All Posts By

Katrina Cohens

Free Webinar: Improvements to the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program (QMB) – Part One

By | Health Care, Medicaid, Medicare, WEBINAR, Webinar Trainings

Part 1: Monday, September 24, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. ET.

The Qualified Medicare Savings Program (QMB) helps low-income Medicare beneficiaries pay for their health insurance by covering Part A and B premiums and cost-sharing. State Medicaid programs, which administer QMB, have a responsibility to screen for eligibility, but many individuals still face challenges enrolling into the QMB program. Another challenge is that even after beneficiaries are enrolled in the program, some Medicare providers, in violation of federal law, bill QMBs for costs covered by Medicare. In the past two years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has implemented a number of changes to the QMB program, which touch both beneficiaries and providers, and are designed to reduce improper billing.

This two-part webinar, The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Program: Eligibility, Challenges, and New Developments, provides an overview of the QMB program and eligibility criteria. The webinar also covers challenges to eligibility and under-utilization, and reviews the recent CMS administrative changes intended to curb improper billing.

Part One of the two-part webinar:

  • Provides an overview of the QMB program, including eligibility and utilization
  • Looks at challenges to enrollment, including state enrollment procedures and data transfer issues
  • Discusses recent improvements in enrollment procedures for individuals who need QMB because they do not have premium-free Medicare Part A.

Who Should Participate: 

  • Aging and legal advocates, community-based providers, health plan leadership, and others wanting to learn more about the QMB program and improper billing.

Presenters:
Georgia Burke, Justice in Aging
Denny Chan, Justice in Aging

Part One took place on Monday, September 24, 2018.

WATCH THE RECORDING
DOWNLOAD THE POWERPOINT

Additional Materials

Fact Sheets: New Resources on Trump’s Public Charge Impacts on Older Adult Immigrants

By | CA Health Network Alert, Economic Security, FACT SHEET, Health Care, Medicaid, Social Security

Advocates are preparing for the release of a new “public charge” rule from the Trump Administration that would put immigration status at risk if an immigrant or their family—including U.S. citizen children and other dependents—seeks access to an array of programs that support health, nutrition, and economic stability.

If implemented, this rule would harm older immigrants, their families, and caregivers. The rule would make it much more difficult for U.S. citizens and residents to welcome aging parents or other family members into the country. Seniors and their families may be afraid to go to the doctor or get helping paying for food or rent. Additionally, many immigrant older adults work as caregivers for very low pay. This rule would make it harder for them to access benefits like Medicaid and SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), or get help with insurance premiums through Affordable Care Act subsidies.

Justice in Aging has a new fact sheet that provides an overview of the harms to older adults, their families, and caregivers that the Trump Administration’s changes to the “public charge” rule would pose.  A California fact sheet provides an overview of these harms looking at California-specific data and programs.

Racial Justice Fellowship for Summer 2019

By | Jobs & Fellowships

Justice in Aging is pleased to recruit for its second Racial Justice Fellowship for Summer 2019. The fellow may work in any of our three offices: Oakland, Los Angeles, or Washington D.C. This is a paid fellowship.

The Position: Justice in Aging seeks a rising 3L (current 2L) with a passion for public interest law and a commitment to communities of color for a 10-week summer fellowship focused on the intersection of poverty, aging, and racial justice. The fellow will work with staff on projects that integrate Justice in Aging’s core programs—health care and economic security—with the fellow’s personal and professional interests.

During the fellowship, the fellow will have the opportunity to author a writing sample. The fellow will participate in all intern trainings and events, attend external stakeholder meetings and events, and have the opportunity to learn more about the legal non-profit world. The fellow will also prepare and present an internal training to the staff on a topic they have researched during the summer.

The fellow will be an integrated member of the Justice in Aging team and will participate in our substantive team meetings and in our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Justice in Aging will pair the fellow with one attorney as a mentor for the summer. Justice in Aging is also interested in working with the summer fellow to craft a post-graduate fellowship application for Skadden, Equal Justice Works, or the equivalent.

Compensation: The fellow will be provided a $5,000 stipend.

Qualifications: We seek current law school students with: (1) a genuine and demonstrated commitment to working on behalf of communities of color; (2) interest in aging issues; (3) high-caliber legal research and writing skills; and (4) the ability to take initiative and work independently. An interest in a public interest career is desirable. Individuals with ties to low-income, racial/ethnic minority communities, and other underserved populations are especially encouraged to apply.

