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Katrina Cohens

Advocates Guide To California’s Coordinated Care Initiative Version 6

By | Advocate's Guide, CA Health Network Alert, DUAL DEMONSTRATIONS, DUAL ELIGIBLES | No Comments

The Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI)—including California’s dual eligible demonstration project Cal MediConnect—is well underway in all seven CCI counties including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. There have been significant changes to the CCI since the release of Version Five of Justice in Aging’s Advocates Guide to California’s Coordinated Care Initiative in October 2016.

Released today, Version Six of the Guide includes:

  • A description of new and updated CCI policies
  • Additional advocacy tips
  • Evaluation results and new resources

If you have saved or printed Version Five, please replace it with Version Six, because the former now contains outdated information.

If you missed the webinar, Coordinated Care Initiative: 2017 Update, the video is now available.

Republican Tax Plan Targets California’s Elderly

By | IN THE NEWS | No Comments

Capital & Main: Republican Tax Plan Targets California’s Elderly (12/14/17). The Senate tax bill reform will negatively impact the elderly population significantly. The bill, passed on December 2, 2017, is a two step process that will cut taxes first, then cut social safety programs dedicated to serving the elderly poor to make up for the massive deficit the bill generates. “Cutting eligibility, cutting benefits — that will lead to more seniors not being able to age at home, but being forced into nursing facilities,” said Amber Christ, a Los Angeles-based staff attorney for Justice in Aging. “It will be a catastrophic scaling back of those programs that will impact generations and generations moving forward,” Christ added, calling the looming cuts “a reversal of all the gains from the War on Poverty.”

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, provides an update on the status of the program, cover recent changes the Department of Health Care Services has implemented, and summarizes the evaluations of the program to date.

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

Read More

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.

Senior home residents risk eviction when they speak up

By | IN THE NEWS | No Comments

Star Tribune: Senior home residents risk eviction when they speak up (11/15/2017) Across states, involuntary discharges and transfers from seniors assisted living facilites are now the top reported grievance. Unlike nursing homes, assisted living facilities face almost no repercussion for arbitrarily forcing out residents who have become difficult to manage or residents who complain about poor care or abuse. Justice in Aging’s Eric Carlson said, “These newer assisted-living facilities still have a huge amount of discretion to push residents out as they wish. And people don’t see an obvious way to challenge [the evictions], so they just pick up and move.”

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. Read More