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  1. Center for Medicare Advocacy Urges No Changes to Federal Poverty Measures without Knowing the Impact
  2. Ways & Means Committee Marks Up BENES Act and Other Medicare-Related Provisions
  3. Latest Issue – Elder Justice Newsletter
  4. In Case You Missed It – New Jimmo Improvement Standard Issue Brief

Center for Medicare Advocacy Urges No Changes to Federal Poverty Measures without Knowing the Impact

On June 21, 2019, the Center submitted comments to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on a proposal to change the method for calculating the annual adjustment of income measures such as the Official Poverty Measure (OPM). We strongly urged OMB not to make the proposed change without conducting extensive research and analysis on the impact on seniors, particularly low income seniors.

“The Center opposes the use of any slower and more inaccurate inflation measure for the annual adjustments of the Official Poverty Measure (OPM) used by public benefit programs. The proposal to lower the poverty line by applying a smaller cost-of-living adjustment each year, using either the chained CPI or the Personal Consumption Expenditures Price Index (PCEPI) in place of the CPI-U would make poverty measurement less accurate, thereby making information on which benefit eligibility determinations are made inaccurate and unreliable.”

Read the full comments at: https://www.medicareadvocacy.org/center-comments-on-calculating-federal-poverty-levels/

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Ways & Means Committee Marks Up BENES Act and Other Medicare-Related Provisions

On June 25, 2019, the Center sent a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee, to thank the Committee for its work addressing important beneficiary-related issues in the Beneficiary Education Tools Telehealth Extender Reauthorization (BETTER) Act of 2019, legislation that will assist individuals in making Medicare decisions as well as support low-income beneficiaries. In particular, the Center expressed support for the following provisions in the BETTER Act of 2019:

  • Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act, which prevents costly Medicare enrollment errors. The bill would direct the federal government to notify individuals approaching Medicare eligibility about basic enrollment rules, and would update enrollment timelines to eliminate needless breaks in coverage, and inform future policymaking on enrollment period alignment.
  • Limited Income Newly Eligible Transition Program (LI NET) being made permanent, which is a crucial program for low-income older adults who are eligible for the Part D Low Income Subsidy (LIS), but have not yet chosen a Part D plan, or been auto-assigned to a plan.
  • Extension of funding for outreach and assistance for low-income programs, including the State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs).

Read the full letter at: https://www.medicareadvocacy.org/center-letter-in-support-of-legislation-to-help-beneficiaries-make-medicare-decisions/

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Latest Issue – Elder Justice Newsletter

Elder Justice: What “No Harm” Really Means for Residents is a newsletter published by the Center for Medicare Advocacy and the Long Term Care Community Coalition. The purpose of the newsletter is to provide residents, families, friends, and advocates information on what exactly a “no harm” deficiency is and what it means for nursing home residents. Our latest issue has real stories from nursing homes in New York, California, Maryland, and Michigan.

Read it now at: https://www.medicareadvocacy.org/newsletter-elder-justice-what-no-harm-really-means-for-residents/

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In Case You Missed It – New Jimmo Improvement Standard Issue Brief

The 2013 Settlement in Jimmo v. Sebelius confirmed that Medicare coverage should be determined based on a beneficiary’s need for skilled care (nursing or therapy), not on the individual’s potential for improvement.

Unfortunately, more than six years after the Settlement’s approval, the Center still regularly hears from Medicare beneficiaries and providers across the country about problems with the implementation of the Settlement. With support from the John A. Hartford Foundation, the Center compiled this Issue Brief to provide Medicare stakeholders with an overview of the Jimmo Settlement, what it means in different care settings, some of the Center’s key implementation work, and links and references to helpful resource materials.

Read the full Issue Brief at: https://www.medicareadvocacy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Jimmo-Improvement-Standard-Issue-brief-June-2019.pdf

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