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Newsletter Issue 24

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Medicare Rights Advocacy

New toolkit provides information on Medicare integrated coverage options for dually eligible individuals

Medicare Rights and the National Council on Aging have a new toolkit related to integrated care options for people with Medicare and Medicaid. It reviews the federal landscape of plan options, including Dual-eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs), the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), and Medicare-Medicaid Plans (MMPs). The toolkit includes an FAQ, useful consumer-friendly materials, and a primer for professionals with additional information about D-SNP integration requirements and the unified grievance and appeals process for certain integrated D-SNPs.

To access the toolkit, click here.

Help is available for New Yorkers facing default enrollment 

Medicare Rights has released a flier related to default enrollment of dually eligible New Yorkers into integrated Medicare-Medicaid managed care plans. The flier defines default enrollment, provides a case example for how default enrollment works, and reviews notice requirements. It also explains continuity of care rights for individuals who are default enrolled and lists plans in New York that are currently approved to use default enrollment.

Download the flier.

Default enrollment has begun in New York state. If you or a client have faced issues related to default enrollment, please call the Medicare Rights Center helpline at 800-333-4114.

NYSOFA releases tutorial videos for Medicare beneficiaries

The New York State Office for the Aging (NYSOFA) has released several tutorial videos, developed with assistance from the Medicare Rights Center, to help older adults in New York. The videos demonstrate for viewers how to apply for several benefits, including Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs), Extra Help, EPIC, SNAP, and weatherization assistance. Also included is a video on preparing a Part B enrollment application using the Special Enrollment Period (SEP). 

To access the videos, click here.

New York State and Federal Government Updates

CMS announces long-awaited Medicare Plan Finder improvements

Recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to improve and update the Medicare Plan Finder (MPF) and the Health Plan Management System (HPMS). HPMS is the system that Medicare Advantage and Part D plans use to provide data about their plan offerings to Medicare, and the MPF is the online tool that allows beneficiaries to evaluate, compare, and enroll in those plans. The changes will be in place for the start of the Medicare Open Enrollment Period starting on October 15.

Many of the forthcoming MPF changes reflect suggestions that Medicare Rights and other advocates have made over the years to increase the tool’s functionality and the beneficiary’s experience. We applaud CMS’s continued efforts to examine and improve the MPF and other tools that people with Medicare rely upon to make the best enrollment decisions for themselves and their families.  

For more information, please visit Medicare Rights’ blog.

President Biden releases fiscal year 2022 budget proposal

President Biden recently submitted his first budget request to Congress. The White House plan includes legislative proposals and detailed funding recommendations for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22), which begins on October 1.

The FY22 request largely reflects program and spending changes the White House has already proposed. It ties the administration’s initial, topline discretionary FY22 budget proposal together with their two key legislative asks: the American Jobs Plan, which calls for new infrastructure spending, including $400 billion over ten years to expand Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS); and the American Families Plan, which addresses issues like education and economic security, and extends the American Rescue Plan’s health insurance subsidies.

Medicare Rights continues to strongly urge the administration and Congress to immediately improve health care and prescription drug coverage, access, and affordability. Many policies in the FY22 budget request would advance these goals.

For more information, please visit Medicare Rights’ blog.

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