Category

Health Care

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

Thousands of backlogged cases in Bay Area home care programs

By | Health Care, IN THE NEWS, In-Home Supportive Services | No Comments

Fox KTVU: Thousands of backlogged cases in Bay Area home care programs (10/11/2017) The Bay Area has thousands of backlogged In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) cases preventing seniors in need of additional in home support. IHSS allows qualified elderly and disabled individuals to hire services in order to remain safely at home. For those in need of additional hours, a social worker must physically visit and assess the claimant’s situation. According to Justice in Aging’s Claire Ramsey, “Every day and month that goes by, that person is living unsafely in their home. People do hurt themselves or fall because they’re not getting help they need…it’s a dangerous situation.”

Graham-Cassidy ACA Repeal & Replace Proposal: New Name, Same Attacks on Older Adults

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, Health Care, Health Care Defense, Medicaid, Uncategorized | No Comments
Senators Graham and Cassidy recently released the lone remaining proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Graham-Cassidy plan once again takes direct aim at Medicaid to pay for tax cuts and provisions that primarily benefit the wealthy and makes even more harmful changes to the ACA than the bills the Senate voted on in July. Any of its provisions alone or in combination would be devastating for older adults, people with disabilities and anyone with limited income and are counter to the current bipartisan efforts to improve the ACA. Read More

Health Savings Accounts Won’t Help Most Older Adults

By | Affordable Care Act, Health Care, ISSUE BRIEF, REPORTS | No Comments

Proposals to expand the use of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) have been raised repeatedly in the health care debate. This new issue brief looks at how expanding HSAs would impact the affordability of health care coverage for low and moderate income older adults by examining how HSAs would have functioned under one proposal, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), had it become law.

The paper finds that the combination of HSA contributions and premium costs can easily reach 20% to 30% of an older adult’s income. It concludes that HSAs are not a path to affordable health care for older adults. Read the brief.

How States Can Prevent Evictions When Implementing Federal HCBS Regulations

By | Health Care, Home & Community Based Services, ISSUE BRIEF, REPORTS | No Comments
This new issue brief discusses how states should implement the new federal Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) regulations in order to prevent improper evictions.

In 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released regulations that set standards for the settings in which HCBS are provided. To implement these regulations, each state must have a transition plan approved by CMS by March 2019, with full compliance required by March 2022.
Read More

Older Adults & the ACA Health Insurance Marketplace: What’s at Stake for 2018

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, Health Care, Health Care Defense | No Comments
Among its many achievements, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made great strides in covering more older adults who previously had no access to health care. Before the ACA, many low-income older adults who did not have employer-based coverage had no affordable coverage options to address their growing health care needs prior to becoming eligible for Medicare. Insurance companies were allowed to effectively price lower-income older adults out of the individual market or deny them coverage altogether based on pre-existing conditions. These insurance practices posed significant barriers for the 84 percent of people ages 55 to 64 estimated to have at least one pre-existing condition. Read More

Aging as LGBT: Two Stories

By | BLOG, Health Equity, LGBT, SENIOR POVERTY | No Comments

Tina and Jackie were born in the same town in 1947. Despite similar beginnings, their lives take very different turns. In 1967, Tina meets Frank. And Jackie meets Frances. As a same-sex couple, Jackie and Frances couldn’t marry, were denied spousal benefits, and experienced a lifetime of discrimination and lost wages. Fast forward to today, and Jackie, like so many other older adults, struggles with financial insecurity, social isolation, and overall lack of health and well-being, simply because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). Read More

Court Certifies Nationwide Class in “Observation Status” Case

By | Health Care, Medicare, PRESS RELEASE | No Comments

Decision in Alexander v. Price Means Medicare Patients Could Gain Right to Appeal Placement on “Observation Status” and Avoid Large Medical Bills

August 1, 2017 – Eighty-four-year-old Nancy Niemi of North Carolina was hospitalized for 39 days earlier this year after her doctor sent her to the emergency room. It took weeks to stabilize her blood pressure and she experienced serious complications. But unbelievably, Ms. Niemi was categorized as an outpatient on “observation status” for her entire hospitalization, and she therefore lacked the three-day inpatient stay Medicare requires for coverage of her subsequent, very expensive care at a nursing home. Ms. Niemi’s son tried to help her challenge her lengthy placement on observation status, but Medicare does not allow beneficiaries to appeal this issue. She still owes thousands of dollars to the nursing facility. However, due to the federal court decision issued July 31, 2017, she is now a member of a nationwide class of hospital patients who may gain the right to appeal their placement on observation status.
Read More

In Reckless and Irresponsible Move, Senate Votes to Proceed on Repeal of the ACA

By | Health Care, Medicaid, PRESS RELEASE | No Comments

Below is a statement by Executive Director Kevin Prindiville of Justice in Aging

Today, the Senate took a reckless and irresponsible step towards gutting healthcare for older adults and others, and removing critical consumer protections that save lives. With Vice President Pence casting the tie-breaking vote, the Senate voted to begin a curtailed 20-hour debate on several bills that would drastically change our health care system, stripping coverage from millions of Americans and cutting over $750 billion from Medicaid. Any bill that emerges from such a chaotic process would have devastating effects on older Americans and their families.
Read More