Lindsey Copeland

Federal Policy Director

Medicare Expansion of Telehealth Helps Beneficiaries Access Care During the Pandemic–But Caution is Needed Before Making These Changes Permanent

The Medicare Rights Center appreciates the potential for Medicare telehealth expansions to increase access to care. We have long supported allowing Medicare beneficiaries to obtain critical behavioral health services, including some furnished by opioid treatment programs, remotely—regardless of where they live and from their own home.

The BENES Act Advances in the House

Yesterday, the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously advanced the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (H.R. 2477). Next steps for the bill include consideration by the full House.

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.