Below is a statement opposing the amended version of the American Health Care Act from Kevin Prindiville, Executive Director of Justice in Aging:
“The new version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is even worse than the previous one for the older adults in our communities. The new version of the bill includes all of the devastating cuts of the old version, and also further weakens important protections for people with pre-existing conditions.”
“Eight in ten older adults ages 55-64 have pre-existing conditions. The MacArthur amendment would allow insurance companies to discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions by charging them sharply higher premiums, taking us back to pre-ACA days when these older adults couldn’t visit a doctor because they couldn’t afford to purchase insurance.”
Oakland, CA – On Thursday, March 16, Judge Jon S. Tigar of the Northern District of California granted final approval of the settlement agreement in Hart v. Berryhill, a case filed on behalf of over 4,000 residents of the broader Bay Area and Central Coast whose disability benefits were denied or terminated, based on medical reports of a disqualified physician.
Morrison & Foerster LLP, Justice in Aging, and Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County filed the case against the Social Security Administration (SSA) in 2015 challenging the agency’s reliance on the medical reports of a disqualified physician to make disability eligibility decisions. The physician had been disqualified from performing medical exams for the agency after numerous complaints about their quality and accuracy, and his failure to correct his practices after warnings from the agency, yet the agency continued to rely on his reports. The parties have agreed to a settlement that will allow many plaintiffs to have their disability status redecided.
OAKLAND – On January 13, 2017, the Center for Medicare Advocacy, Justice in Aging, Medicare Rights Center and 65 other organizations that represent older adults and people with disabilities wrote Congressional leadership expressing grave concern about repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In particular, the organizations urge that any legislation to repeal the ACA be rejected unless it is accompanied by a detailed replacement plan that provides American families with equal or improved access to high-quality, affordable health coverage.
“Repealing the ACA without an immediate replacement could cause 30 million Americans who rely on expanded Medicaid and the individual market to lose health coverage. Over 4.5 million people ages 55 to 64 could lose coverage and the share of uninsured people in this age group could double—from 8% to 19%,” the letter cautioned. Read More
Low-income older adults have significant oral health needs. Unfortunately, they face serious obstacles to obtaining care in large part due to complex and limited health insurance options. This webinar, Oral Health Basics for Low-Income Older Adults, provides a summary of what dental coverage options are available to older adults, a summary of covered and non-covered benefits, how different coverage options work together, and other barriers older adults face in accessing dental care. The webinar also provides advocates and community-based providers the opportunity to share what their clients are experiencing. Read More
States currently are modifying their Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) programs to comply with new federal regulations that prioritize independence and community integration for HCBS beneficiaries. An important, recurring question is how to apply these principles to beneficiaries living with dementia or other conditions that may result in wandering or exit-seeking behaviors.
This webinar, Strategies & Promising Practices for Addressing Dementia Care and Wandering Behaviors in HCBS Settings, presented promising practices in HCBS delivery for settings supporting individuals living with dementia, with a special focus on strategies for addressing wandering or exit-seeking behaviors. The webinar included a discussion of how the federal and state governments are addressing the provision of supports to individuals living with dementia in the process of bringing states into compliance with the 2014 federal HCBS regulations. The material presented will be useful for advocates, service providers, and others with an interest in HCBS and dementia care. Read More
Non-emergency medical transportation is a critical benefit ensuring that Medicaid beneficiaries have transportation to medical services. This webinar reviewed this increasingly important component of health care for low-income older adults and people with disabilities; explored challenges to accessing the benefit; shared examples of state strategies to overcome those challenges.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a critical safety net program administered by the Social Security Administration that provides a very basic income to older adults and people with disabilities with no or only limited other income and resources. This webinar is designed for legal services and other advocates who are just getting started in the field and others who want to learn more about the essentials of the program.
This webinar covered the basic rules surrounding the SSI program, which provides modest financial support to older adults and people with disabilities who lack other resources. We described the program and discussed the basic rules of eligibility, how benefits are calculated, and provided suggestions on where to go if you need further information.
Coming to a State Near You: Medicaid Managed Care Changes…You may have heard that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently finalized the regulations for Medicaid Managed Care. These new rules become effective in stages with the first round of changes taking effect on July 5. Over 70 regulations will become effective on that date, including the regulations governing important issues such as enrollment, disenrollment, requirements for long-term services and supports, enrollee rights, and grievance and appeal systems.