Intensive Outreach Spurs Increase in MSP Enrollment in Louisiana

State Solutions: An Initiative to Improve Enrollment in Medicare Savings Programs

Field of Work: Increasing enrollment in Medicare Savings Programs.

Problem Synopsis: Medicare does not cover all medical costs. Beneficiaries are responsible for paying premiums, co-payments and deductibles, as well as for services not covered by Medicare. Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) are designed to help Medicare recipients with limited income and resources cover some of these costs.

State officials in Louisiana estimated that some 250,000 people were eligible for Medicare Savings Programs, but only 135,600 participated. Why? The main reason, officials said, was that potential enrollees did not know about the program.

Synopsis of the Work: Under State Solutions: An Initiative to Improve Enrollment In Medicare Savings Program, Louisiana received grant support to boost MSP enrollment. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals used statewide outreach as its principle strategy for increasing enrollment.

Key Findings

  • Louisiana's State Solution coordinator, gave staff in the state's nine regional Medicaid offices the freedom to use any and all avenues to find people eligible for MSPs, tell them about the program and sign them up. Staff members in the nine regions engaged in a friendly competition to sign up enrollees, reflecting their commitment to the target population of seniors and people with disabilities. Overall, staff carried out more than 28,000 hours of MSP outreach during the three-year project, nearly three times the minimum goal it had set.

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