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Anna Szilagyi

Q & A with Medicare Rights Board Member Elizabeth Fowler, Ph.D., J.D.

Elizabeth Fowler is the executive vice president for programs at the Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit private foundation supporting independent health policy research. Fowler recently returned to the Medicare Rights Center’s Board of Directors, having first served from 2006 to 2008. She has nearly 25 years of experience in health policy and health services research.

More Consumers Reached Through New Email Channel

The Medicare Rights Center launched a consumer email channel this fall to provide a new way for New Yorkers and their families to get Medicare answers, with support from the New York State Health Foundation. By expanding individualized counseling to include an email channel in addition to the national helpline, Medicare Rights aims to empower a greater number of older adults, people with disabilities, and their families and caregivers to navigate Medicare.

Medicare Rights Education Staff Present on Medicare and the Opioid Crisis

Staff from the Medicare Rights Center presented on the opioid crisis and Medicare coverage of substance use disorder treatment at the 2019 Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) and State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) National Conference. SMPs and SHIPs are state-based agencies that assist people with Medicare and their caregivers. SMPs empower people with Medicare to prevent, detect, and report health care fraud, while SHIPs provide local and unbiased Medicare counseling. As a partner of the SHIP Technical Assistance Center, Medicare Rights provides ongoing technical assistance and training for SHIP counselors throughout the nation.

Donor Spotlight: Amy Friedner, Volunteer

Medicare Rights helpline volunteer Amy Friedner is an accountant by training, but later went back to school to get her degree in nutrition and became a registered dietitian. Her interest in health didn’t stop there, though. After moving back to New York City from the suburbs five years ago, Amy was looking for volunteer opportunities in the health care field.

Medicare Rights Gears Up for Fall Open Enrollment

Medicare’s annual Fall Open Enrollment Period (OEP) is a busy time for beneficiaries and advocates alike. From October 15 to December 7 each year, people with Medicare can make changes to their coverage, such as switching Part D prescription drug plans, or between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Each fall, Medicare Rights provides both counseling and education to help people with Medicare weigh their options.

Extending Medicare Rights’ Reach

The Medicare Rights Center answers 20,000 questions from people with Medicare and their families each year through its National Consumer Helpline, and the organization’s expertise reaches even further in New York State through professional trainings and partnerships. Working with the Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Program (HIICAP) and assisting hundreds of community-based organizations in New York City, Medicare Rights helps more people with Medicare, especially in underserved and low-income communities.

Donor Spotlight: Rachel Kreier on Giving in Memory

Rachel Kreier, a professor of health economics at St. Joseph’s College, has been engaged with the Medicare Rights Center both as a volunteer and as a donor. Kreier has used Medicare Rights’ materials in her teaching and, conversely, brought her knowledge of health care to the helpline.

30 Years of Getting Medicare Right

This year is a significant milestone for the Medicare Rights Center as we celebrate our 30th anniversary!

Thanks to our dedicated supporters, we have worked to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities for three decades—and we will continue this critical work into our 30th year and as long as our services are needed.

Getting Medicare Right in 2019

There are changes to Medicare costs and coverage options every year, and it’s difficult for consumers and professionals alike to keep up with what’s new and how it will affect them or their clients. As the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rolls out these changes, the Medicare Rights Center’s education team gets to work right away translating complex legal language into consumer-friendly resources.