All Posts By

Katrina Cohens

Fact Sheet: Improvements in QMB Notices Are Temporarily Suspended

By | FACT SHEET, Health Care, Medicare | No Comments

On October 2, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) initiated changes in the Provider Remittance Advice and the Medicare Summary Notice (MSN) to show more clearly that Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMBs) may not be charged for Medicare deductibles and co-insurance. Unfortunately, CMS will be temporarily suspending these system changes as of December 8 because of significant unforeseen issues affecting provider payments. CMS is working to address the problem and reinstate the new systems sometime in 2018.

The temporary suspension of the system improvements does not affect the rights of QMBs. QMBs do not owe deductibles and co-insurance for any Medicare Part A or Part B services.

The suspension also does not affect another change, instituted in November, that enables providers to confirm QMB eligibility before serving individuals, using the same systems through which they check other insurance coverage.

To learn more about these developments, read our fact sheet.

For more information on QMB protections, see the CMS QMB Program webpage. For tools that advocates can use to assist QMB clients who have been improperly billed, go to Justice in Aging’s Improper Billing page.

WEBINAR: California Coordinated Care Initiative Update

By | CA Health Network Alert, WEBINAR | No Comments

When: Tuesday, December 19, 2017, at 11:00 AM PT

California’s Coordinated Care Initiative has been in effect for three years. This webinar, California Coordinated Care Initiative Update, will provide an update on the status of the program, cover recent changes the Department of Health Care Services has implemented, and summarize the evaluations of the program to date.

This webinar will accompany the release of the Advocates Guide to California’s Coordinated Care Initiative Version 6.

You can find Version 5 of the Advocates Guide as well as other CCI training and education materials here. To read up on recent changes, check out the CCI Advocates Alert from August 2017. Past Advocates Alerts can be found here.

Presenter: 
Amber Christ, Justice in Aging

The webinar will take place on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 11:00 a.m. PT.

REGISTER NOW

Fact Sheet: Republican Tax Bills Will Hurt Older Adults

By | FACT SHEET, Health Care, Income Network Alert, SENIOR POVERTY | No Comments

Republican leadership in both the Senate and House are pushing forward on tax proposals that would give a huge tax break to the wealthiest Americans and corporations and allow Congress to pay for it by cutting funding for critical programs needed by everyone else.

The Senate is expected to vote this week on its version of the plan.

Both Senate and House bills would explode the deficit and make it harder for older adults to afford health care—all while benefitting the wealthiest 1% and big corporations. We created a new fact sheet, Republican Tax Bills Will Hurt Older Adults, for advocates to use this week in their advocacy. The fact sheet outlines how exploding the deficit will force cuts to programs and health coverage for older adults, and how the wealthy 1% and corporations will benefit at the expense of older adults. Please use this fact sheet in your conversations with partners and policy makers and share widely.

Now is also the time to call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on this tax plan. Dial 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected.

Today, Justice in Aging and Center for American Progress are holding a joint briefing on what the tax bills mean for seniors. There’s also a National Call-in Day on Wednesday focused on people with disabilities and their families.

Fact Sheet: Congress Tax Proposals Endanger Health Care for Older Adults

By | FACT SHEET, Health Care, Long Term Care, Medicaid, Medicare, SENIOR POVERTY | No Comments

Congress is moving very quickly, aiming to have a bill signed into law by the end of the year. Advocates’ voices are needed to stop this reckless process that jeopardizes health care for millions. Our new fact sheet outlines the threats to health care for older adults and their families in both the House and Senate bills.

Fact Sheet: 4 Ways the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act Threatens Older Adults’ Health Care

By | FACT SHEET, Health Care, Medicaid, Medicare, SENIOR POVERTY | No Comments

Leadership in the House of Representatives is moving forward with its version of a tax bill that calls for enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and will drive up the deficit to the tune of $1.5 trillion.

Such a deficit will necessarily lead to cuts in programs that low-income older adults need, including Medicaid and Medicare. Justice in Aging created a short Fact Sheet: 4 Ways the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act Threatens Health Care for Older Adults to outline for advocates what’s at stake for older adults with Medicare and Medicaid and how the loss of the medical expense deduction could jeopardize the financial security of older Americans with high out-of-pocket health care costs or long-term care expenses.

