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Policy Series

Policy Recommendations for the Biden Administration

The Medicare Rights Center (Medicare Rights) looks forward to working with the Biden administration to advance policies that protect and strengthen Medicare as well as the health and economic well-being of those who rely on its coverage. To facilitate this dialogue, we respectfully submitted a set of recommended actions for President-Elect Biden and his transition team’s consideration. While the majority are administrative, some require external collaboration. We encourage the new administration to work with Members of Congress, state policymakers, and stakeholders to advance these and other solutions.


Medicare Rights is a national, nonprofit organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives. We provide services and resources to nearly three million people with Medicare, family caregivers, and health care professionals each year, including through our national helpline. Every day, we help geographically and socioeconomically diverse populations tackle an array of complex Medicare-related issues, and hear directly from beneficiaries how policy decisions affect them.


These experiences are reflected in the policy changes we seek and support and inform our recommendations below.

Address Disparities and Inequities

Medicare Rights urges the administration to address disparities and inequities in order to improve health care and coverage for all. Medicare has long been a powerful tool to reduce injustice and inequality. The program played a pivotal role in “forc[ing] the desegregation of every hospital in America virtually overnight” and continues to offer coverage to all who qualify. But inequities remain. Every day, we see the destructive and persistent effects of institutionalized racism, individual bias, and systemic oppression. Medicare Rights welcomes the Biden administration’s commitment to addressing these problems directly, in ways that advance equity, justice, and access to care—including by strengthening Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act.

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Reduce Barriers to Care

The Biden administration must reduce barriers to care by making coverage more available, accessible, and affordable. On our Helpline, we frequently hear from older adults and people with disabilities who live on modest or limited incomes and are struggling to access and afford their care. These financial challenges—which have in many cases been worsened by the coronavirus pandemic—along with rising health care and prescription drug costs, antiquated coverage rules, and burdensome program requirements can make it difficult for older adults and people with disabilities to obtain the care they need. The following reforms would help reduce these barriers to care by making Medicare stronger, easier to navigate, and more affordable.

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Simplify Medicare Enrollment

Medicare Rights asks the Biden administration to simplify Medicare enrollment in order to ensure active, informed, and meaningful beneficiary choice. A rapidly aging population, complex Medicare rules and timelines, and an ever-evolving health ca landscape means a growing number of individuals will face increasingly difficult Medicare coverage decisions in the coming months and years. The Biden administration must act without delay to better empower current and future beneficiaries to make optimal choices, both initially and annually.

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Immediately Respond to COVID-19

The Medicare Rights Center encourages the Biden administration to immediately respond to COVID-19 in ways that prioritize older adults and people with disabilities.

The COVID-19 pandemic and its attendant economic fallout will have a lasting impact on people with Medicare and on the program itself. While additional interventions may be necessary as the situation evolves, the administration must first focus on reforms that are urgently needed to help people with Medicare maintain their health, safety, and independence.

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Medicare Rights provides timely updates on both the process and policies relevant to your health care each week. Sign up for our weekly e-newsletter to stay informed. View recent articles in the latest news and updates.

Policy Work

Any changes to the Medicare program must aim for healthier people, better care, and smarter spending—not paying more for less. As policymakers debate the future of health care, we will provide our insights here.

Resource Library

Our national and state policy agendas are defined by our experience serving people with Medicare on our national helpline and through our educational programs. Read our collection of reports, fact sheets, and letters to learn more about our policy positions.

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You can help protect and strengthen Medicare by taking action on the important issues we are following, subscribe to newsletter alerts, or follow along on social media. Any way you choose to get involved is a contribution that we appreciate greatly.