Affordable Health Coverage for Low-Income Seniors: Addressing Medicare Underinsurance


Grantee: Northwest Health Law Advocates (NoHLA)
Timeframe: July 2019 – June 2022 | Total Amount: $198,738

Year 1: July 2019 – June 2020. Amount: $60,000
Year 2: July 2020 – June 2021. Amount: $68,738
Year 3: July 2021 – June 2022. Amount: $70,000


NoHLA will engage in an initiative to study and propose options for Washington State and King County to address problems with access to health coverage for low-income individuals with Medicare but unable to afford costs Medicare does not cover. This project will develop an array of policy proposals to address gaps in access to care and coverage for individuals who receive Medicare, are either age 65 and older or disabled, and have incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides comprehensive Medicaid coverage for younger, non-disabled adults with income below 138% FPL.

Funds will enable NoHLA to perform a detailed legal and policy analysis to identify and assess the feasibility of various options to address the Medicare “underinsurance” problem for beneficiaries with income below 200% FPL.  The analysis will consider eligibility options including (1) extending comprehensive Medicaid coverage to individuals at higher income levels, (2) eliminating or changing asset limits, (3) changing Medically Needy (spenddown) program eligibility criteria, (4) expanding Medicare Savings Program eligibility to higher income or asset levels, (5) offering other premium and cost-sharing assistance, and (6) offering additional benefits.


About Our Grantee

Northwest Health Law Advocates (NoHLA)

Northwest Health Law Advocates is the consumer voice in the health care debate. We aim to improve access to health care for all Washington residents in furtherance of health as a human right.

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