On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate once again chose to reject a bill that would have caused tens of millions of people to lose health coverage and irreparably damaged the Medicaid program. Senate Leadership announced that the Graham-Cassidy bill will not come to the floor for a vote. Yet again, Americans across the nation lifted up their voices to protect health coverage and care for millions, including older adults and people with disabilities.
This week, the Medicare Rights Center released a new brief, Medicare Snapshot: Stories from the Helpline: Improving New York State Access to Medicare Savings Programs, which spotlights ways to improve access to Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) in New York. MSPs can help Medicare beneficiaries with low-incomes save thousands of dollars in health care costs each year, however, they are consistently under-enrolled and under-utilized. Drawing on its experiences in New York and other states, Medicare Rights identifies a series of actions that state and local agencies could take to further improve access to MSPs and related benefits in New York.
Earlier this week, Medicare Rights, in partnership with the Center for Medicare Advocacy, sent a letter to Senate leadership strongly opposing the newest legislation, known as the “Graham-Cassidy” bill, to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and cut and cap Medicaid. Despite outcry from health care providers, insurers, consumer groups, patient advocates, and the American people, the Senate appears poised to vote on this harmful bill next week.
September 30th is the last opportunity to take advantage of a time-limited opportunity allowing people who were or are currently enrolled in the Marketplaces to enroll in Medicare Part B and have their late enrollment penalties waived.
Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC), along with co-sponsors Dean Heller (R-NV) and Ron Johnson (R-WI), released a revised version of legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this week, often referred to as the Graham-Cassidy bill. The Senators claimed that the bill includes no “draconian cuts.” In substance, however, the Graham-Cassidy bill retains many of the components of recent failed attempts to undo the ACA.
Medicare guarantees access to health care for 57 million older adults and people with disabilities, including hospital and physician care and prescription drugs. Understanding how Medicare is funded and how that funding is spent can improve policy decisions going forward.
Members of Congress are returning to Washington, DC as the summer recess winds down, putting health care policy issues back in the spotlight. Policy experts expect the fall to be busy with significant activity expected in Congress and in the administration.
This week, future funding for State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) is once again at stake. SHIPs provide unique one-on-one, in-person counseling to help people with Medicare understand their rights and navigate their coverage options. Despite their high value and low cost, SHIPs have been under threat for the past several years, but have survived through a combination of strong advocacy and diverse Congressional support.
The Medicare Rights Center is very happy to have been awarded, in partnership with the Center for Medicare Advocacy (the Center), a one-year grant from The Retirement Research Foundation to protect access to quality health coverage for people with Medicare.
I’ve heard that Fall Open Enrollment is coming up. What is Fall Open Enrollment, and what should I do to prepare for it?
– Andre (Dover, DE)