OUTREACH EFFORTS TO INCREASE AWARENESS OF THE AVAILABILITY OF MEDICARE COST–SHARING AND SUBSIDIES FOR LOW-INCOME INDIVIDUALS UNDER TITLE XVIII
(1) In general.—The Commissioner of Social Security (in this section referred to as the “Commissioner”) shall conduct outreach efforts to—
(A) identify individuals entitled to benefits under the medicare program under title XVIII who may be eligible for medical assistance for payment of the cost of medicare cost–sharing under the medicaid program pursuant to sections 1902(a)(10)(E) and 1933 for the transitional assistance under section 1869D-31(f), or for premium and cost-sharing subsidies under section 1860D-14; and
(B) notify such individuals of the availability of such medical assistance program, and subsidies under such sections.
(2) Content of notice.—Any notice furnished under paragraph (1) shall state that eligibility for medicare cost–sharing assistance, the transitional assistance under section 1860D-31(f), or premium and cost-sharing subsidies under section 1860D-14 under such sections is conditioned upon—
(A) the individual providing to the State information about income and resources (in the case of an individual residing in a State that imposes an assets test for eligibility for medicare cost-sharing under the medicaid program); and
(B) meeting the applicable eligibility criteria.
(b) Coordination With States.—
(1) In general.—In conducting the outreach efforts under this section, the Commissioner shall—
(A) furnish the agency of each State responsible for the administration of the medicaid program and any other appropriate State agency with information consisting of the name and address of individuals residing in the State that the Commissioner determines may be eligible for medical assistance for payment of the cost of medicare cost-sharing under the medicaid program pursuant to sections 1902(a)(10)(E) and 1933, for transitional assistance under section 1860D-31(f), or for premium and cost-sharing subsidies for low-income individuals under section 1860D-14; and
(B) update any such information not less frequently than once per year.
(2) Information in periodic updates.—The periodic updates described in paragraph (1)(B) shall include information on individuals who are or may be eligible for the medical assistance, program, and subsidies described in paragraph (1)(A) because such individuals have experienced reductions in benefits under title II.
(c) Assistance with Medicare Savings Program and Low-Income Subsidy Program Applications.—
(1) Distribution of applications and information to individuals who are potentially eligible for low-income subsidy program.—For each individual who submits an application for low-income subsidies under section 1860D–14, requests an application for such subsidies, or is otherwise identified as an individual who is potentially eligible for such subsidies, the Commissioner shall do the following:
(A) Provide information describing the low-income subsidy program under section 1860D–14 and the Medicare Savings Program (as defined in paragraph (7)). In accordance with paragraph (3), transmit data from such an application for purposes of initiating an application for benefits under the Medicare Savings Program.
(B) Provide an application for enrollment under such low-income subsidy program (if not already received by the Commissioner).
(C) In accordance with paragraph (3), transmit data from such an application for purposes of initiating an application for benefits under the Medicare Savings Program.
(D) Provide information on how the individual may obtain assistance in completing such application and an application under the Medicare Savings Program, including information on how the individual may contact the State health insurance assistance program (SHIP).
(E) Make the application described in subparagraph (B) and the information described in subparagraphs (A) and (D) available at local offices of the Social Security Administration.
(2) Training personnel in explaining benefit programs and assisting in completing lis application.—The Commissioner shall provide training to those employees of the Social Security Administration who are involved in receiving applications for benefits described in paragraph (1)(B) in order that they may promote beneficiary understanding of the low-income subsidy program and the Medicare Savings Program in order to increase participation in these programs. Such employees shall provide assistance in completing an application described in paragraph (1)(B) upon request.
(3) Transmittal of data to states.—Beginning on January 1, 2010, with the consent of an individual completing an application for benefits described in paragraph (1)(B), the Commissioner shall electronically transmit to the appropriate State Medicaid agency data from such application, as determined by the Commissioner, which transmittal shall initiate an application of the individual for benefits under the Medicare Savings Program with the State Medicaid agency. In order to ensure that such data transmittal provides effective assistance for purposes of State adjudication of applications for benefits under the Medicare Savings Program, the Commissioner shall consult with the Secretary, after the Secretary has consulted with the States, regarding the content, form, frequency, and manner in which data (on a uniform basis for all States) shall be transmitted under this subparagraph.
(4) Coordination with outreach.—The Commissioner shall coordinate outreach activities under this subsection in connection with the low-income subsidy program and the Medicare Savings Program.
(5) Reimbursement of social security administration administrative costs.—
(A) Initial medicare savings program costs; additional low-income subsidy costs.—
(i) Initial medicare savings program costs.—There are hereby appropriated to the Commissioner to carry out this subsection, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $24,100,000. The amount appropriated under ths clause shall be available on October 1, 2008, and shall remain available until expended.
(ii) Additional amount for low-income subsidy activities.—There are hereby appropriated to the Commissioner, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, $24,800,000 for fiscal year 2009 to carry out low-income subsidy activities under section 1860D–14 and the Medicare Savings Program (in accordance with this subsection), to remain available until expended. Such funds shall be in addition to the Social Security Administration’s Limitation on Administrative Expenditure appropriations for such fiscal year.
(B) Subsequent funding under agreements.—
(i) In general.—Effective for fiscal years beginning on or after October 1, 2010, the Commissioner and the Secretary shall enter into an agreement which shall provide funding (subject to the amount appropriated under clause (ii)) to cover the administrative costs of the Commissioner’s activities under this subsection. Such agreement shall—
(I) provide funds to the Commissioner for the full cost of the Social Security Administration’s work related to the Medicare Savings Program required under this section;
(II) provide such funding quarterly in advance of the applicable quarter based on estimating methodology agreed to by the Commissioner and the Secretary; and require an annual accounting and reconciliation of the actual costs incurred and funds provided under this subsection.
(III) require an annual accounting and reconciliation of the actual costs incurred and funds provided under this subsection.
(ii) Appropriation.—There are hereby appropriated to the Secretary solely for the purpose of providing payments to the Commissioner pursuant to an agreement specified in clause (i) that is in effect, out of any funds in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, not more than $3,000,000 for fiscal year 2011 and each fiscal year thereafter.
(C) Limitation.—In no case shall funds from the Social Security Administration’s Limitation on Administrative Expenses be used to carry out activities related to the Medicare Savings Program. For fiscal years beginning on or after October 1, 2010, no such activities shall be undertaken by the Social Security Administration unless the agreement specified in subparagraph (B) is in effect and full funding has been provided to the Commissioner as specified in such subparagraph.
(6) GAO analysis and report.—
(A) Analysis.—The Comptroller General of the United States shall prepare an analysis of the impact of this subsection—
(i) in increasing participation in the Medicare Savings Program, and on States and the Social Security Administration.
(ii) on States and the Social Security Administration.
(B) Report.—Not later than January 1, 2012, the Comptroller General shall submit to Congress, the Commissioner, and the Secretary a report on the analysis conducted under subparagraph (A).
(7) Medicare savings program defined.—For purposes of this subsection, the term “Medicare Savings Program” means the program of medical assistance for payment of the cost of medicare cost-sharing under the Medicaid program pursuant to sections 1902(a)(10)(E) and 1933.
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