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

Three Proposed Rules Would Improve Equity, Comprehensive Coverage, and Access to Care

This week, Medicare Rights submitted comments on three proposed rules. One would improve access to needed services. A second would limit the sale of junk insurance. And the third would restore nondiscrimination in grants funded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The first proposed rule, the 2024 Physician Fee Schedule, includes provisions that would extend the availability of medically necessary dental treatment, as well as expanding access to some mental health and substance use disorder providers. Our comments reflect the importance these issues have for beneficiaries and Medicare Rights’ commitment to expanding access to necessary, whole-body care and improving the equity of the Medicare program.

The second proposed rule, the Short-Term, Limited Duration Insurance rule, would limit the sale of junk insurance that misleads consumers into thinking they have comprehensive coverage. This type of insurance product was sharply curtailed by the Affordable Care Act because it does not qualify as comprehensive insurance since it lacks guarantees of coverage for pre-existing and other conditions and applicants can be denied coverage. Later, these products were made more available by the last administration—a move we strongly opposed. Our comments reflect our goal of ensuring that people have access to affordable, comprehensive coverage, not misleading junk plans.

Finally, the third proposed rule, the Health and Human Services Grants Regulation, would restore nondiscrimination protections in regulations implementing HHS grant programs. The proposed rule would, among other changes, clarify the HHS interpretation of the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex to include (1) discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and (2) discrimination on the basis of gender identity, consistent with the Supreme Court’s Bostock v. Clayton County decision. Our comments reflect our support for these and other clarifications.

Each of these proposed rules, if finalized, will protect consumers and improve access to equitable care for people with Medicare and for anyone seeking insurance coverage or services overseen by HHS. We applaud these steps and will continue to advocate for improvements to Medicare and the larger health system.

Read the Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule and our comments.

Read the Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance proposed rule and our comments.

Read the HHS Services Grants Regulation proposed rule and our comments.

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