Category

Health Care

High Stakes for Older Adults in 2017

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Safety Net Defense, SENIOR POVERTY | No Comments
With the New Year upon us, one thing is clear: the stakes could not be higher for older adults in 2017.

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

Repealing the Affordable Care Act without a Replacement Hurts Seniors

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Medicaid, Medicare, Safety Net Defense | No Comments
Every day, whether seniors need to see a doctor, receive care in their home, or pay for prescription drugs, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are lifelines for older adults. However, the entire health care system upon which older adults rely is at risk in the new Congress. Changes to the ACA will dramatically alter the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and jeopardize the care seniors receive each day. Read More

Systemic Denti-Cal Problems Increase Financial Hardship for Older Adults

By | BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Medicaid, Medicare, Oral Health | No Comments
Linda—a low-income older adult living in Los Angeles County—applied for a dental credit card after being advised to do so by her dentist. Her dentist’s office explained that, while she has dental coverage through Denti-Cal, it often takes a long time to get authorizations approved and it would be in her best interest to pay right now with the card and get reimbursed later. When Linda received her statement, it showed she owed over $2,000. Not only did she receive services that were not covered by her insurance, she also was charged for services that should have been covered by Denti-Cal but that were denied because her dentist’s office did not properly submit the claim to Denti-Cal. Unable to pay the $2,000 within the no-interest six month promotional period, Linda was hit with the balance plus six months of interest that accrued at 26.9%. Distraught, Linda contacted a legal advocate who is now working to dispute the charges and to rescind the credit card contract. Read More

An Overlooked Lifeline for Older Adults

By | BLOG, DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Care, HOMEPAGE | No Comments
“When I first booked transportation for my kidney dialysis, they would not let me book more than one month out at a time. What did they think was going to happen, I would stop needing dialysis?” —Diana, on trying to access Medicaid’s non-emergency medical transportation

Diana is one of 7.1 million Americans who rely on Medicaid’s non-emergency transportation benefit (NEMT) to help her get to her medical appointments. NEMT is an important Medicaid benefit for the people who rely on transportation services to help them visit their doctors, receive treatment for chronic conditions, and travel to settings such as adult day health care. Yet, every year, an estimated 3.6 million Americans miss or delay health care because of difficulty accessing these critical services. When transportation services work, they help people get to their doctors and other needed health services so they can continue to live at home and in the community. When they do not work, Medicaid beneficiaries like Diana are left stranded, frustrated, and without access to needed medical care and services. Read More

Cal MediConnect: A Long Way to Go

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, DUAL DEMONSTRATIONS, DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Medicaid, Medicare | No Comments
Evaluation and enrollment data on the Cal MediConnect program reveals that the program has a long way to go to deliver on the promise of integrated person-centered care. While the data contains some promising trends, it also reveals serious deficiencies that demand focused attention from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).

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

New Medicare Fact Sheets for LGBTQ People

By | BLOG, Health Care, Health Disparities, HOMEPAGE, LGBT, Medicaid, Medicare | No Comments
Ever since the Supreme Court first overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2013 and then, in 2015, making same-sex marriage legal in every state, there has been a flood of changes in how government programs address the needs of LGBT individuals. For people who qualify for Medicare, there are many important changes:

  • Married same sex couples now have coverage for Medicare and Medicaid under the same rules as opposite-sex married couples.
  • Transgender individuals have protection from discriminatory treatment in health care.

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Doctors Are Improperly Billing Some on Medicare, U.S. Says

By | Health Care, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Medicare | No Comments

The New York Times: Doctors Are Improperly Billing Some on Medicare, U.S. Says (7/31/2016) Healthcare providers are illegally billing qualified Medicare beneficiaries, also enrolled in Medicaid, for deductibles, co-payments and other costs. The practice, known as “balance billing,” is illegal. Federal law requires doctors to accept the amount paid by Medicare and Medicaid as payment in full for qualified Medicare beneficiaries. Many beneficiaries do not know the practice is illegal and pay the fees. Part of the problem is due to low state Medicaid reimbursement rates. Justice in Aging’s Denny Chan is quoted saying in the piece, “Because of this gap in payment, many doctors and other health care providers try to bill the beneficiaries or refuse to provide services to them.”

Improving the Oral Health of California’s Older Adults

By | BLOG, DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Disparities, HOMEPAGE, Oral Health | No Comments

Justice in Aging is excited to launch a new project: Improving Oral Health of California’s Older Adults. Oral health is a critical aspect of overall health for people of all ages, but especially for older adults. Unfortunately, the oral health needs of older adults, and particularly low-income older adults, in California have been neglected. As a result, older adults encounter significant challenges when attempting to access oral healthcare and consequently experience severe mouth pain, tooth loss, and the worsening of chronic conditions like diabetes, hypertension, and diabetes.

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WEBINAR: Oral Health in California: What about Older Adults?

By | Health Care, WEBINAR | No Comments
When: Tuesday, July 26, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET

Oral Health in California: What about Older Adults? Oral health is an essential aspect of overall health for people of all ages, but especially for older adults. Older adults in California experience significant challenges when attempting to access oral healthcare. While some of these challenges overlap with those that younger populations encounter, older adults face distinct challenges that mandate distinct solutions. Unfortunately, consideration of the oral health needs of older adults is virtually absent from statewide discussions to improve oral health.

Join Justice in Aging and the Center for Oral Health for a webinar covering the state of oral health for low-income older adults in California, the unique barriers to care they face, and preliminary recommendations to improve access to oral health for our aging population.

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July 5: Immediate Changes to Medicaid Managed Care

By | BLOG, Health Care, HOMEPAGE, Language Access, LGBT, Long Term Care, Medicaid | No Comments
On July 5, the first wave of new Medicaid managed care regulation requirements go into effect. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published the final Medicaid managed care rule this spring, introducing sweeping changes to how the federal government will regulate the entities that manage long-term services and supports (LTSS). While many of regulation’s big ticket items will be implemented over the course of the year, a few important pieces go live this summer. Justice in Aging will discuss these changes in a free webinar on June 30. Here’s a short list of some of the items we’ll be discussing. Read More