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  1. Campaign Codewords from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
  2. Health Care Sabotage: Administration Issues New Guidance Making it Easier to Ignore ACA Rules
  3. Medicare Enrollment Reminder: Be Fully Informed
  4. Checklist for Medicare Nursing Home “Improvement Standard” Denials

Campaign Codewords from the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

Earlier this week the National Committee shared a list of “Campaign Codewords” to watch out for this election season. Here’s what some of the phrases they highlighted (and one of our own) will really mean when you hear them.

When You Hear…

 

It REALLY Means…

"Reform"/"Save"

Privatize it!

"Raise the Retirement Age"

Cut Benefits

“Vouchers”

Privatize it!

"Medicaid Block Grants"

Cut Payments and Access

“Premium Support”

Privatize it!

“Chained CPI”

Stingier Cost of Living Formula

“Increase Consumer Choice”

Privatize it!

“Means Testing”

Turn Medicare into welfare

 
Don’t forget Medicare this election season!
See what you can do at www.savemedicarenow.org.  
#SaveMedicareNow

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Health Care Sabotage: Administration Issues New Guidance Making it Easier to Ignore ACA Rules

This week the Administration issued new guidance that will make it easier for states to ignore Affordable Care Act (ACA) rules and weaken the ACA Marketplace. The new guidance concerns state innovation waivers which would allow states to expand inadequate coverage such as short-term plans and Association Health Plans. As Politico reports, “Many health insurance experts warn the move could essentially create two health insurance markets – one for healthy people who opt for the cheaper plans and another for sicker patients who will face spiraling costs.”

We have extensively highlighted the dangers of expanding junk insurance. Such plans have high out-of-pocket costs; aren’t required to cover essential health benefits; may discriminate based on age or gender; and may impose lifetime and annual limits. These plans also weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions. 

The New York Times quotes an anonymous administration official as saying “no waivers that would erode protections for pre-existing conditions will be approved.” But as the article also states, that particular “assurance is not found in the guidance.”

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Medicare Enrollment Reminder: Be Fully Informed

The Center for Medicare Advocacy and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare have partnered to develop an education and outreach project to support Medicare beneficiaries and those who assist them enroll and re-enroll in Medicare. The Medicare Fully Informed Project provides a variety of unbiased, accurate and comprehensive information about the full range of Medicare coverage options, and includes an array of tools to assist in making the best individual enrollment choices.

The goal of the Medicare Fully Informed Project is to help by providing a variety of educational tools for beneficiaries, and those who help beneficiaries, make enrollment decisions. We hope these various formats will help beneficiaries make fully informed Medicare and related health care coverage decisions. Project materials include the following:

Developed with support from the John A. Hartford Foundation

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Checklist for Medicare Nursing Home “Improvement Standard” Denials

With support from the John A. Hartford Foundation, the Center for Medicare Advocacy has produced a new Checklist to help Medicare beneficiaries and their families respond to unfair Medicare denials for skilled nursing facility care based on an erroneous “Improvement Standard.” The Checklist outlines the coverage criteria for SNF care and emphasizes language from the Jimmo Settlement Agreement.  Per the Settlement, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) revised the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual to clearly disavow any notion that individuals receiving care in a SNF must improve in order for their care to be covered by Medicare.

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