Category

REPORTS

Proposed Cuts to Medicaid Put Medicare Savings Programs At Risk

By | ISSUE BRIEF, Medicare, REPORTS | No Comments
For low-income older adults who are eligible for Medicare but can’t afford the premiums, co-pays, and deductibles, Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) have been a lifeline–making it possible for millions to get Medicare-covered care. However, the huge cuts to Medicaid that both the House and Senate ACA-repeal plans propose could cause states to limit participation in the program, causing many to be priced out and lose access to care.

MSPs currently reach over 7 million people with Medicare. Many are too poor to afford Medicare but do not qualify for other Medicaid programs. This issue brief discusses how the program is structured and administered and outlines how cuts in Medicaid could force cuts to the program. Read More

Health Care on the Chopping Block: How Older Americans Will Suffer Under Senate Republicans’ Proposal to Cap Medicaid Funding

By | ISSUE BRIEF, REPORTS | No Comments

On Thursday, June 22, 2017, Senate Republicans revealed the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, their version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that was passed by the House last month, and was intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Our new Issue Brief, Health Care on the Chopping Block: How Older Americans Will Suffer Under Senate Republicans’ Proposal to Cap Medicaid Funding, provides a detailed description of how Medicaid is currently funded, what the bill proposes, and how the cuts will play out for older adults.

New Fact Sheet: Medicaid Funding Caps Will Harm Older Americans

By | FACT SHEET, REPORTS | No Comments

On Thursday, June 22, 2017, Senate Republicans revealed the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, their version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that was passed by the House last month, and was intended to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Our new Fact Sheet, Medicaid Funding Caps Will Harm Older Americans, is a shorter piece focused on what older Americans stand to lose under the law.

Cuts to Multi-Recipient Households Push Older Adults & Their Families Deeper into Poverty

By | ISSUE BRIEF, REPORTS, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments

Our new issue brief Cuts to Multi-Recipient Households Push Older Adults & Their Families Deeper into Poverty outlines who’s most affected and discusses how these cuts would discourage families with older adults and people with disabilities from helping one another out by sharing their homes.

The cuts would push already poor families deeper into poverty, force people onto the streets or into institutions, and result in costly administrative burdens for the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Read and share the brief.

New Fact Sheet: SSI in California

By | FACT SHEET, REPORTS, Supplemental Security Income | No Comments

California has the highest rate of senior poverty in the nation; increasingly more older Californians struggle to make ends meet and stay in their homes, and senior homelessness is on the rise. Over a million California seniors and people with disabilities rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to help them meet their basic needs. There are people who depend on SSI to survive in every community in the state. The majority of SSI recipients are women, and the program is critical for many people of color and people with limited English proficiency. It’s also an essential safety net for nearly 300,000 California retired older adults who receive some Social Security, but not enough, because they worked in low-wage or seasonal jobs, or stayed home from work to care for family members.

Please use this new Justice in Aging SSI fact sheet for California that shows who relies on SSI, why it’s important, and the dangers cuts to the program would pose for low-income individuals, families, and communities.

With leaders in Congress intent on cutting benefits like SSI, it’s critical that advocates proactively educate lawmakers, the media, and fellow advocates about the important role SSI plays in ensuring that some of the most vulnerable people in our state can meet their basic needs for shelter, food, and other necessities. Given the significant number of low-income older adults in California, Justice in Aging recently launched two new projects to improve access to and utilization of SSI benefits among older adults across the state. We are building a strong coalition of statewide advocates who are informed about and trained in the details of the SSI program, including how SSI reduces homelessness, and working toward systemic improvements of the program.

New Fact Sheet: New Guidance on Spousal & Survival Benefits for Married LGBT Individuals

By | FACT SHEET, LGBT, REPORTS, Social Security | No Comments

On March 1, 2017 the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it would reopen its decisions to deny spousal or survivor’s benefits to individuals who had been married to someone of the same sex, and whose marriage wasn’t recognized because of a discriminatory state or federal ban on marriage.

This ruling and policy applies not only to individuals who were denied benefits after the Supreme Court struck down federal discrimination against same-sex spouses (in United States v. Windsor in 2013) and state discrimination (in Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015), but also to individuals who applied for and did not receive benefits before these Supreme Court decisions because of the discriminatory laws in effect at the time they applied.

