Category

Affordable Care Act

Fact Sheet: How the ACA is Helping Older Adults During COVID-19

By | Affordable Care Act, FACT SHEET, Health Care, Home & Community Based Services, REPORTS

COVID-19 is putting a spotlight on our nation’s healthcare system—exposing both the ways in which programs that serve older adults are essential and the gaps. In particular, the pandemic is emphasizing how older adults’ lives are at stake in California v. Texas, when the U.S. Supreme Court decides whether to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Today, 18 states, led by Texas and the Trump Administration, submitted briefs asking the Supreme Court to strike down the ACA as unconstitutional.

Justice in Aging’s new fact sheet outlines the ways the ACA is acting as a lifeline for older adults during this pandemic. It ensures that more older adults have health insurance coverage, expands access to home and community-based services (HCBS), and prevents discrimination based on age and disability.

Eliminating the ACA’s Medicaid expansion and anti-discrimination protections would exacerbate the devastating effects of systemic racism that are causing older adults of color who to contract and die from COVID-19 at disproportionate rates.

For more on what’s at risk for low-income older adults if the ACA is struck down read our amicus brief and our 10-Year Checkup Issue Brief.

What Seniors Need To Know About Trump’s 2021 Federal Budget

By | Affordable Care Act, IN THE NEWS, Long Term Care, Medicaid, Safety Net Defense, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security

Forbes: What Seniors Need To Know About Trump’s 2021 Federal Budget (February 10, 2020)

President Trump’s proposed 2021 Federal Budget would cause serious harm to low income older adults. The budget proposal includes cuts to critical programs that serve low income older adults, including Social Security Disability Insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid. The budget would also cut funds to federal grant programs that would impact Meals on Wheels, utilities assistance, senior job programs, and legal aid for seniors. “This budget demonstrates the lack of commitment to the safety, security and needs of older adults in our community,” said Kevin Prindiville, Justice in Aging’s Executive Director.

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 & Fact Sheet: What’s at Stake for Older Adults When States Eliminate Retroactive Medicaid Coverage?

By | Affordable Care Act, FACT SHEET, Health Care, ISSUE BRIEF, Long Term Care, Medicaid

Retroactive Medicaid coverage is a key financial protection that helps older adults and others who develop sudden illnesses or long term care needs access the care they need right away. It is a smart policy intended to protect low-income people from crushing medical debt in instances where they need emergency medical or long-term care and cannot apply for Medicaid immediately. But several states are eliminating this protection through Medicaid demonstration waivers approved by the federal government.

A new Justice in Aging issue brief—Medicaid Retroactive Coverage: What’s at Stake for Older Adults When States Eliminate This Protection?—discusses typical situations that cause older adults to need Medicaid retroactive coverage, and how the policy helps them access care, while protecting them from financial hardship. The issue brief also delves into how states are using waivers to eliminate this coverage, which states are doing so, and how older adults, their families, and health care providers are harmed when the coverage is eliminated. A companion fact sheet provides a higher level view of the issue.

 

Justice in Aging’s Statement on Trump Administration’s Proposed Roll-back of Health Care Rights

By | Affordable Care Act, Health Care, LGBT, Safety Net Defense

Today as part of an ongoing attack on the most marginalized, the Trump Administration is proposing dangerous and far reaching changes to regulations implementing the Health Care Rights Law, Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discrimination in healthcare. The proposal attempts to eliminate the rights of LGBTQ people. It also rolls back protections for limited English proficient (LEP) older adults, and attempts to radically limit the way that victims of any type of discrimination can seek redress under the law. By gutting the only federal law designed to protect against discrimination in health care, the move is a cruel, extremist, and transparent political attack on LGBTQ older adults, LEP seniors, and others who frequently face discrimination in accessing care.

The ACA’s Health Care Rights provision is a landmark civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, and disability in federal health programs and activities. The law includes affirmative protections for consumers and obligations on insurers and providers, as well as a new avenue for older adults and others to enforce their rights.