Read the Fact Sheet

WEBINAR: Why the Proposal to Stop SSI Benefits for Those with Outstanding Warrants is so Harmful

By | Supplemental Security Income, WEBINAR | No Comments

When: Monday, November 20, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. PT/ 4:00 p.m. ET.

In September, the House of Representatives passed HR 2792, an attempt to revive a disastrous old policy that would prohibit the payment of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to people who are the subject of an arrest warrant for an alleged felony or for an alleged violation of probation or parole. Unfortunately, the House passed this bill as a way to pay to extend the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.

This bill would not help law enforcement secure the arrest of people they are seeking; instead it will harm thousands of people and cause them to lose their benefits. Join our webinar, Why the Proposal to Stop SSI Benefits for Those With Outstanding Warrants is so Harmful, to hear why this is not an evidenced-based strategy for law enforcement to use.

We have conclusive remarks from Representative Danny Davis (D-IL) about his efforts in the fight against HR 2792 in the House. Join the CCD Social Security Task Force and Justice in Aging to learn more about the details of this proposal, who it would harm, and why it is bad policy.

Real-time captioning and ASL interpretation was provided for this webinar.

Presenters:
Dara Baldwin, National Disability Rights Network
Tracey Gronniger, Justice in Aging
TJ Sutcliffe, The Arc

The webinar took place on Monday, November 20, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. PT / 4:00 p.m. ET.

WATCH THE WEBINAR

DOWNLOAD THE POWERPOINT

DOWNLOAD CAPTIONING

Fact Sheet: Open Enrollment for 2018 Coverage through Medicare & Covered California

By | CA Health Network Alert, FACT SHEET, Health Care, Medicare, REPORTS | No Comments

Here’s what older adults need to know about this year’s Open Enrollment periods for both Medicare and Covered California.

Open Enrollment

Fall is open enrollment time for both Medicare beneficiaries and enrollees in Covered California purchasing coverage in 2018.

Justice in Aging’s California open enrollment fact sheet reveals who is impacted by fall open enrollment, covers critical dates for each group, and provides key information on actions to take to ensure continuous coverage.

Key Facts:

  • Medicare Part C and Part D enrollees should review their coverage options each year as Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans can change their cost-sharing, provider networks, and drug formularies.
  • Medicare’s open enrollment period is from October 15-December 7, 2017.
  • Covered California open enrollment is from November 1-January 31, 2018.
  • Open enrollment periods have been extended for victims of natural disasters like the California wildfires.

Read the California Fact Sheet

Part-Time Staff Attorney or Senior Staff Attorney

By | Jobs & Fellowships | No Comments

Washington DC, Oakland, or Los Angeles Office

Justice in Aging seeks a part-time attorney with a strong commitment to and experience providing legal services for older adults to join our organization. The successful candidate will strengthen legal services delivery to older Americans as part of the National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER), which Justice in Aging administers under a contract with the Administration for Community Living. The attorney will work closely with the Project Manager, Directing Attorney and the entire NCLER team to provide technical assistance, training, and resource support to legal assistance developers, legal services attorneys, and the aging and disability network. The location for this position is Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, or Oakland, CA. Exceptional candidates in other locations will also be considered.

Justice in Aging uses the power of law and our expertise in safety net programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and SSI to fight senior poverty. Founded as a legal services back-up center in 1972, we have a rich tradition of supporting legal services providers who serve older adults with the greatest social and economic needs. The National Center on Law and Elder Rights (NCLER) is a new national resource center for the legal services and aging and disability networks, focused on the legal rights of older adults. Providing webinars, trainings, written materials, and case consultations, NCLER is a one-stop resource for professionals serving older adults with the greatest economic and social needs. We are seeking an experienced attorney to help us ensure older adults receive the high quality legal services they require to see their doctor, keep a roof over their head, have food on the table, and live safely and in dignity.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Candidate review will begin on November 15, 2017. Questions about the position can be directed to Fay Gordon at fgordon@justiceinaging.org.

