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Medicare Rights Calibrates Its Work to Meet the Current Moment

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The Medicare Rights Center’s staff and board are implementing a new strategic plan, developed during the COVID-19 pandemic and taking into account the needs of Medicare beneficiaries and their families now and over the next three years.

The overarching goals of the new plan are as follows:

  1. EXPAND access to the Medicare Rights Center’s services for underserved populations.
  2. AMPLIFY Medicare-related policy solutions to improve coverage and care for underserved populations.
  3. STRENGTHEN the Medicare Rights Center’s commitment to staff, volunteer, and board cultivation.
  4. DIVERSIFY the Medicare Rights Center’s revenue. 

The new plan, developed collaboratively by staff and board members during 2020, is tuned to the moment. This is an unprecedented time for the Medicare population, and for those serving them. Since January 2020, when the first U.S. case of COVID-19 was reported, until now, the country has undergone enormous changes, including to how seniors—and other Americans—travel, communicate, and access vital services, including health care. 

Recent months have also brought increasing calls for racial justice, which in a health context means providing stronger supports to Black, Hispanic, and other people of color who are bearing the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, both as patients and as front-line health care workers. In a world in which demographics too often determine whether an individual is able to be healthy, Medicare Rights and many others have felt it critical to double down on serving historically marginalized populations. 

Between now and 2023, each overarching goal within the new plan will be pursued using a variety of strategies and measured according to nine key performance indicators, as follows:

  1. Expanded access to Medicare Rights’ services such that the percentages of target populations served are equal to or greater than those populations’ representation in the Medicare population as a whole. 
  2. Increased Medicare Savings Program enrollments, to at least 1,100/year, with at least 20% from targeted zip codes. 
  3. Doubling of Medicare Interactive usage such that at least 5+ million individuals (8% of the Medicare population) are served annually, and expanded access to Medicare Interactive for people with vision and hearing impairment. 
  4. Advancement annually of 4-5 large-scale policy recommendations and themes that Medicare Rights has proposed or supported based on its direct service.
  5. Increased policy newsletter subscriber base.
  6. Growth in media placements focused on policy issues.
  7. Number of meaningful diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) trainings and discussions; DEI-oriented organizational materials; and new staff members, volunteers, and board members representing a commitment to DEI principles.    
  8. Increased number of volunteers meaningfully engaged and re-engaged, as well as a greater feeling among staff that there are opportunities for learning, growth, and dialogue.
  9. Increased annual organizational budget, with at least 35% of income generated through a combination of earned income, individual giving, and special events.

Medicare Rights is systematically tracking the progress of these strategies. However, while both quantitative and qualitative assessments of progress are important, social and organizational change can happen in unexpected ways and owing to a variety of internal and external factors. Intended to motivate and help measure change, Medicare Rights’ new strategic plan is a living document that can respond to real-life circumstances and capture a wide array of successes related to the organization’s direct service, education, and policy work, as well as its commitment to staff and board learning and growth. 

Visit www.medicarerights.org/latest for ongoing updates about Medicare Rights’ work to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities. Medicare Rights also produces a number of free email newsletters and alerts designed to give consumers and professionals the latest Medicare information. Sign up here.

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