Celebrating 35 years of making Medicare more accessible, affordable, and equitable!

Mitchell Clark

Director of Digital Strategy & Communications

Learning Medicare Is Easier Than Ever with Medicare Interactive Pro

The Medicare Rights Center recently announced the launch of the new-and-improved Medicare Interactive Pro (MI Pro), a comprehensive online curriculum designed to empower any professional to help their clients, patients, employees, retirees, and others navigate their Medicare coverage to access affordable health care.

Balance Billing Would Allow Doctors to Bill Whatever They Choose

As policymakers continue to debate the future of our country’s health care system, some policymakers endorse proposals to give Medicare providers the right to charge seniors and people with disabilities more for their care through balance billing or private contracting. Under these plans, Medicare providers could require patients to negotiate a contract for the cost of their care, and people with Medicare would have additional payments on top of their premiums, copayments, and coinsurance. Unless they successfully negotiate otherwise, patients would also be responsible for filing the Medicare claim.

Medicare Commits to a New Ombudsman Program

In December, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized a demonstration program that will test new ways for Medicare to pay hospitals that perform heart or hip surgeries. Under the new model, Medicare will pay participating hospitals one payment, known as a “bundled payment,” for a person’s hospital stay and the 90 days following a heart attack, cardiac bypass surgery, or surgical hip treatment. The hospital stay and 90-day post-stay period together are known as an “episode of care.” As part of this demonstration, CMS announced the creation of an ombudsman to serve people with Medicare in this model and other similar programs—a move applauded by Medicare Rights.

Medicare Rights Highlights Harmful Consequences of Increasing the Medicare Eligibility Age

As policymakers continue to debate the future of our country’s health care system, some lawmakers support increasing the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67 in order to save money for the federal government. This costly benefit cut is sometimes defended by arguing that as Americans live longer and delay retirement, most people will not need Medicare at age 65. But most Americans retire well before age 67—half of all men are retired by age 64 and half of all women by age 62. Our latest issue brief, “Paying More for Less: Raising the Eligibility Age,” highlights the harmful consequences of increasing the eligibility age for Medicare above 65.

Paying More for Less: Affordable Care Act Repeal

Together with Medicare and Medicaid, the ACA builds health security for people of all ages. To repeal the ACA and delay a meaningful replacement would force families across the country to pay more for less. Our latest issue brief, “Paying More for Less: Affordable Care Act Repeal,” highlights the harmful consequences of repealing the ACA without an immediate replacement for people with Medicare and for many who are just shy of Medicare eligibility.

Call Your Representative Today and Tell Them to Protect Our Health Care

In January, when a new administration moves into the White House and a new Congress is gaveled into session, some lawmakers expect to radically change our health care system. The President-elect and some members of Congress have signaled their intentions to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (with no meaningful replacement), make drastic cuts to Medicaid, and alter the Medicare guarantee.

Read the Real Story. Medicare Is Not Going Broke.

A recent blog post on the Center on Budget Policy Priorities (CBPP) addresses a common falsehood repeated by some lawmakers about the financial footing of Medicare. Unfortunately, some members of Congress continue to claim that Medicare won’t be there for future generations because it’s going bankrupt. According to CBPP, this falsehood has been debunked before—Medicare is not running out of money.

It’s Throwback Thursday! Old and Tired Medicare Ideas Resurrected

Several years ago, Republican leaders in Congress unveiled proposals to make sweeping changes to the health care system, including to Medicare. Those plans—ultimately designed to create Medicare cost savings for the federal government— include raising the age of Medicare eligibility, privatizing the Medicare program through a premium support model, increasing cost sharing for people with Medicare, and more.

After the recent election, these ideas reemerged, through comments by members of Congress and the incoming Administration. When these proposals were originally introduced, we said that they were not the right solutions, and we still believe they represent the wrong path for sustaining the future of the Medicare program.

Proposed Improvements to Medicare Coverage and Enrollment Offer Important Protections

This week, the Medicare Rights Center submitted a letter of strong support for the Medicare Affordability and Enrollment Act of 2016. Introduced this fall, this bill would cap beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket expenses in Traditional Medicare; eliminate coverage gaps associated with Part B enrollment mistakes; reduce cost-sharing for low-income beneficiaries; increase eligibility for income-dependent programs; and modernize the Medicare enrollment system to facilitate easier enrollment, begin coverage earlier and reduce arbitrary late-enrollment penalties that today are paid for a lifetime.



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