Responsibilities

  • Work with the Project Manager and Directing Attorney for NCLER to provide technical assistance and training to states and programs working to improve legal services development.
  • Provide a range of resource support designed to enhance the quality, cost effectiveness, and accessibility of legal assistance and elder rights programs provided to older persons with the greatest social or economic needs.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with members of the legal services, aging and disability networks, including legal assistance developers, legal services providers, state units on aging, area agencies on aging, and others involved in the delivery of legal services to older adults.
  • Develop skills-based training for legal services providers who serve older adults.
  • Develop written materials, including informational alerts, issue briefs, and training materials.
  • Work with the NCLER team to advance other NCLER objectives.
    As needed, supervise other attorneys, pro bono attorneys, fellows and law clerks.
  • Limited travel will be required.

Requirements

  • A J.D., or other advanced degree
  • Experience providing direct legal services to low-income older adults and/or developing legal services delivery systems for older adults;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with demonstrated ability to work as part of a team, build internal and external relationships, and work with partners.
  • Capacity to handle multiple projects simultaneously.
  • Effective speaking, presentation, and written communication skills.
  • Collegial, collaborative approach.
  • Experience partnering with organizations serving diverse populations and/or working with communities of color.
  • Passion for social justice for low-income older adults and desire to provide assistance to underserved populations.

Desired

  • Experience working with legal assistance development on a statewide level.

Compensation:
Expected salary for this position will range from $45,000 to $55,000 based on a fixed salary scale, for work performed on a half-time basis. Justice in Aging also offers a competitive benefits package, including health, dental and life insurance; flexible reimbursement plan; 403(b) retirement savings plan; and generous vacation policy.

To Apply:
Please submit the following to Katrina Cohens, kcohens@justiceinaging.org: cover letter that describes your interest in this particular position, résumé, one writing sample, and three professional references. In your cover letter, please address the following in order for your application to be considered:

At Justice in Aging we advocate for older adults, particularly those in populations that have traditionally lacked legal protection, such as women, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and people with limited English proficiency. To promote social justice and best achieve our mission, Justice in Aging is committed to maintaining a diverse staff and creating an inclusive and respectful workplace in which differences are acknowledged and valued. How do you think your personal or professional experience or background has prepared you to contribute to a work environment with a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion?

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.

Fact Sheet: Open Enrollment for 2018 through Medicare & the Marketplace

By | Affordable Care Act, FACT SHEET, Health Care, Medicare, REPORTS | No Comments

Here’s what older adults need to know about this year’s Open Enrollment periods for both Medicare and the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplaces.

Open Enrollment

Fall is open enrollment time for both Medicare beneficiaries and enrollees in the Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Marketplaces for coverage in 2018.

Justice in Aging’s open enrollment fact sheet reveals who is impacted by fall open enrollment, covers critical dates for each group, and provides key information on actions to take to ensure continuous coverage.

Key Facts:

  • Part C and Part D enrollees should review their coverage options each year as Medicare Advantage and Prescription Drug plans can change their cost-sharing, provider networks and drug formularies.
  • Medicare’s open enrollment period is from October 15-December 7, 2017.
  • The Marketplace enrollment period has been cut in half from 12 weeks to 6 weeks.
  • The Marketplace enrollment period is from November 1-December 15, 2017.
  • Open enrollment periods have been extended for victims of some natural disasters.

Read the Fact Sheet

Why Many Nursing Facilities are Not Ready for Emergency Situations

By | Health Care, ISSUE BRIEF, Nursing Homes, REPORTS | No Comments

As Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Marie have shown us, nursing facility residents can be particularly at risk during natural disasters. The hurricanes resulted in death and injury in nursing facilities across the region, including 12 deaths in one Florida facility.

Justice in Aging created an issue brief, Why Many Nursing Facilities are Not Ready for Emergency Situations, which discusses existing federal and state law, and makes seven recommendations to address gaps in current law.

As the brief outlines, these deaths and injuries could have been prevented through advance planning and emergency preparedness.

Read the Brief