A new Fact Sheet on this guidance includes more detailed information about who is affected by the new guidance, who isn’t, and what advocates and their clients should do to get their cases reopened.

This fact sheet was authored in collaboration with our partners at SAGE, Lambda Legal, and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare.

New Fact Sheet: The Dangers of AHCA for Older Adults

By | FACT SHEET, Health Care, Health Care Defense, Medicaid, REPORTS | No Comments

Because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more older adults get health insurance coverage and receive the supports they need to remain in their homes as they age. The American Health Care Act (AHCA), the Republican “repeal and replace” bill, would take away health insurance for 24 million Americans and cut Medicaid funding by 25 percent over the next ten years.

The bill poses many dangers for older adults today and in the future, as it would:

  • Raise the costs of insurance and health care
  • Put pressure on state budgets
  • Lead to cuts in services
  • Undermine the financial stability of Medicare

Read our fact sheet for more information

QMB Identification Practices: A Survey of State Advocates

By | ISSUE BRIEF, Medicare, REPORTS | No Comments

Ensuring that Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMBs) are not illegally billed for Medicare costs requires improvements on many fronts. One important piece is better identifying QMBs and informing both QMB consumers and their providers that they are subject to billing protections. Justice in Aging is pleased to share two new important resources contributing to that effort.

QMB Identification Survey
The new issue brief, authored by legal services attorney Peter Travitsky, looks at practices in 13 states in identifying QMBs. It finds that, although several states provide no QMB identification cards, others offer examples of best practices to ensure that QMB consumers and their providers know their protected status. The survey was supported by a post-fellowship grant from the Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging.

Incorporating QMB protections into Medicare notices
In October 2017, the Medicare program will be rolling out revised Medicare Summary Notices (MSNs) to QMB consumers and revised remittance advice notices to providers. On both notices, for each covered service, a notation will show that the individual is a QMB and that the co-insurance responsibility for each service is zero. To prepare providers for the revised system, CMS released a new Medicare Learning Network Matters article, Qualified Medicare Beneficiary Indicator in the Medicare Fee-For-Service Claims Processing System. As the new system is implemented, the article will be a useful tool for advocates to share with providers and their billing departments.

Visit the improper billing webpage, where you can find many more resources including a toolkit that with model letters to providers, an issue brief on recent improvements in QMB reporting and enforcement, recordings of past webinars on QMB billing and other valuable tools, including an improper billing tracking form that you can use to report instances of improper billing to inform our advocacy.

Fact Sheet: Medicaid Caps & Cuts Harm Older Women

By | FACT SHEET, Health Care Defense, Medicaid, REPORTS | No Comments

Medicaid provides essential care for women throughout their lives—from family planning and maternal health services to nursing home care. However, yesterday, on International Women’s Day, committees in Congress were busy marking up a GOP ACA replacement bill that will fundamentally change the way Medicaid is funded, making it harder for both older and younger women to be able to pay for health insurance, visit their doctors, and receive long-term care.

These changes to our health care system will make care unaffordable and inaccessible for many, but women will be disproportionately impacted. We laid it out in this new fact sheet, Medicaid Caps and Cuts Harm Older Women, produced in partnership with our friends at the National Partnership for Women & Families. Read and share this fact sheet with other advocates, lawmakers, and others.

For more recent Justice in Aging health care defense resources visit this page. If you missed our webinar on Medicaid cuts and caps earlier this week, you can watch the recording here.

Fact Sheet: Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

By | FACT SHEET, Income Network Alert, REPORTS, Social Security | No Comments

Millions of seniors and people with disabilities rely on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to make ends meet. There are people relying on SSI to survive in every community in the country. The majority of SSI recipients are women, and the program is especially beneficial for people of color and people with limited English proficiency. It’s also an essential safety net for older adults who do not receive sufficient Social Security income because they worked in low-wage or seasonal jobs, or stayed home from work to care for family members.

With leaders in Congress intent on cutting safety net benefits, it’s critical that advocates proactively educate lawmakers, the media, and fellow advocates about the important role SSI plays in ensuring that some of the most vulnerable people in our communities can meet their basic needs for shelter, food, and other necessities.

Please use this new Justice in Aging SSI fact sheet that shows who relies on SSI, why it’s important, and the dangers cuts to the program would pose for low-income families and communities.

If you would like us to insert statistics specific to your state and/or congressional district please email us for assistance.