The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is under immediate threat in Congress. The consequences of repealing the ACA are far reaching, and would impact the entire health care system including Medicare and Medicaid. For older adults, these programs serve as a lifeline that insures access to critical medical care. Repeal of the ACA would jeopardize the care seniors receive every day by reducing coverage, and ending programs seniors rely on to remain in their homes and communities. The out-of-pocket costs seniors pay today for care would increase, straining already tight budgets.
This webinar, How ACA Repeal would Hurt Seniors, provided a summary of the impact an ACA repeal would have on low-income older adults, including how it would affect seniors who rely on Medicaid and Medicare. We also provided an update on the efforts Congress is taking to effectuate a repeal and what procedural steps are yet to come.
So many health care protections are at risk in the months ahead, including Section 1557, the provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that specifically applies civil rights protections to health care settings.
This ACA provision has already been targeted, as a nationwide preliminary injunction issued on December 31 by a Federal District Court in Texas prohibits the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from enforcing the provisions in the implementing regulations that pertain to transgender discrimination and discrimination based on termination of pregnancy. The temporary order leaves the rest of Section 1557 intact, although some in the new administration and the new Congress would like to go further, seeking to repeal Section 1557 as part of a broader ACA repeal effort.
Justice in Aging has prepared a brief summary of the extent to which the injunction is likely to impact programs that affect older adults.
Justice in Aging also created an issue brief that discusses how Section 1557 and the HHS implementing regulations affect programs that serve older adults. The brief looks at discrimination protections around language access for beneficiaries with limited English proficiency, sex and gender discrimination, disability discrimination and discrimination based on age and race, with examples of how those provisions could play out for older adults using the Medicare or Medicaid benefit.
As the number of people age 65 and over living in America continues to rise, new leadership in Washington, DC is promising to dramatically reform and reduce the safety net upon which older adults rely. These changes – should they occur – will negatively impact all older adults, but they will cause particular harm to the millions of older adults already living in or near poverty. Read More
One important yet sometimes overlooked protection of the Affordable Care Act is its non-discrimination mandate Section 1557. This critical provision incorporates existing civil rights laws that protect against discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, sex, age, and disability, and applies them directly to the provision and delivery of health care. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released final regulatory guidance on Section 1557 with an effective date of July 18, 2016 for most covered entities.
Join Justice in Aging as we explored how the protections of Section 1557 affect the obligations of Medicare and Medicaid programs and providers serving older adults.
The Cal MediConnect (CMC) program, which created new health plans integrating Medicare and Medi-Cal benefits for dually eligible beneficiaries, has been in effect for over two years in seven California counties. Enrollment data released by DHCS and a recent series of evaluations, including surveys, focus groups, and polling, paint a picture of how the program is performing and how enrollees are faring so far. Read More