Trump Administration Proposes ACA Changes That Would Weaken Nondiscrimination Protections

Julie CarterMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

On June 14, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a proposed rule that would significantly weaken the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) nondiscrimination protections. Section 1557 of the ACA makes it illegal for providers that receive federal funding to discriminate in the provision of health care on the basis of race, color, national origin (including language access), age, disability or sex. HHS is now seeking to limit those protections, changes that would put many already vulnerable populations—including older adults, people with disabilities, people with limited English proficiency, and LGBTQ individuals—at risk of losing access to care. Read More...

New Report Examines Medicare Advantage Supplemental Benefit Policies

Lindsey CopelandMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

A new report from the AARP Public Policy Institute examines changes to Medicare Advantage (MA) supplemental benefit policies and the implications for people with Medicare. MA plans have long been able to offer benefits beyond what is required by law. However, the recent Balanced Budget Act of 2018 and regulatory decisions, including those in the 2019 Part C and D final rule and the Final Call Letter for 2019, have greatly increased this authority. Read More...

GAO Report Finds Medicare Plan Finder Needs Significant Improvements

Julie CarterMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

Medicare Plan Finder (MPF) is a primary way for people with Medicare to understand and compare their coverage choices. MPF should allow beneficiaries, caregivers, and unbiased counselors to find the coverage that best serves the needs of the individual. A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) agrees with previous research on MPF that the tool has significant problems that interfere with its usefulness. Read More...

New Legislation Looks to Address High and Rising Drug Prices

Lindsey CopelandMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

This week, the Senate Finance Committee unveiled long-awaited drug pricing legislation, the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act (PDPRA) of 2019. The bill outlines a number of changes to address the problem of high and rising drug prices within the Medicare program, including a redesign of the Part D benefit and the imposition of inflationary rebates. Read More...