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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

Denny Chan, Public Interest Lawyer

By | DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Newsroom

ETTV America: Denny Chan, Public Interest Lawyer (May 29, 2019)

Even when faced with questionable or improper behavior, many AAPI older adults may decide not to speak up.  In a mini-series highlighting individuals for Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, ETTV – a Chinese-language television station – interviewed Justice in Aging Senior Staff Attorney Denny Chan.  In addition to sharing his personal story of why he advocates for low-income seniors, Denny discusses reasons why AAPI older adults might stay quiet, even if they are improperly billed for medical services, and encourages them to be involved in their healthcare.  “Many older adults in our community feel an immense sense of gratitude after immigrating from their home countries.  Their benefits may be better here than where they came from.  Of course, this is something to appreciate, but older adults should speak up if they are mistreated by the government.” This interview is in Chinese.

Americans Can’t Afford Retirement. Here are 8 Ways to Fix it.

By | IN THE NEWS, Newsroom, SENIOR POVERTY, Social Security

Fast Company: Americans Can’t Afford Retirement. Here are 8 Ways to Fix it.  (May 8, 2019)

Around half of Americans approaching retirement have no retirement savings. This is due to declining wages and pensions, high housing and health care costs, longevity, and myriad other reasons. There is no single solution, but there are actions businesses and policy makers can take that would help. One is to pay people more. “The fact that wages have been so stagnant for the middle class has really impacted the ability of people to save,” said Kevin Prindiville, Justice in Aging’s Executive Director, who was interviewed for the article. Creating more ways for people to saved, expanding Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, and creating more affordable housing are other solutions Justice in Aging proposes in the article.

Health Care for Elders with Limited English (in Chinese)

By | DUAL ELIGIBLES, Health Equity, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Newsroom

AARP TV: Health Care for Elders with Limited English (May 1, 2019)

There are currently about five million older adults with limited English proficiency in the United States, and the numbers are growing. It is important that LEP older adults know their rights in health care settings, and feel comfortable speaking up and asking for materials to be translated into their language or for translation services, if needed. This interview with Justice in Aging Senior Staff Attorney, Denny Chan talks to AARP about how LEP seniors can learn about and exercise their rights. This interview is subtitled in Chinese.

Health Care for Elders with Limited English (in English)

By | DUAL ELIGIBLES, IN THE NEWS, Medicaid, Newsroom

AARP TV: Health Care for Elders with Limited English (May 1, 2019)

There are currently about five million older adults with limited English proficiency in the United States, and the numbers are growing. It is important that LEP older adults know their rights in health care settings, and feel comfortable speaking up and asking for materials to be translated into their language or for translation services, if needed. This interview with Justice in Aging Senior Staff Attorney, Denny Chan talks to AARP about how LEP seniors can learn about and exercise their rights. This interview is in English.

 

Court Denies All Government Motions in Class Action Seeking Appeal Right for Medicare Beneficiaries on “Observation Status”

By | News Releases, Newsroom, PRESS RELEASE
In a decision issued on March 27, 2019, a federal judge denied multiple attempts by the federal government to halt a lawsuit by Medicare patients seeking a right to appeal their placement on “outpatient observation status” in hospitals. Alexander v. Azar is a nationwide class action brought by individuals who were forced to pay up to $30,000 for post-hospital skilled nursing facility care because they had been classified as outpatients in observation status, rather than as inpatients. Read More

Advocacy Groups Sue State of Florida for Violating the Americans with Disabilities Act

By | News Releases, Newsroom

A class action lawsuit filed today against Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration asserts that the state’s management of its Medicaid long-term care system violates Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. By perpetuating the institutionalization and segregation of older adults and people with disabilities and severely limiting their access to community-based services, the state forces people to unnecessarily enter nursing facilities to get care.

Justice in Aging, a national non-profit legal advocacy organization that fights senior poverty, and Southern Legal Counsel, a Gainesville, Florida-based, statewide nonprofit law firm, filed the suit on behalf of their clients, who are on the state’s waiting list for home-based long-term-care services and are currently at risk of unnecessary and unwanted institutionalization. Disability Rights Florida, private attorney Nancy Wright, and lawyers from the firm of Cozen O’Connor are co-counsel. Read More

Statement: Threats to Transgender Older Adults

By | Newsroom, Statements

The Trump Administration has indicated it intends to eliminate the rights of transgender people by narrowly defining gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth. The move is a cruel, extremist, and transparent political attack on millions of Americans, including transgender older adults.

Transgender older adults face a number of challenges. Key among them are barriers to adequate healthcare, including healthcare providers who lack basic cultural and clinical knowledge, refuse to treat transgender patients, or establish policies that perpetrate harassment and abuse.

Nearly 1 in 5 transgender individuals reports being refused care because of their gender non-confirming status, and higher rates exist in transgender communities of color. This type of discrimination, which compounds over a lifetime, contributes to poorer health outcomes among transgender older adults, with 1 in 3 reporting poor physical health.

The Administration’s plans, coordinated by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice, not only recklessly disregard modern science and medicine, but also the law. Dozens of courts in the past two decades have affirmed full rights and identities of transgender individuals. The plans would roll back established legal protections and only exacerbate health disparities and other challenges facing transgender older adults.

Justice in Aging stands with transgender older adults and others in the gender non-conforming community and joins a broad coalition of civil and human rights organizations to oppose and fight back against the Administration’s plans. Transgender Americans deserve dignity and respect under our law. 

California’s Senior Population is Growing Faster than any other Age Group. How the Next Governor Responds is Crucial

By | IN THE NEWS, Newsroom, SENIOR POVERTY

Los Angeles Times: California’s Senior Population is Growing Faster than any other Age Group. How the Next Governor Responds is Crucial ( October 7, 2018)
The next governor will be confronted with a demographic shift of epic proportions: Seniors will be California’s fastest-growing population. Between now and 2026, the number of Californians 65 and older is expected to climb by 2.1 million, according to projections by the state Department of Finance. By contrast, the number of 25- to 64-year-olds is projected to grow by just more than half a million; the number of Californians younger than 25 will grow by a mere 2,500. The reporter interviewed Justice in Aging Executive Director, Kevin Prindiville, at length for the article. The Justice in Aging perspective on senior poverty was well reflected in the fact that the journalist noted that the state is going to have to grapple with poverty in a different way, due to the unique needs of seniors aging in poverty. Kevin notes, “We get a lot of pressure to come with ideas that don’t have a dollar ask, but we’re going to have to spend some money to solve these bigger problems.” Read the full article.

Older Immigrants’ Access to Basic Needs Programs is at Risk

By | IN THE NEWS, NEWS, Newsroom, SENIOR POVERTY

Dailyjournal.com. Older Immigrants’ Access to Basic Needs Programs at Risk

By Justice in Aging Attorneys Denny Chan and Natalie Keen
When Mary immigrated to San Francisco from the Philippines over 30 years ago, she long dreamed of growing old here surrounded by her children and grandchildren. That dream appeared to be coming true when she happily retired last year at the age of 70, knowing that the process was already underway to welcome her son and his family, currently based in Manila, to join her in California – they had already been waiting for many years.

Unfortunately, however, Mary’s dream would be jeopardized if the Trump Administration succeeds in changing the longstanding “public charge” policy. Read The Full Article.