Category

Medicare

Supporting Older Americans’ Basic Needs: Health Care, Income, Housing and Food

By | FACT SHEET, Health Care, Health Care Defense, ISSUE BRIEF, Medicaid, Medicare, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments

Older adults and their families strive each day to pay for health care and medicine, keep food on the table, have a roof over their heads, and have enough cash on hand to pay the utilities, get where they need to go and meet other basic needs. As families work together to meet these challenges, they are supported by a broad range of federal programs that provide Americans with the means to thrive as they grow older and remain at home and in their communities.

This issue brief discusses how these various programs work, who is eligible for them, and how they support the health and economic well-being of older Americans. For a quick overview, check out the fact sheet.

Advance Beneficiary Notices, Administrative Fees, and Dual Eligibles

By | ISSUE BRIEF, Medicare | No Comments

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.

Fact Sheet: Health Care Provisions in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018

By | DUAL ELIGIBLES, FACT SHEET, Medicare | No Comments

On February 9, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA of 2018). In addition to its budget provisions, the BBA extends and makes changes to several Medicare programs and provides funding for other health programs that support low-income older adults, people with disabilities, and their families.

Justice in Aging has prepared a summary of some of the major health provisions in the BBA of 2018, including funding for Community Health Centers and outreach to low-income Medicare beneficiaries, the Medicare therapy cap repeal, Part D “donut hole” closure, and authorization of Special Needs Plans and other Medicare Advantage changes. As these changes are implemented, Justice in Aging will continue to provide updates and analysis and identify advocacy opportunities.

Read the Fact Sheet

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.

Talking Taxes Over Turkey

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, Economic Security, Health Care, Long Term Care, Medicaid, Medicare, Safety Net Defense | No Comments
This week marks an important milestone for my wife and me – our first time hosting Thanksgiving. We’ll be bringing together three generations of family: our parents and some of their siblings, our siblings, and a growing crew of little ones. There will be good food, lots of laughs and, if my nephews can convince my daughters, some family football. Read More

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.

Justice in Aging’s Statement on the House Passage of the Tax Bill

By | Affordable Care Act, Health Care, Health Care Defense, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Statements, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments

Today, the House of Representatives passed a tax bill that is a full-fledged attack on the health and well-being of older Americans and their families.

As we’ve discussed, this is all part of the House Republican leadership’s two-step process. Step one is to cut taxes for the wealthy and drive up the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Step two is to use the higher deficit to justify additional future cuts to programs we all depend on, such as Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Older American Act programs, and many others.

The inevitable program cuts that Republican leadership will push for, after they balloon the deficit, will cause lasting harm to seniors today and in the future. Further, the House bill passed today eliminates the medical expense tax deduction that provides tax relief to millions of older adults with high out-of-pocket and long-term care costs and modest incomes.

This bill overwhelmingly benefits the wealthiest Americans and big corporations at the expense of everyone else. We urge the Senate to stop this reckless process and reject any bill that drives up the deficit and takes away health care from older Americans and their families.

WEBINAR: Legal Basics- Medicare Savings Programs

By | Medicare, WEBINAR | No Comments

When: Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET.

This webinar will provide a basic overview of the Medicare Savings Program (MSP). MSPs are Medicaid-administered programs for Medicare beneficiaries with limited income and assets. This webinar will provide an overview of the eligibility requirements for MSPs, how to help clients enroll in MSPs, and the benefits of the different MSP programs. Participants in the webinar will learn to distinguish between the different MSP programs: Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB), Specified Low-Income Beneficiary (SLMB), Qualified Individual (QI), and Qualified Disabled Working Individual (QDWI). Participants will also learn how to assist clients who may be eligible for MSP and tips on troubleshooting potential challenges in MSP programs.

Closed captioning will be available on this webinar. A link with access to the captions will be shared through GoToWebinar’s chat box shortly before the webinar start time.

Presenters:

  • Denny Chan, Justice in Aging
  • Georgia Burke, Justice in Aging

The webinar will take place on Wednesday, December 13th, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. PT/2:00 p.m. ET.

REGISTER HERE

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