Category

REPORTS

When Skilled Nursing Facilities Act as Representative Payees

By | ISSUE BRIEF, Nursing Homes, Social Security | No Comments

A representative payee is a third party who is authorized to receive and manage Social Security payments for a beneficiary who isn’t able to do so for themselves. Often, a creditor, such as a nursing facility or other residential facility can be appointed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) to act as a representative payee. When creditors perform this function, conflicts can arise and there must be adequate consumer protections in place to protect the best interests of the beneficiary and the Social Security system.

A new Justice in Aging issue brief, Skilled Nursing Facilities and Other Creditors Acting as Representative Payees, dives into some of the conflicts that can arise and proposes ways to strengthen the oversight and protections within the representative payee system.

Read the Brief

Advocates Guide To California’s Coordinated Care Initiative Version 6

By | Advocate's Guide, CA Health Network Alert, DUAL DEMONSTRATIONS, DUAL ELIGIBLES | No Comments

The Coordinated Care Initiative (CCI)—including California’s dual eligible demonstration project Cal MediConnect—is well underway in all seven CCI counties including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. There have been significant changes to the CCI since the release of Version Five of Justice in Aging’s Advocates Guide to California’s Coordinated Care Initiative in October 2016.

Released today, Version Six of the Guide includes:

  • A description of new and updated CCI policies
  • Additional advocacy tips
  • Evaluation results and new resources

If you have saved or printed Version Five, please replace it with Version Six, because the former now contains outdated information.

If you missed the webinar, Coordinated Care Initiative: 2017 Update, the video is now available.

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.

Fact Sheet: Republican Tax Bills Will Hurt Older Adults

By | FACT SHEET, Health Care, Income Network Alert, SENIOR POVERTY | No Comments

Republican leadership in both the Senate and House are pushing forward on tax proposals that would give a huge tax break to the wealthiest Americans and corporations and allow Congress to pay for it by cutting funding for critical programs needed by everyone else.

The Senate is expected to vote this week on its version of the plan.

Both Senate and House bills would explode the deficit and make it harder for older adults to afford health care—all while benefitting the wealthiest 1% and big corporations. We created a new fact sheet, Republican Tax Bills Will Hurt Older Adults, for advocates to use this week in their advocacy. The fact sheet outlines how exploding the deficit will force cuts to programs and health coverage for older adults, and how the wealthy 1% and corporations will benefit at the expense of older adults. Please use this fact sheet in your conversations with partners and policy makers and share widely.

Now is also the time to call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on this tax plan. Dial 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected.

Today, Justice in Aging and Center for American Progress are holding a joint briefing on what the tax bills mean for seniors. There’s also a National Call-in Day on Wednesday focused on people with disabilities and their families.

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.

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

Fact Sheet: Open Enrollment for 2018 Coverage through Medicare & Covered California

By | CA Health Network Alert, 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 Covered California.

Open Enrollment

Fall is open enrollment time for both Medicare beneficiaries and enrollees in Covered California purchasing coverage in 2018.

Justice in Aging’s California 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:

  • Medicare 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.
  • Covered California open enrollment is from November 1-January 31, 2018.
  • Open enrollment periods have been extended for victims of natural disasters like the California wildfires.

Read the California Fact Sheet

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

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.