The Organization: Justice in Aging is a 45-year old non-profit organization with a rich tradition of successful, high-impact strategic advocacy on behalf of more than 7 million seniors living in poverty in America. Justice in Aging works primarily in two areas: health care (including long-term services and supports) and economic security. We use a variety of legal tools to improve access to benefits for seniors, including producing educational materials for advocates, participating in administrative and legislative advocacy, litigating on behalf of older adults, and supporting direct legal services providers with complex legal issues.

Justice in Aging is the only aging organization to focus explicitly on issues of senior poverty and, as a part of that work, we recognize that senior poverty is often a result of historic and systemic discrimination based on race and other identities. We work to foster equity for older adults in our core program areas as well as working internally to create an inclusive environment where all staff members are supported and valued.

Application: Applications are accepted until Friday, September 28, 2018. First-round phone interviews will be conducted the weeks of September 24 and October 1.

To apply for the summer Racial Justice Fellowship, please send  the following materials to Katrina Cohens at kcohens@justiceinaging.org:

  1. cover letter,
  2. resume,
  3. writing sample,
  4. a list of three references

In your cover letter you must discuss how your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have shaped your interest in racial justice and aging issues.

Cover letters without this explanation will not be considered. Please also include any scheduling conflicts during the weeks of September 24 and October 1 that may affect your availability for a first-round phone interview.

Justice in Aging is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to maintaining a diverse staff and we particularly encourage applications from members of racial and ethnic minority groups, women, the LGBTQ community, and others whose background may contribute to more effective representation of low-income people and underserved communities.

Colin Alexander Health Law Fellowship for Summer 2019

By | Jobs & Fellowships

Justice in Aging is pleased to recruit for its second annual Colin Alexander Health Law Fellowship for Summer 2019. The fellow may work in any of our three offices: Oakland, Los Angeles, or Washington D.C. This is a paid fellowship.

The Position: Justice in Aging seeks a rising 3L (current 2L) with a passion for public interest law and a commitment to health or aging for a 10-week summer fellowship focused on the intersection of poverty, aging, and health. The fellow will work on a variety of health-related projects throughout the summer and will have the opportunity to learn about the major health care programs that impact older adults.

During the fellowship, the fellow will have the opportunity to author a writing sample. The fellow will participate in all intern trainings and events, attend external stakeholder meetings and events, and have the opportunity to learn more about the legal non-profit world. The fellow will also prepare and present an internal training to the staff on a topic they have researched during the summer.

The fellow will be an integrated member of the Justice in Aging team and will participate in our substantive health team meetings. Justice in Aging will pair the fellow with one attorney as a mentor for the summer. Justice in Aging is also interested in working with the summer fellow to craft a post-graduate fellowship application for Skadden, Equal Justice Works, or the equivalent.

Compensation: The fellow will be provided a $5,000 stipend.

Qualifications: We seek current law school students with: (1) a genuine and demonstrated commitment to working on behalf of low-income communities; (2) an interest in aging issues; (3) an interest in health law; (4) high-caliber legal research and writing skills; and (5) the ability to take initiative and work independently. An interest in a public interest career is desirable. Individuals with ties to low-income, racial/ethnic minority communities, and other underserved populations are encouraged to apply.

The Organization: Justice in Aging is a 45-year old non-profit organization with a rich tradition of successful, high-impact strategic advocacy on behalf of more than 7 million seniors living in poverty in America. Justice in Aging works primarily in two areas: health care (including long-term services and supports) and economic security. We use a variety of legal tools to improve access to benefits for seniors, including producing educational materials for advocates, participating in administrative and legislative advocacy, litigating on behalf of older adults, and supporting direct legal services providers with complex legal issues.

Justice in Aging is the only aging organization to focus explicitly on issues of senior poverty and, as a part of that work, we recognize that senior poverty is often a result of historic and systemic discrimination based on race and other identities. We work to foster equity for older adults in our core program areas as well as working internally to create an inclusive environment where all staff members are supported and valued.

Application: Applications are accepted until Friday, September 28, 2018. First-round phone interviews will be conducted the weeks of September 24 and October 1.

To apply for the summer Colin Alexander Health Law Fellowship, please send the following materials to Katrina Cohens at kcohens@justiceinaging.org:

  1. cover letter,
  2. resume,
  3. writing sample,
  4. a list of three references

In your cover letter you must discuss how your personal background or experiences, professional or otherwise, have shaped your interest in racial justice and aging issues.

