Monthly Archives: August 2016

Former Medicare Administrators Endorse the BENES Act

Eight past Administrators of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services/Health Care Financing Administration—the agency that oversees and runs Medicare—wrote Congressional leaders this week expressing support for the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (H.R. 5772 and S. 3236). Developed by the Medicare Rights Center, the BENES Act modernizes and simplifies the Part B enrollment process.

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Over 70 Groups Urge Lawmakers to Support Bill to Simplify Part B Enrollment

This week, 73 state and national organizations representing older adults, people with disabilities, health insurers, unions, and health care providers expressed strong support for the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (H.R. 5772 and S. 3236) in letters to the bill’s lead House and Senate sponsors, Congressmen Raul Ruiz (D-CA) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA) and Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

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New Report on People with Medicare Under Age 65

This week, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released a report comparing Medicare beneficiaries who are under age 65 and eligible for benefits as a result of receiving Social Security Disability Benefits to those beneficiaries who are eligible for Medicare due to age. The report finds that Medicare beneficiaries under age 65 differ from those ages 65 or older in several ways, including demographically, socioeconomically, and in health status. KFF also reports that those under age 65 have different types and rates of supplemental insurance than older beneficiaries.

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New Report Spotlights Medicare Lessons for Stabilizing Affordable Care Act Marketplaces

A report released this week by the Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms (CHIR) reviews strategies to stabilize the Affordable Care Act health insurance Marketplaces, drawing on lessons learned from Medicare. Through the Marketplaces, millions of Americans—who would otherwise lack coverage altogether—now have health insurance made available through private plans subsidized by the federal government. While some insurers are succeeding in the Marketplace and expanding their reach, others are experiencing losses, leading to withdrawals from the market and premiums hikes. This instability is causing some to question the long-term sustainability of the Marketplaces.

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Medicare Rights Spotlights Important Work at Annual SHIP/SMP Conference

Last week, as part of the annual conference for State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) and Senior Medicare Patrols (SMPs), the Medicare Rights Center convened with the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL), the Northeast Iowa Area Agency on Aging (NEI3A), Health Benefits ABCs, and two consultants in Milwaukee, WI, to spotlight recent successes in reaching SHIPs and SMPs with important support.

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CMS Announces Changes to the Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design Model

CMS recently announced planned updates to the Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design Model (VBID) that will be implemented in the second year of the model, starting January 1, 2018. In year two, CMS will expand the model to include beneficiaries with rheumatoid arthritis and dementia and add Alabama, Michigan, and Texas to the states where the model will take place.

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CMS Projects Relatively Stable Part D Premiums in 2017

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that the average basic premium for a Part D prescription drug plan is estimated to be $34 per month in 2017. This projected average premium is a slight increase over the average monthly premium in 2016 ($32.56) and represents the continued relative stability of Part D premiums.

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Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Facts on Medicare Spending and Financing

According to a new issue brief by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), the growth in total Medicare spending between 2010 and 2015 (4.4 percent) was notably lower than spending between 2000 and 2010 (9 percent). Even more remarkable, spending in the Medicare program has slowed even as enrollment in Medicare since 2011 has increased with baby boomers becoming eligible. Additionally, the average growth in spending per beneficiary each year was only 1.4 percent between 2010 and 2015, which is considerably lower than average spending growth of 7.4 percent between 2000 and 2010.

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2021 Annual Awards Virtual Event

Join us for a special event on Monday, October 18, 2021 at 6 PM.