The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act (MIPPA) helps to make Medicare affordable for older Americans.
MIPPA grantees help low-income Medicare beneficiaries save money on Medicare costs.
NCOA's Center for Benefits Access is the national MIPPA Resource Center offering training and technical assistance services to aging professionals.
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 (ACL).
MIPPA legislation also funds a National Center for Benefits Outreach and Enrollment, currently operated by NCOA.
Medicare benefits & MIPPA
MIPPA grantees specifically educate and assist 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 funding also allows grantees to conduct outreach activities aimed at preventing disease and promoting wellness through Medicare’s preventive benefits. Additionally, MIPPA grantees conduct targeted outreach and education to reach beneficiaries under 65, Native American beneficiaries, beneficiaries who reside in rural areas, and beneficiaries who speak English as a secondary language.
Current MIPPA funding and authorization
At the end of 2020, Congress passed and the President signed a large Omnibus spending package that included a three-year extension of MIPPA, through 2024. Annual funding for MIPPA outreach also increased from $37.5 million to $50 million, with $15 million each for Area Agencies on Aging, State Health Insurance Assistance Programs, and the National Center for Benefits Outreach and Enrollment and $5 million for Aging and Disability Resource Centers.
NCOA's role in MIPPA
The Center for Benefits Access at NCOA serves as the ACL-supported 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
- Tools & training materials, such as guides to reaching underserved populations and up-to-date benefits eligibility information
- Online benefits screening tools including an online application for LIS/Extra Help that is linked directly to the Social Security Administration
Since 2009, MIPPA grantees have submitted more than 2 million LIS and MSP applications for a total value of benefits of over $5 billion.