The proposed changes to the Health Care Rights Law will be particularly harmful for transgender older adults – one in five of whom report being refused care because of their gender status. This discrimination, which compounds over a lifetime, contributes to poorer health outcomes among transgender older adults, with one in three reporting poor physical health. By deleting references to protections based on gender identity, sexual orientation, and sex stereotyping across federal healthcare regulations, the Trump Administration’s proposal is saying transgender older adults and LGBTQ people more broadly do not have the right to receive the care they need and be treated with dignity.

In the same proposed rulemaking, the Trump Administration is also rolling back language access protections for LEP older adults by eliminating the requirement that healthcare providers affirmatively distribute notices of non-discrimination and include translated taglines in significant communications to consumers. These requirements, key to enforcing Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, are critical to assist LEP communities to better understand their rights and access care.

Finally, if gutting key provisions of the existing regulations were not enough, the proposed rulemaking takes aim at the Health Care Rights Law’s enforcement structure, which would make it significantly more difficult to bring particular discrimination claims under the law.

To be clear, this proposed rule is part of a larger, strategic attack on the lives of LGBTQ and LEP older adults. The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the same agency tasked with enforcing Section 1557, recently released a final “Conscience Rights” rule that allows providers to discriminate against transgender older adults and others on religious and moral grounds and changed the OCR mission statement to emphasize conscience and religious freedom. Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed “public charge” rule would make it nearly impossible for LEP older immigrants to enter the U.S. or become permanent residents if they are not wealthy and use or might need Medicaid or help paying for Medicare, food or housing.

Upon the proposed rule being published in the Federal Register, a 60-day public comment period will begin. In the coming weeks, Justice in Aging will provide resources, including template comments, to help advocates fight back. Now is the time to tell the Trump Administration that the lives, rights, and dignity of LGBTQ older adults, LEP seniors, and people with disabilities matter and to protect the Health Care Rights Law.

Talking Taxes Over Turkey

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, Economic Security, Health Care, Long Term Care, Medicaid, Medicare, Safety Net Defense
This week marks an important milestone for my wife and me – our first time hosting Thanksgiving. We’ll be bringing together three generations of family: our parents and some of their siblings, our siblings, and a growing crew of little ones. There will be good food, lots of laughs and, if my nephews can convince my daughters, some family football. Read More

Justice in Aging’s Statement on the House Passage of the Tax Bill

By | Affordable Care Act, Health Care, Health Care Defense, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Statements, Supplemental Security Income

Today, the House of Representatives passed a tax bill that is a full-fledged attack on the health and well-being of older Americans and their families.

As we’ve discussed, this is all part of the House Republican leadership’s two-step process. Step one is to cut taxes for the wealthy and drive up the deficit by $1.5 trillion. Step two is to use the higher deficit to justify additional future cuts to programs we all depend on, such as Medicare and Medicaid, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Older American Act programs, and many others.

The inevitable program cuts that Republican leadership will push for, after they balloon the deficit, will cause lasting harm to seniors today and in the future. Further, the House bill passed today eliminates the medical expense tax deduction that provides tax relief to millions of older adults with high out-of-pocket and long-term care costs and modest incomes.

This bill overwhelmingly benefits the wealthiest Americans and big corporations at the expense of everyone else. We urge the Senate to stop this reckless process and reject any bill that drives up the deficit and takes away health care from older Americans and their families.

What Advocates for Older Adults Need to Know About the Budget Resolution

By | Affordable Care Act, BLOG, Economic Security, Safety Net Defense
If you work with older adults (or have older adults in your life), you have a sense of what we all need as we age. The burden of high health care and housing costs on low-income seniors is growing, and fewer seniors can meet these basic needs: hot meals and enough food to eat, a stable home in the community, and quality health care. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans passed a budget resolution that would make this vision of aging more and more rare. The budget resolution would allow Congress to significantly cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans by cutting funding for critical programs needed by all other Americans. Here’s what advocates for older adults need to know. Read More

Fact Sheet: Open Enrollment for 2018 through Medicare & the Marketplace

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

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