Medicare Rights Calls on Congress to Pass the BENES Act This Year

Lindsey CopelandMedicare Watch0 Comments

On December 19, the Medicare Rights Center joined over 70 organizations in asking House and Senate leaders to pass the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (S. 1909; HR 2575) by year’s end.

Currently, far too many people with Medicare are irreversibly harmed due to the cumbersome and confusing Part B enrollment system. The consequences of these missteps can be significant—often leading to a lifetime of higher premiums, substantial out-of-pocket health care costs, gaps in coverage, and barriers to accessing needed services.

The bicameral, bipartisan BENES Act aims to prevent these costly mistakes by modernizing and simplifying the Medicare Part B enrollment process. Among its improvements, the bill would fill long-standing education gaps for people nearing Medicare eligibility, by ensuring they receive a clear and detailed notice explaining Part B enrollment rules. The bill would also align Part B enrollment periods with those of private insurance, including Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. By making these and other changes, the BENES Act guarantees that people with Medicare will no longer go without needed care or face senseless gaps in Part B coverage due to outdated enrollment rules.

Medicare Rights strongly supports the BENES Act. Passage this year presents an important opportunity for members of Congress to advance commonsense, low-cost reforms that are in the best interest of the millions of Americans who will soon come to rely on Medicare. Help us simplify the complicated and outdated Part B enrollment process. Urge your members of Congress to prioritize the BENES Act for passage this year!

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The BENES Act was developed by the Medicare Rights Center and championed by Congressmen Raul Ruiz (D-CA) and Patrick Meehan (R-PA) as well as Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Todd Young (R-IN). The Act’s 70+ organizational supporters include a diverse array of stakeholder, provider, and advocacy groups who share a commitment to advancing the health and economic security of older adults, people with disabilities, and their families.

Read the letter of support.

Read a one-page description of the BENES Act.

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