All Posts By

Katrina Cohens

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

LA Aging Advocacy Coalition Honors Kevin Prindiville with the LAAAC Champion Award

By | PRESS RELEASE

Los Angeles, CA (May 31, 2018) –Justice in Aging is proud to announce that the Los Angeles Aging and Advocacy Coalition (LAAAC) is honoring Kevin Prindiville with its Champion Award. Every year, LAAAC honors an individual who has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to aging advocacy, made outstanding contributions to the health and well-being of older and adults and caregivers in Los Angeles County, and demonstrated effectiveness as an advocate for seniors and their caregivers. The award will be presented Friday, June 1 at the 9th Annual Summit on Aging at the University of Southern California Ronald Tutor Campus Center Ballroom.

“I’m honored to be receiving this award at this critical time when we all need to be speaking up for and working on behalf of the growing number of seniors in California that are living in or near poverty,” said Kevin Prindiville.

Read More

Beneficiary Advocates Urge Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to Correct Inaccuracies in Medicare & You Handbook for 2019

By | PRESS RELEASE, Uncategorized
Washington, DC – The Center for Medicare Advocacy, Justice in Aging and the Medicare Rights Center sent a joint letter to Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), on May 15, 2018, objecting to serious inaccuracies in the draft Medicare & You Handbook for 2019, and urging CMS to rectify the errors prior to disseminating the Medicare & You Handbook.

Medicare & You is the official government publication designed to provide beneficiaries with factual information about the Medicare program, their choices for obtaining coverage, and the benefits they can expect. Unfortunately, the draft 2019 Handbook includes inaccurate descriptions of the differences between Original Medicare and private Medicare Advantage plans. Without fair and accurate information, older adults, people with disabilities and their families cannot make informed choices about their health care coverage. Read More

American Society on Aging Honors Paul Nathanson with its Hall of Fame Award

By | PRESS RELEASE
San Francisco, CA (March 26, 2018) – Justice in Aging is proud to announce that the American Society on Aging is honoring Paul Nathanson with its 2018 Hall of Fame Award. The Hall of Fame Award is presented to an individual who has, through a lifetime of advocacy and leadership, enhanced the lives of elders through demonstrated leadership on the national level. The award will be presented today at 4PM in the Continental Ballroom during the opening plenary of the American Society on Aging’s annual conference in San Francisco.

“I am honored to receive this award. We at Justice in Aging have been using the law to try to address the most critical needs of the most vulnerable older Americans for over 45 years,” said Paul. “There have been many successes. Unfortunately the challenges continue and have been intensified with this administration.” Read More

WEBINAR: In-Kind Support and Maintenance in the SSI Program

By | Supplemental Security Income, WEBINAR
Why do some individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits only receive $500 each month instead of $750?

In many cases, the reason is “in-kind support and maintenance” (ISM). As SSI is a means-tested program, applicants and recipients must meet several financial eligibility criteria on an ongoing basis. The income and resources rules, including “in-kind support and maintenance,” are particularly complicated. These rules can cause significant hardship for low-income people trying to survive on SSI. Giving advocates the tools to successfully navigate ISM on behalf of their clients can make a big difference. SSI recipients could have an additional $250 per month for necessities like health care expenses, household expenses, transportation, and other basic needs, if they have the assistance of a representative who understands ISM and can help advocate on their behalf at SSA.

Read More

Advance Beneficiary Notices, Administrative Fees, and Dual Eligibles

By | ISSUE BRIEF, Medicare

Federal law prohibits charging Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMBs) with Medicare cost-sharing for covered services. Depending on state law, other beneficiaries who are fully eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid–full benefit dual eligibles–may also be protected from being billed for co-payments or other forms of cost sharing.

However, QMBs and other dual eligibles may still be responsible for certain charges or fees. A new Justice in Aging Issue Brief: Advance Beneficiary Notices, Administrative Fees, and Dual Eligibles explains for advocates the situations under which these types of beneficiaries may be responsible for charges.

Read the brief to learn what protections QMBs have and what charges they may have to pay.

Additional Justice in Aging resources on improper billing can be found here.