All Posts By

Katrina Cohens

Justice in Aging Files Amicus Brief Arguing that the Department of Homeland Security’s Final Public Charge Rule Illegally Targets Older Adults and Their Families

By | PRESS RELEASE
Oakland, Ca—Last week, Justice in Aging and partner organizations filed an amicus brief in six separate lawsuits in three United States District Courts challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s recently finalized “public charge” rule arguing that it unlawfully targets older immigrants and their families. The rule essentially bars low-income older adults from entering the country or obtaining lawful permanent residency status (greencard). Read More

FAQ: Low-Income Subsidy (“Extra Help”) for Dual Eligibles Receiving Home and Community-Based Services

By | FACT SHEET, Health Care, Health Care Defense, Home & Community Based Services, Medicaid, Medicare, REPORTS

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) enables full-benefit dual eligibles who receive certain Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS) to receive Medicare Part D covered drugs at no cost. This requirement is called institutional cost-sharing, and was designed to put people who receive HCBS at home on an equal footing with those who are in institutions (who are also not charged any co-pays). Unfortunately, despite the institutional cost-sharing requirement, pharmacies still ask dual eligibles to pay co-pays for covered drugs.

Justice in Aging created an FAQ, Low-Income Subsidy (“Extra Help”) for Dual Eligibles Receiving Home and Community-Based Services, to give advocates working with dual eligibles the tools they need to prevent these co-pays. The FAQ discusses whom the cost-sharing rule applies to, the length of the cost-sharing protection, and what to do if a dual eligible HCBS-enrolled individual is prompted for a co-pay at the pharmacy or is entitled to a refund. Advocates should review the FAQ and make sure to their HCBS-enrolled dual eligibles are not paying any co-pays for their Part D drugs.

How Not to Grow Old in America

By | ASSISTED LIVING, IN THE NEWS

New York Times | Opinion: How Not to Grow Old in America (August 29, 2019)

Assisted living facilities in the United States need serious reform to provide the care older adults need. Compared to nursing homes which are regulated, inspected, and graded for quality, assisted living facilities are neither licensed nor overseen by the federal government. States often set minimal rules. Facilities are designed to provide only minimal help and monitoring which has led to increasing complaints in courts. Justice in Aging’s Directing Attorney Eric Carlson says that “nobody realizes the system is broken.”

Racial Justice Fellowship for Summer 2020

By | Jobs & Fellowships

Justice in Aging seeks an outstanding law student for its third annual Racial Justice Fellowship for Summer 2020. The fellow may work in any of our three offices: Washington, DC, Oakland, or Los Angeles, CA. This is a paid fellowship.

The Organization: Justice in Aging is a non-profit organization with a rich tradition of over 47 years of successful, high-impact strategic advocacy on behalf of more than 7 million older adults living in poverty in America. Justice in Aging is the only national aging organization to focus explicitly on issues of senior poverty and, as a part of that work, we recognize how senior poverty is linked to historic and systemic discrimination.

Justice in Aging works primarily in two critical areas: health care and economic security. We focus our work on the needs of older women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and people with limited English proficiency. We strive toward equity for older adults through our work and in our workplace environment, where all staff members are supported and valued.

The Position: Justice in Aging seeks a rising 3L (current 2L) student to work with attorneys on multiple projects that integrate Justice in Aging’s core programs and focus on racial justice. Generally, the fellow will have the opportunity to author a writing sample, conduct shorter term writing and research projects, participate in intern trainings and events, attend external stakeholder meetings, and have the opportunity to learn more about the legal non-profit world. You could work on policy advocacy or litigation-based projects. The fellow will also prepare and present an internal training to the staff on a topic they have researched during the summer.

Justice in Aging will pair the fellow with one attorney as a mentor for the summer. Justice in Aging may also be interested in working with the summer fellow to craft a post-graduate fellowship application for Skadden, Equal Justice Works, or the equivalent.

Compensation: The fellow will be provided a $5,000 stipend.

Qualifications: We seek applicants with a strong interest in working for low-income and underserved populations, and strong legal research and writing skills.

Justice in Aging is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to maintaining a diverse staff, and we particularly encourage applications from members of people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, persons with disabilities, and others whose personal experiences may contribute to more effective representation of low-income people and underserved communities.

Application: Applications are accepted until Friday, October 4 and reviewed on a rolling basis.

To apply for the summer Racial Justice Fellowship, please send  the following materials to Katrina Cohens at kcohens@justiceinaging.org:

  1. Cover letter,
  2. A separate statement under one page about an advocacy issue that you are passionate about and why it’s important to you,
  3. Resume,
  4. Writing sample, and
  5. A list of two references.

In your cover letter, you must discuss your interest in racial justice. Cover letters without this explanation will not be considered. Please also include any scheduling conflicts during the weeks of September 30 and October 7 that may affect your availability for a first-round phone interview.

Colin Alexander Health Law Fellowship for Summer 2020

By | Jobs & Fellowships

Justice in Aging seeks an outstanding law student for its third annual Colin Alexander Health Law Fellowship for Summer 2020. The fellow may work in any of our three offices: Washington, DC, Oakland, or Los Angeles, CA. This is a paid fellowship.

The Organization: Justice in Aging is a non-profit organization with a rich tradition of over 47 years of successful, high-impact strategic advocacy on behalf of more than 7 million older adults living in poverty in America. Justice in Aging is the only national aging organization to focus explicitly on issues of senior poverty and, as a part of that work, we recognize how senior poverty is linked to historic and systemic discrimination.

