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Inside Medicare Rights

Q&A with Medicare Rights Board Member Curtis Cole, M.D.

Dr. Cole is the Chief Information Officer for Weill Cornell Medicine. He practices Internal Medicine at Weill Cornell and NYP. He is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Healthcare Policy & Research. As CIO, he is responsible for the Wood Library, core IT infrastructure, software and web development groups, the user support organization, telephony, and enterprise applications including ERP and EMR. Dr. Cole recently participated in the following Q&A with Medicare Rights: 

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Medicare Rights Federal Policy Update

The Medicare Rights federal policy team has been hard at work considering and responding to multiple U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requests for comments on proposals regarding changes to Medicare Advantage plans and Part D as well as other regulatory and administrative issues such as Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs) and Short-term, Limited Duration Insurance.

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Matching Donor Spotlight: Beth and Ray Abbott

Now a helpline volunteer and a donor, Beth Abbott started her engagement with the Medicare Rights Center through a summer internship while pursuing a graduate degree in health advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College. After she finished her degree, she continued with Medicare Rights as a helpline counselor. While dedicating volunteer hours to answering Medicare questions, Beth learned about a matching donation program through Bank of America, her husband Ray Abbott’s employer.

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Lindsey Copeland Heads Up Federal Policy Team

Lindsey Copeland joined the Medicare Rights Center as the Federal Policy Director this past December. Based in the Washington, DC office, Lindsey is responsible for formulating, directing, and implementing Medicare Rights’ federal policy and advocacy agenda. She informs policymakers, stakeholders, and the press about the challenges facing people with Medicare, as well as the administrative and legislative solutions that Medicare Rights supports to address these issues.

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Medicare Rights Center’s Annual Awards Dinner

Over 300 people attended the Medicare Rights Center’s 2017 Annual Awards Dinner in New York City on October
16. Kirk Adams, executive director of the Healthcare Education Project (HEP), was honored at the event along with
HEP Co-Chairs George Gresham, president, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, and Kenneth E. Raske,
president, Greater New York Hospital Association. HEP is a a unique labor-management alliance that works to protect
and expand access to quality, affordable health care for all New Yorkers. Nancy Richardson, a Medicare Rights
helpline volunteer, was also recognized for her years of dedicated service.

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Fall Open Enrollment on the Helpline

This past fall, the Medicare Rights Center’s national consumer helpline staff and volunteers were hard at work assisting people with their Medicare coverage options. Fall Open Enrollment is the time of year when people with Medicare can change their coverage, and it is Medicare Rights’ busiest season. During this time—which takes place from October 15 through December 7 every year—Medicare Rights answered more than 3,000 questions for older adults and people with disabilities. Helpline counselors and staff assisted clients with reviewing their current coverage, comparing their Medicare Part D plan and Medicare Advantage plan options, and discussing the benefits of Original Medicare versus Medicare Advantage.

Read More »

Advocating in the Capital

The Medicare Rights Center is hard at work in our nation’s capital advocating for policies that protect and strengthen Medicare for older adults and people with disabilities.
We are currently working to prevent lawmakers from using the increased federal deficit that resulted from the Tax Cut bill as an excuse to cut or restructure Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. While Congress approved legislation preventing automatic cuts, there is still a gaping revenue shortfall of $1.5 trillion or more, putting these programs directly in the cross-hairs of policy-makers seeking to pay for the tax cuts.

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Donor Spotlight: Mary-Ann Etiebet, Former Staff Member

The Medicare Rights Center recently spoke with former staff member Mary-Ann Etiebet, M.D., who is currently the executive director at Merck for Mothers, about her time at Medicare Rights and what made her become a generous donor to the organization. Mary-Ann has more than two decades of experience improving health care outcomes for vulnerable populations, and her work began when she was hired at Medicare Rights as a health advocacy fellow in 1996, and she continued on as an education associate the following year. She remembers how Medicare Rights grew during her time there, with only five full-time staff members when she started and about a dozen when she left, as well as an increased operating budget.

Read More »

Protecting Our Health Care – Ann and Ti’s Story

Ann is a caregiver to her partner Ti, and their story is one of love and caring but also one filled with advocacy on Ann’s part to preserve the Medicaid program, without which she and Ti could not survive. We helped Ann and thousands of others raise their voices against Medicaid cuts, so their voices could be joined with millions of others. It is stories like this one that will help us continue to protect the care of older adults now and in the future.

