Tell Congress to Protect Our Care
In March, Congressional Republicans pulled a scheduled vote on a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would have ended Medicaid as we know it and would have led 24 million Americans to lose their health care coverage. That bill, the American Health Care Act, also included an unaffordable “age tax” on health insurance for older adults and undermined the Medicare guarantee.
There is renewed vigor from the White House and some members of Congress to bring the American Health Care Act back to life, with even more destructive changes that make a bad bill even worse.
Before the ACA, insurance companies could deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, or charge higher premiums for people who had them. Older, sicker people often could not afford to buy any health coverage. The ACA ended the practice of denying coverage for the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. It's reported that the newest version of the American Health Care Act takes away that valuable protection.
Urge Your Members of Congress to Protect Our Care
We thought this bill was gone, but it seems we are not done yet. Raise your voice today to protect our care.
Tell Congress to Vote "NO" on the American Health Care Act (AHCA)
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently confirmed our worst fears about the American Health Care Act (AHCA)—if passed, 24 million people would lose health coverage over the next decade.
Older adults will be among those hardest hit by the proposal.
If the AHCA becomes law, the number of uninsured would increase most significantly among low-income Americans ages 50 to 64. Individual market premiums would spike for this very same group as a result of an “age tax” that would allow insurers to charge five times more for older enrollees than for younger ones.
Additionally, federal cuts to Medicaid brought about by per capita caps would drive states to make hard choices, likely leading to slashed services and increased health care costs for older people and their families.
Plain and simple, the AHCA forces older adults, people with disabilities, and their families to pay more for less, all while undermining the Medicare guarantee.
If Congressional leaders truly want to provide health coverage to American families, they must go back to the drawing board.
Tell your members Congress to protect our care and vote “NO” on the American Health Care Act.
Tell Congress: Simplify Medicare Part B enrollment to avoid costly mistakes—co-sponsor the BENES Act!
Contact Your Members of Congress
Enrolling in Medicare Part B can be complicated. The 10,000 people aging into Medicare each day are asking questions like these: Should I enroll in Medicare if I’m still working? What if my spouse is still working? Can I wait to enroll when I start Social Security benefits at age 66 or 70?
Getting these answers wrong can lead to costly mistakes and gaps in health coverage among many people new to Medicare. Congress needs to act now to simplify Part B enrollment and make sure every American gets accurate information about how and when to enroll in Medicare.
A bipartisan bill introduced in Congress—the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act—would improve the Part B enrollment process. Through better notice, updated enrollment periods, and more, the BENES Act modernizes enrollment rules written when Medicare was first created more than 50 years ago. More than 70 organizations representing older adults, people with disabilities, insurers, and health care providers support the BENES Act.
Urge your members of Congress to co-sponsor the BENES Act and improve the Part B enrollment process for the 10,000 people aging into Medicare each day.
People receiving Social Security benefits are automatically enrolled in Part B, but today many Americans are working longer, delaying retirement, and deferring those benefits. These individuals must actively enroll in Medicare, taking into account varied and complicated rules. Those who mistakenly delay Part B can face a lifetime of higher premiums and may go without needed care.
We need your help to pass the BENES Act!
In 2014, 750,000 people with Medicare were paying a lifetime late enrollment penalty because they waited too long to sign up for Part B. The average penalty amounted to a nearly 30 percent increase in a person’s monthly Part B premium. Far too many people with Medicare are saddled with higher health care costs and gaps in coverage due to a fragmented Part B enrollment system.
Take action today! Tell your member of Congress to co-sponsor the BENES Act.
Tell Congress to Preserve One-On-One Medicare Counseling
Older adults, people with disabilities, and their families and caregivers need assistance understanding the A, B, C and Ds of Medicare. Operating in every state, State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) answer questions about Medicare and help people solve problems.
Recently, the Senate Appropriations Committee proposed to eliminate SHIPs. Now, it’s up to the House Appropriations Committee to decide the fate of this essential program.
Tell your members of Congress to protect SHIPs from an unprecedented cut.
Eliminating SHIPs would leave millions who need support comparing coverage options, appealing denials, applying for financial assistance, and navigating increasingly complex Medicare benefits stranded—with nowhere to turn.
As 10,000 Baby Boomers age into Medicare each day, rather than defund SHIPs, Congress needs to increase SHIP funding. Write to your elected officials about why investing in unbiased, personalized Medicare counseling is important to you and your community.
Contact Your Members of Congress
Take action to reform the Part D denial and appeal process
Every year, the Medicare Rights Center helps thousands of individuals navigate the complicated Medicare Part D appeals process. Because the process is the equivalent of a nonsensical maze, it leaves beneficiaries confused, frustrated, and unable to adhere to prescribed treatment plans.
Join the Medicare Rights Center in calling on the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to immediately implement reforms to help people with Medicare better navigate Part D denials and appeals.
The most recent audit conducted by CMS of Part D and Medicare Advantage (MA) plan sponsors showed that:
- 89% issued denial letters to beneficiaries that either failed to include an adequate rationale or contained incorrect information
- 78% failed to demonstrate sufficient outreach to obtain additional information necessary to make an appropriate clinical decision
- 56% made inappropriate denials when processing coverage determinations
- 61% were shown to apply unapproved quantity limits
- 50% were shown to apply unapproved utilization management practices