HBA-NRS H.B. 2284 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2284 By: Kitchen Public Health 3/12/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE Several years ago the federal government established Medicare cost-sharing programs to ease the overwhelming burden of Medicare costs. These programs cover some or all of the high costs of Medicare premiums, deductibles, and co-insurance for qualified individuals, especially individuals with disabilities under age 65 and senior citizens through Medicaid. Unfortunately, the programs may not have been fully utilized. Millions of eligible low-income Medicare beneficiaries are paying an enormous price for Medicarerelated costs that should be covered by the programs. Texas has a high rate of individuals who are eligible for benefits but are not enrolled in Medicare cost-sharing programs, with estimates of between 370,000 and 404,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Texas who meet the low income and assets criteria, but are still paying $194 to $212 million per year in costs that should be covered by the government. House Bill 2284 prohibits the Health and Human Services Commission from considering the assets and resources of certain Medicare recipients when determining eligibility for Medicare cost-sharing programs. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS House Bill 2284 amends the Human Resources Code to prohibit the Health and Human Services Commission, when determining a person's eligibility for Medicare cost-sharing payments, from considering the assets and resources of a person who is: _a qualified Medicare beneficiary having Medicare Part A, a low monthly income, and limited money or assets to pay for health care services; _a specified low-income Medicare beneficiary who has Medicare Part A, a low monthly income, and limited resources; _a qualified disabled and working individual whose income does not exceed 200 percent of the official poverty line; or _qualifying individuals who have Medicare Part A, a low income, and limited money or assets to pay for Medicare services and who do not meet Medicaid eligibility requirements, as defined by federal law. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.