Medicare Rights FoundedThe Medicare Rights Center was founded as "The Medicare Beneficiaries Defense Fund" in 1989 by Diane Archer. To this day, the organization works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities.
Early AdvocacyThroughout the early 1990s, Medicare Rights pushed for protections from some doctors who were overcharging their Medicare patients beyond the price that Medicare set for a particular service.
Heard on the HelplineAn article published in by Medicare Rights in 1994 outlines eight issues facing people with Medicare based on counseling provided on the helpline at the time. Medicare Rights still has its ear to the ground, pinpointing the various issues as told by the thousands of beneficiaries we speak to every year. Read about today’s issues in our latest report, Medicare Trends and Recommendations.
Rebrand and New nameThe organization takes on a new look and becomes the Medicare Rights Center. Today, the Medicare Rights Center is synonymous with ensuring that older adults and people with disabilities have access to high quality, affordable health care.
First Major Education InitiativeMedicare Rights releases its first national education initiative called “HMO Flash.” The definitive reference guide of the recently created Medicare HMOs (now called Medicare Advantage), this resource consisted of 28 tip sheets explaining what HMOs are, how to choose and enroll in a plan, and how to appeal denials of coverage. Much of the information can still be found on Medicare Interactive.
Website LaunchesThe Medicare Rights Center jumps on the internet wave and launches its first website. Beneficiaries and professionals come to the site to get Medicare information, sign up for newsletters, and purchase educational publications. Today the website is a key tool to broadcast the organization’s work.
Seniors Out Speaking (SOS)Seniors Out Speaking (SOS) begins in Westchester, NY. This peer-to-peer educational program builds camaraderie, strengthens community-based organizations, and empowers older adults to become advocates for their own health care. SOS eventually expands nationally to become what is now called “Medicare Minutes.”
Medicare Savings CoalitionThe "New York State Medicare Savings Coalition" launches to eliminate the systemic barriers that limit access to programs that help those with low-income afford their health coverage.The coalition works to ensure that eligible older and/or disabled New Yorkers with Medicare are informed of and enrolled in these programs.
Medicare InteractiveMedicare Interactive launches with support from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and others. Last year, Medicare Interactive reached 1.1 million visitors with Medicare information and support.
Visit Medicare Interactive to find answers to your Medicare questions.