Increasing Enrollment in Low-Income Medicare Programs
What was the challenge?
The Social Security Administration (SSA) conducts outreach to Medicare beneficiaries who may qualify for Medicare cost-sharing assistance under the Medicare Savings Programs (MSP) and for the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS or “Extra Help”). In May of each year, SSA mails the “Social Security LIS and MSP Outreach Notices” to individuals who may be eligible for both the MSP and Extra Help (Form SSA-L448), and those who already have Extra Help and may also be eligible for the MSPs (Form SSA-L447), to inform them of the potential cost savings and how to apply. The major objective of this outreach is to increase enrollment of eligible low-income individuals into these programs.
What did we do?
OES partnered with SSA to re-design the L448 and L447 letters in an effort to increase Extra Help and MSP enrollment. The redesigned letters made potential savings salient, clarified that eligibility depends on the recipient’s own income and asset limits, and summarized the takeaways in clear language and easy-to-digest tables.
The Intervention Pack shows the original and redesigned letters, and highlights the best practices adopted in the re-design for effective communications.
What did we learn?
SSA annually mails the letters to roughly 2 million individuals whose data suggests they may be eligible for cost savings in May of each year. The re-designed letters were adopted in 2017. SSA continues to share Extra Help information with people who are filing for Medicare and tailors the application interview to share information about MSP, when appropriate.