Medicare and Medicaid: Many Eligible People Not Enrolled in Qualified
Medicare Beneficiary Program (Letter Report, 01/20/94, GAO/HEHS-94-52).

The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program pays many out-of-pocket
expenses for Medicare recipients whose incomes are not quite low enough
to qualify them for regular Medicare benefits.  The number of people
enrolled has steadily increased since the program began in 1989, but a
substantial portion of those eligible have yet to sign up--despite
repeated efforts by government and advocacy groups to publicize the
program.  Many believe that people have not enrolled because of the
perceived welfare stigma associated with means-tested programs and
because of the complicated application process.  Many also believe that
authorizing the Social Security Administration (SSA) to make program
eligibility determinations would help overcome these factors and boost
enrollment.  Although SSA might be able to increase enrollment, GAO
believes that this concept should be tested before it is generally
adopted.  Finally, some state part A buy-in practices delay or preclude
enrollment of Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program and regular
Medicaid beneficiaries in part A.  This, in turn, can place some
beneficiaries at a disadvantage relative to beneficiaries in other

--------------------------- Indexing Terms -----------------------------

     TITLE:  Medicare and Medicaid: Many Eligible People Not Enrolled in 
             Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program
      DATE:  01/20/94
   SUBJECT:  Health care programs
             Eligibility determinations
             Medical expense claims
             State-administered programs
             Hospital care services
             Health care costs
             Supplemental security income program
             Health insurance
             Public assistance programs
             Federal social security programs
IDENTIFIER:  Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program
             Medicare Program
             Medicaid Program
             District of Columbia

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