Read More »

Q&A with Medicare Rights Board Member Curtis Cole, M.D.

Dr. Cole is the Chief Information Officer for Weill Cornell Medicine. He practices Internal Medicine at Weill Cornell and NYP. He is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and Healthcare Policy & Research. As CIO, he is responsible for the Wood Library, core IT infrastructure, software and web development groups, the user support organization, telephony, and enterprise applications including ERP and EMR. Dr. Cole recently participated in the following Q&A with Medicare Rights: 

Medicare Rights Federal Policy Update

The Medicare Rights federal policy team has been hard at work considering and responding to multiple U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) requests for comments on proposals regarding changes to Medicare Advantage plans and Part D as well as other regulatory and administrative issues such as Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs) and Short-term, Limited Duration Insurance.

Matching Donor Spotlight: Beth and Ray Abbott

Now a helpline volunteer and a donor, Beth Abbott started her engagement with the Medicare Rights Center through a summer internship while pursuing a graduate degree in health advocacy from Sarah Lawrence College. After she finished her degree, she continued with Medicare Rights as a helpline counselor. While dedicating volunteer hours to answering Medicare questions, Beth learned about a matching donation program through Bank of America, her husband Ray Abbott’s employer.

Lindsey Copeland Heads Up Federal Policy Team

Lindsey Copeland joined the Medicare Rights Center as the Federal Policy Director this past December. Based in the Washington, DC office, Lindsey is responsible for formulating, directing, and implementing Medicare Rights’ federal policy and advocacy agenda. She informs policymakers, stakeholders, and the press about the challenges facing people with Medicare, as well as the administrative and legislative solutions that Medicare Rights supports to address these issues.

Medicare Rights Center’s Annual Awards Dinner

Over 300 people attended the Medicare Rights Center’s 2017 Annual Awards Dinner in New York City on October
16. Kirk Adams, executive director of the Healthcare Education Project (HEP), was honored at the event along with
HEP Co-Chairs George Gresham, president, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, and Kenneth E. Raske,
president, Greater New York Hospital Association. HEP is a a unique labor-management alliance that works to protect
and expand access to quality, affordable health care for all New Yorkers. Nancy Richardson, a Medicare Rights
helpline volunteer, was also recognized for her years of dedicated service.

Fall Open Enrollment on the Helpline

This past fall, the Medicare Rights Center’s national consumer helpline staff and volunteers were hard at work assisting people with their Medicare coverage options. Fall Open Enrollment is the time of year when people with Medicare can change their coverage, and it is Medicare Rights’ busiest season. During this time—which takes place from October 15 through December 7 every year—Medicare Rights answered more than 3,000 questions for older adults and people with disabilities. Helpline counselors and staff assisted clients with reviewing their current coverage, comparing their Medicare Part D plan and Medicare Advantage plan options, and discussing the benefits of Original Medicare versus Medicare Advantage.

Advocating in the Capital

The Medicare Rights Center is hard at work in our nation’s capital advocating for policies that protect and strengthen Medicare for older adults and people with disabilities.
We are currently working to prevent lawmakers from using the increased federal deficit that resulted from the Tax Cut bill as an excuse to cut or restructure Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. While Congress approved legislation preventing automatic cuts, there is still a gaping revenue shortfall of $1.5 trillion or more, putting these programs directly in the cross-hairs of policy-makers seeking to pay for the tax cuts.

Donor Spotlight: Mary-Ann Etiebet, Former Staff Member

The Medicare Rights Center recently spoke with former staff member Mary-Ann Etiebet, M.D., who is currently the executive director at Merck for Mothers, about her time at Medicare Rights and what made her become a generous donor to the organization. Mary-Ann has more than two decades of experience improving health care outcomes for vulnerable populations, and her work began when she was hired at Medicare Rights as a health advocacy fellow in 1996, and she continued on as an education associate the following year. She remembers how Medicare Rights grew during her time there, with only five full-time staff members when she started and about a dozen when she left, as well as an increased operating budget.

Protecting Our Health Care – Ann and Ti’s Story

Ann is a caregiver to her partner Ti, and their story is one of love and caring but also one filled with advocacy on Ann’s part to preserve the Medicaid program, without which she and Ti could not survive. We helped Ann and thousands of others raise their voices against Medicaid cuts, so their voices could be joined with millions of others. It is stories like this one that will help us continue to protect the care of older adults now and in the future.