All Posts By

Katrina Cohens

FAQ: Adding a Dental Benefit to Medicare Part B

By | FACT SHEET, Health Care, Medicare, Oral Health, REPORTS

As Justice in Aging has been engaged in advocacy to add an oral health benefit to Medicare Part B, we’ve received a number of questions from advocates and others about how older adults currently access oral health benefits, what coverage the various parts of Medicare offer, and what adding an oral health benefit to Medicare Part B would look like.

We created a new resource, Adding a Dental Benefit to Medicare Part B: Frequently Asked Questions, to answer these common questions.

Fact Sheet: Open Enrollment for 2020 Coverage through Medicare & Covered California—Basics for Advocates

By | Affordable Care Act, CA Health Network Alert, FACT SHEET, Health Care, Medicare, REPORTS

Justice in Aging has updated our California fact sheet that provide the essential information advocates for older adults need to know about this year’s open enrollment periods for both Medicare and the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces. Changes consumers make to either their Medicare or Marketplace coverage during open enrollment will take effect January 1, 2020.

Fact Sheet: Open Enrollment for 2020 Coverage through Medicare & the Marketplace—Basics for Advocates

By | Affordable Care Act, FACT SHEET, Health Care, Medicare, REPORTS

Justice in Aging has updated our national fact sheet that provide the essential information advocates for older adults need to know about this year’s open enrollment periods for both Medicare and the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces. Changes consumers make to either their Medicare or Marketplace coverage during open enrollment will take effect January 1, 2020.

Issue Brief: Adding a Dental Benefit to Medicare – Addressing Racial Disparities

By | Health Care, ISSUE BRIEF, Medicare, Oral Health, REPORTS

The Medicare statute currently excludes nearly all dental coverage for the 60 million older adults and people with disabilities who rely on the program. This dental exclusion disproportionately impacts populations of color, who suffer adverse oral health outcomes at significantly higher rates than white older adults.

Justice in Aging’s new issue brief, Adding a Dental Benefit to Medicare: Addressing Racial Disparities, examines how adding an oral health benefit to Medicare would address disparities in access to care and oral health outcomes based on race, and puts forth additional policy options that can be implemented to further advance oral health equity.

This issue brief is the first in a series of papers that will examine how to address disparities in access to care and oral health outcomes among certain groups of Medicare beneficiaries, including people of color, people with disabilities, older adults with dementia and cognitive impairments, and nursing facility residents. 

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