Variations in State Medicaid Buy-in Practices for Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries: A 1999 Update

This report updates a 1997 Foundation report to assess how states are implementing financial protections for the 16 million Medicare beneficiaries who are low-income. These protections, generally referred to as “buy-in programs,” help low-income Medicare beneficiaries meet Medicare’s cost-sharing requirements by using state Medicaid programs to pay either all or some portion of premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance amounts. Using information collected through a survey of state Medicaid directors and consumer advocates, the update seeks to explain current programs and policies and to document variations in practices across the states through state profiles. State profiles include information on outreach, enrollment, eligibility, Qualified Individual program implementation, managed care enrollment, and program administration, and analysis examines recent federal activity on buy-in programs, participation levels, and the impact of related provisions in the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

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