in which the post office for that zip code is located (in parentheses), and the total number of letters mailed to that zip code.

Example: Say you want to find the zip codes in New York where more than 200 MSP letters were mailed. You would do this by clicking the blue Filter button, selecting State in the dropdown box, and placing a check in the box next to NY. This will return all zip codes in New York. Now, click the Filter button again, select MSP, type 200 in the first box that appears, and click Find. This can be done either in the map view or in the table view. Mousing over an area will provide a box with the number of letters mailed, as illustrated in the example.

You may download either the full dataset or what you have filtered by clicking on File and then Download, and selecting either All rows or Filtered rows. The CSV file, which can be manipulated or printed in Excel or a spreadsheet program, will contain at least one column that is hidden in the online table view. These can be safely deleted; the only important columns are State, ZIP, MSP, and LIS.