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Medicare’s Role for Dual Eligible Beneficiaries

About 9 million low-income seniors and younger people with disabilities in the United States are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid.

This brief examines the role of Medicare in providing health coverage for these beneficiaries. Medicare is the primary source of health insurance, while Medicaid provides supplemental coverage, helping with premiums and cost-sharing and paying for services not covered by Medicare.

This brief examines overall and per capita Medicare spending for these beneficiaries, including variations reflecting their diverse circumstances. It describes the characteristics of those with the relatively high and low Medicare costs and includes state-specific data on the share of Medicare beneficiaries who are also Medicaid-eligible.

Issue Brief (.pdf)