Cover letters without this explanation will not be considered. Please also include any scheduling conflicts during the weeks of September 24 and October 1 that may affect your availability for a first-round phone interview.

Justice in Aging is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to maintaining a diverse staff and we particularly encourage applications from members of racial and ethnic minority groups, women, the LGBTQ community, and others whose background may contribute to more effective representation of low-income people and underserved communities.

AARP’s Asian American Pacific Islander Community Honors Denny Chan with its 2018 Hero Award

By | Health Care Defense, PRESS RELEASE, Safety Net Defense, SENIOR POVERTY
Oakland, CA (August 20, 2018) –Justice in Aging is proud to announce that the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community of AARP has honored Justice in Aging attorney Denny Chan with its annual Hero Award.

Every year, for the past three years, the AARP AAPI Hero Awards have recognized volunteers and non-profit organization staff members who work tirelessly behind the scenes serving Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders over 50 years of age. The award was announced on Facebook on August 16. You can watch the winning video about Denny’s good work on behalf of low-income older adults. Read More

Fact Sheet: SSA Clarifies Handling of Medicare Part A Conditional Applications

By | FACT SHEET, Health Care, Medicare, Social Security
Many people do not have enough work history to qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A benefits, however there is still an option for low-income individuals to get their Medicare Part A premiums paid.

A new Justice in Aging fact sheet details how they can enroll in the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program to get their Medicare premiums paid through their state Medicaid program. Enrolling in QMB can be confusing for people without Part A coverage and often requires visits to both the Social Security Administration office and the state’s Medicaid program offices. A further complication is that many Social Security offices have used conflicting and incorrect procedures or provided misinformation to applicants. Read More

How to Access Care for a Senior Who Doesn’t Speak English

By | Health Care, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, NEWS

Caring.com: How to Access Care for a Senior Who Doesn’t Speak English (Aug. 2, 2018) For older adults who don’t speak English, accessing the health care they need can be difficult. However, seniors have the legal right to interpretation and translation services from health care providers that receive federal dollars through a provision of the Affordable Care Act. The problem is, seniors often do not know they have this right or how to exercise it. Justice in Aging attorney, Denny Chan lays out for this article what rights LEP seniors have, while the adult day care provider, On Lok Lifeways offers an good illustration of what culturally competent care for seniors with limited English can look like. “It’s an anxious time for people who don’t speak English as their primary language because there’s been a number of efforts to chip away at the protections they have,” said Chan. Read the full article.

Press Release: White Paper Stresses Importance of Oral Health Care Benefit for Older Adults

By | Health Care, Medicare, Oral Health, PRESS RELEASE

Washington, DC 2018 – Justice in Aging, along with a diverse group of partners, released a white paper, An Oral Health Benefit in Medicare Part B: It’s Time to Include Oral Health in Health Care. This white paper is an interprofessional, collaborative effort written and published by leaders in the consumer, healthcare and dental fields, including the American Dental Association, Center for Medicare Advocacy, the Dentaquest Foundation, Families USA, Justice in Aging, Oral Health America and the Santa Fe Group.

With an expected 72.1 million seniors living in the United States by 2030, An Oral Health Benefit in Medicare Part B: It’s Time to Include Oral Health in Health Care, outlines the need for oral health care coverage for Medicare recipients and the importance of it being integrated with, and elevated to, the same importance as the rest of health care in Medicare. Read More

WEBINAR: Advanced Webinar- Understanding the SSI Transfer Penalty

By | Economic Security, Supplemental Security Income, WEBINAR

When: Thursday, June 28, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. PT / 2:00 p.m. ET.

The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program has many complicated financial eligibility rules, including the treatment of resources or assets. Applicants and recipients cannot simply give away countable assets to gain eligibility for SSI. Similarly they cannot decline assets that they are entitled to receive, such as inheritances, to establish or maintain their eligibility. An SSI applicant or recipient who transfers an asset for less than fair market value or declines to receive an asset could be subject to the transfer of asset penalty, becoming ineligible for SSI benefits for up to 36 months.

Read More

Nursing Home Residents at Risk as CMS Prioritizes Industry Lobbyists Over Residents

By | PRESS RELEASE

June 15, 2018 –Released in conjunction with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, new reports from advocates for nursing home residents show how residents’ health and safety has become increasingly imperiled under the current leadership of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Although a recent federal study found that a third of short-term residents suffered harm, CMS has, since January 2017, began to eliminate, delay, and dramatically reduce enforcement of key regulations that protect residents—and all such actions can be linked to requests by industry lobbyists.

Read More