This provision permits states to receive funding for grants for programs related to providing education to Medicare beneficiaries. The law indicates that the purpose of such grants is to provide "information, counseling, and assistance relating to the procurement of adequate and appropriate health insurance coverage" to Medicare beneficiaries including providing "information that may assistance in obtaining benefits …under titles XVIII and XIX…" One potential use of these grant funds may be for public reporting systems that provide consumers with information regarding nursing homes.
The FY 2002 appropriation for this program was $12.5 million. State allocations are made using a formula that takes into account the number of beneficiaries in rural areas and the number of Medicare beneficiaries relative to the state's total population. For large states (e.g., Florida and California) the average grant award is about $500,000. For smaller states (e.g., North Dakota and Missouri) the grant award is about $125,000. None of the study states indicated using this section to secure federal funds for their quality improvement programs.