Medicare Rights NY is a monthly email newsletter with updates on health policy and advocacy developments in New York State and their impact on older adults and people with disabilities.

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The Coalition to Protect the Rights of New York’s Dually Eligible (CPRNYDE) is a diverse group of over 50 consumer-based interests, agencies, and perspectives working to shape the managed care programs that coordinate care for 760,000 older and disabled New Yorkers who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

CPRNDYE is the lead organization of the Voices for Better Health Project in New York, an initiative funded by Community Catalyst that seeks to improve the quality and affordability of care for people with both Medicare and Medicaid. The effort is spearheaded by the Medicare Rights Center and eight other Steering Committee organizations that provide a wealth of expertise and resources to CPRNYDE’s advocacy work. Visit www.nyduals.org to learn more about the coalition and its work.

Fully Integrated Duals Advantage (FIDA):
A Toolkit for New York City and Nassau County Providers

Certain adults in New York City and Nassau County are now eligible to enroll in a Fully Integrated Duals Advantage (FIDA) plan, launched by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the New York State Department of Health in 2015. FIDA gives dually eligible beneficiaries (those eligible for Medicare and Medicaid) the option of enrolling in a plan that provides both their Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Individuals are eligible who are over 21, have both Medicare and Medicaid, and receive four months or more (120+ days) of long term care services.

The Medicare Rights Center, with support from the New York State Health Foundation and Community Catalyst, has created a toolkit specifically for health care providers to assist them in understanding FIDA as it rolls out. Toolkit materials are intended to help providers understand FIDA’s promise of care coordination, provider roles in the FIDA program, and how providers can help their patients make the best coverage choices for their needs.

View the toolkit.

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The New York State Medicare Savings Coalition, led by the Medicare Rights Center, is an alliance of over 150 community-based organizations, advocacy groups and government agencies in New York State. The Coalition is not intended for or open to employees of health insurance companies, health insurance agents or brokers, self-employed individuals, or individuals employed by private for-profit businesses. By bringing government officials and advocates together in dialogue, our meetings offer Coalition members the opportunity to review the latest information on implementing health care programs for people with limited incomes.

Coalition members stay connected through regular e-mail updates, conference calls, enrollment initiatives and advocacy projects. This ongoing exchange allows us to share knowledge about enrollment strategies and compare case scenarios.

Medicare Rights Deputization Project

The Medicare Rights Center hosts periodic deputization trainings on Medicare Savings Program (MSP) screening and enrollment protocol for community professionals who would like to better assist their clients in accessing these under-utilized benefits. Each individual enrolled in an MSP is also enrolled in the Extra Help subsidy of the Medicare Part D drug  benefit, and the minimum value of these two benefits combined is $5,000 per year.

Medicare Rights’ deputization trainings cover MSP eligibility and application processes, and provide the opportunity for professionals to ask questions and subsequently submit their clients’ MSP applications through Medicare Rights for editing and submitting to the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA). The proven advantage of submitting MSPs through Medicare Rights to HRA is that Medicare Rights has a relationship with HRA whereby MSP application acceptances and rejections are shared directly with our staff, and we can troubleshoot complicated cases. This kind of intervention often leads to a denied individual receiving a needed benefit. Medicare Rights shares all results from HRA with its deputized partners, who in turn become more skilled at navigating MSP screening and enrollment processes. These robust collaborations enable both Medicare Rights and deputized partners to more effectively track issues related to MSP enrollment citywide and to remedy with HRA where possible.

After a deputization training, your staff and volunteers will be able to better help your clients apply for MSPs through Medicare Rights. Each training includes the following components:

  • The New York City benefits landscape and how deputization works
  • The nuts and bolts of Medicare Savings Program screening and enrollment
  • Navigating the MSP application process with clients

Please note that this training is not open to employees of health insurance companies, health insurance agents or brokers, self-employed individuals, or individuals employed by private businesses.

For more information about the Deputization Project, contact Emily Balkan at ebalkan@medicarerights.org.