Justice in Aging works primarily in two critical areas: health care and economic security. We focus our work on the needs of older women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, and people with limited English proficiency. We strive toward equity for older adults through our work and in our workplace environment, where all staff members are supported and valued.

The Position: Justice in Aging seeks a rising 3L (current 2L) student to work with attorneys on multiple projects related to the major health care programs that impact older adults. Generally, the fellow will have the opportunity to author a writing sample, conduct shorter term writing and research projects, participate in intern trainings and events, attend external stakeholder meetings, and have the opportunity to learn more about the legal non-profit world. You could work on policy advocacy or litigation-based projects. The fellow will also prepare and present an internal training to the staff on a topic they have researched during the summer.

Justice in Aging will pair the fellow with one attorney as a mentor for the summer. Justice in Aging may also be interested in working with the summer fellow to craft a post-graduate fellowship application for Skadden, Equal Justice Works, or the equivalent.

Compensation: The fellow will be provided a $5,000 stipend.

Qualifications: We seek applicants with a strong interest in working for low-income and underserved populations, and strong legal research and writing skills.

Justice in Aging is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to maintaining a diverse staff, and we particularly encourage applications from members of people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, persons with disabilities, and others whose personal experiences may contribute to more effective representation of low-income people and underserved communities.

Application: Applications are accepted until Friday, October 4 and reviewed on a rolling basis.

To apply for the Colin Alexander Health Law Fellowship, please send the following materials to Katrina Cohens at kcohens@justiceinaging.org:

  1. Cover letter,
  2. A separate statement under one page about an advocacy issue that you are passionate about and why it’s important to you,
  3. Resume,
  4. Writing sample, and
  5. A list of two references.

In your cover letter, you must discuss your interest in health law or health policy. Cover letters without this explanation will not be considered. Please also include any scheduling conflicts during the weeks of September 30 and October 7 that may affect your availability for a first-round phone interview.

Beneficiary Advocates Raise Alarms Concerning Roll-Out of New Medicare Plan Finder and Revision of Medicare Marketing Rules

By | News Releases, Newsroom, PRESS RELEASE
Washington, DC ─ Justice in Aging, Medicare Rights Center, Center for Medicare Advocacy, and the National Council on Aging sent a joint letter to Seema Verma, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), on August 27, 2019, urging the agency to address concerns regarding changes to the Medicare Plan Finder (MPF) tool and the 2020 Medicare Communications and Marketing Guidance (MCMG).

The four organizations expressed appreciation for CMS’s efforts to update these resources to better support beneficiary decision-making, while raising concerns that the revisions may instead have the opposite effect. The groups urged CMS to mitigate adverse consequences by closely monitoring the roll out and functionality of the new MPF tool, providing enrollment relief as needed, and by rescinding the updated MCMG in its entirety. Read More

More and more Californians are old, sick and on the streets. Here’s how we can fight senior homelessness.

By | IN THE NEWS, SENIOR POVERTY

San Francisco Chronicle: More and more Californians are old, sick and on the streets. Here’s how we can fight senior homelessness. (July 28, 2019)

More and more older adults living in California are homeless. Many are just one crisis away from homelessness. Poverty, a lack of economic security, and a lack of affordable housing are the main causes of homelessness. In this op-ed Justice in Aging authored with Margot Kushel, a medical doctor who researches the health impacts of homelessness on older adults, we make the case for  creating more affordable housing and providing older adults with a fixed income to lower cases of homelessness. Making health care more affordable, helping older adults maintain their home while recovering in nursing homes, and restoring SSI are additional ways to keep older adults from homelessness.

Free Webinar: The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program—An Update for Advocates: Part 2 of 2

By | Health Care, Medicaid, Medicare, WEBINAR, Webinar Trainings

When: Wednesday, July 24, 2019 11 am-12 pm PT/2-3 pm ET​

The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program provides significant Medicare cost savings to low income individuals, including payment of Medicare premiums and protection from liability for any Medicare co-insurance or deductibles for health services. Those enrolled in the program also are automatically enrolled in the Part D Low Income Subsidy program (LIS). Despite its value, the QMB program is chronically under-enrolled. Many eligible individuals don’t know about the program or face barriers when they try to enroll. Those who are enrolled often face difficulties in accessing QMB protections.

This two-part webinar series gives advocates updated information on the QMB benefit and tools to use to ensure that their clients are enrolled and can use the benefit effectively.

Part One provides an overview of the QMB program, including eligibility criteria and program basics and focus on the specifics of QMB billing protections. We focus on recent improvements that make it easier for QMBs and their advocates to understand their payment responsibilities and the tools available to address problems with providers who improperly bill QMBs. We also distinguish between the QMB program and a Medicaid agency’s Part B buy-in agreement, and discuss QMB issues in Medicare Advantage.

Part Two focuses on enrollment. It looks at barriers to QMB enrollment, including problems that have arisen in various states and advocacy approaches, especially for individuals with Medicaid linked to Supplemental Security Income. We explore both ways to untangle individual problems and ways to work with your state to improve QMB enrollment systemically.

Who should participate:
Aging and legal advocates, community-based providers and others who counsel older adults on health benefits.

Presenters:
Denny Chan, Senior Staff Attorney, Justice in Aging
Georgia Burke, Directing Attorney, Justice in Aging

Part 1 occurs on Tuesday, July 23, 2019 11 am-12 pm PT/2-3 pm ET​

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