Medicare Rights Asks CMS to Ensure Important Relief Opportunity Is Available to Those Who Need It, Now and in the Future

Lindsey CopelandMedicare Watch0 Comments

Today, the Medicare Rights Center and a diverse coalition of 80 state and national organizations representing health plans, consumers, and advocates urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to retain a policy that helps some Medicare beneficiaries correct problems with their Part B enrollment resulting from confusion or misinformation with Medicare and the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces. Under this relief, Medicare-eligible individuals with Marketplace coverage can apply to enroll in Part B without penalty, and those who have already transitioned to Medicare can request that any Part B late enrollment penalties be reduced or eliminated. Read More...

Center for Medicare Advocacy Releases Analysis of Various Medicare Advantage Changes

Casey SchwarzMedicare Watch0 Comments

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This week, the Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) released an issue brief that examines the details and legal underpinnings of several proposed and upcoming changes to the Medicare Advantage (MA) program. Designed to be a resource for advocates and attorneys, CMA’s analysis combines several disparate sources of MA changes, including recently signed legislation, regulatory rulemaking, and sub-regulatory guidance. It also predicts some of the consequences of these changes on, among other things, beneficiary decision-making and informed choice. The brief outlines the changes to MA made in the Balanced Budget Act of 2018 (BBA), in the Part C and D final rule issued earlier this year, and in the Final Call Letter for 2019. Read More...

Medicare Rights Comments on Proposed Changes to Medicare’s DME Program

Lindsey CopelandMedicare Watch, Uncategorized0 Comments

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This week, the Medicare Rights Center submitted comments in response to a proposal from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) that would, in part, make major changes to the Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics, and Supplies (DMEPOS) Competitive Bidding Program. Through the DMEPOS bidding program, medical equipment suppliers compete for Medicare’s business based on quality and price, by submitting bids to serve beneficiaries in a specified geographical region. In the proposed rule, CMS is seeking to effectively suspend this program when current contracts expire at the end of 2018, and until new contracts are awarded under the outlined new payment methodology. CMS does not provide a time frame for when new contracts would begin. Read More...

Tell Congress to Preserve Beneficial Changes to the Part D Donut Hole

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch0 Comments

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Efforts are underway right now to roll back critical reforms to the Medicare Part D donut hole, or coverage gap, that help reduce out-of-pocket costs for people with Medicare, especially those who face the highest prescription drug costs. We need your help! Ask your Members of Congress to maintain the Part D donut hole changes that will improve the health and economic security of people with Medicare and their families. Read More...

Administration Challenge to ACA’s Pre-Existing Condition Protections at Odds With Public Opinion

Casey SchwarzMedicare Watch0 Comments

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A federal court is considering a challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) protections for people with pre-existing conditions that a number of state attorneys general have filed and the Trump Administration has chosen not to defend. But the public—including most Republicans—want those protections preserved. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll finds that 72-75% of Americans say that it is “very important” to keep provisions that stop insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more based on medical history. Over 55% of Republicans said it was very important to do so. It is also the 90th time that the foundation has asked about the public’s opinion of the ACA generally, and this month 50% view the law favorably, while 40% view it unfavorably. Read More...