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Monthly Archives: May 2020

Move to Help Medicare Beneficiaries Afford Insulin Does Not Go Far Enough

This week, the Trump administration announced a new two-year demonstration program that will reduce insulin costs for some people with Medicare drug coverage. The lower costs will no doubt be welcomed by the 1.3 million enrollees who stand to benefit, and we applaud this help. However, we are disappointed that this initiative will not offer relief to all who need it or address larger issues around prescription drug access and affordability.

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Newsletter Issue 20

Medicare Rights Advocacy Governor Cuomo releases New York State budget  The 2021 NYS Executive Budget includes several provisions affecting dually eligible individuals, long-term care, and integrated care. The enacted changes affect Dual-eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs), Managed Long-Term Care (MLTC) plans, and various Medicaid services. However, the effective dates for some of […]

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Medicaid Needs Additional Funding to Avoid Cuts in Services During Coronavirus Pandemic and After

This month, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released a brief that discusses early trends in Medicaid spending and enrollment resulting from the economic and health impacts of the coronavirus public health emergency. The numbers KFF found show how important it is to bolster Medicaid funding quickly to avoid cuts in important services for older adults and people with disabilities.

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Short-Term Health Insurance Plans Are an Especially Risky Option During the Coronavirus Pandemic

A recent analysis from The Commonwealth Fund highlights the problems consumers with “short-term” health plans may face during the coronavirus emergency. Over the past few years, the Trump administration has expanded access to short-term health plans that are not required to adhere to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) consumer protections or insurance regulations. This non-compliance allows short-term plans to charge premiums based on health status, decline coverage for pre-existing conditions, impose annual or lifetime limits, and exclude coverage for the essential health benefits.

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CMS Releases Temporary Policy Changes to Expanded Medicare Telehealth Services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently took several steps to further expand the availability of Medicare telehealth services during the coronavirus emergency. Last week, the agency announced several temporary policy changes, and released an updated version of its coronavirus-related blanket waiver guidance that reflects these developments. According to CMS, the revisions are intended to “increase access to telehealth for Medicare patients so they can get care from their physicians and other clinicians while staying safely at home.” Notably, these flexibilities are in addition to those previously made by Congress and CMS, including via the CARES Act and the federal rulemaking process. Below is a summary of key changes.

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