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Court Strikes Blow For Health Care Last week, a federal district court judge put a stop to another effort by the Administration to sabotage the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The judge’s ruling halts an attempt by the Department of Labor to expand Association Health Plans and weaken the ACA. In past Alerts, we have highlighted … Read more

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 1, 2019 CONTACT: Matthew Shepard, 202-293-5760, mshepard@medicareadvocacy.org Today the Center for Medicare Advocacy joined AARP and Justice in Aging in filing an amicus brief in Texas v. United States, urging the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the trial court’s December 2018 ruling that would nullify the entire Affordable Care … Read more

— Statement from the Medicare Rights Center and Center for Medicare Advocacy — Washington, DC – This week, the Department of Justice took a new, more extreme position in a federal case challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), agreeing with a federal district court in Texas that the entire law should be … Read more

The Center for Medicare Advocacy and the Medicare Rights Center recently issued a joint statement on the misguided decision of a federal court in Texas against the Affordable Care Act (ACA). If this decision stands, all of the ACA’s coverage and consumer protections will be null and void. People with pre-existing conditions and those who … Read more

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 17, 2018 Contact: Center for Medicare Advocacy – Matt Shepard: 202-293-5760, MShepard@MedicareAdvocacy.org Medicare Rights Center – Mitchell Clark: 212-204-6248, MClark@medicarerights.org Joint Statement from The Center for Medicare Advocacy and The Medicare Rights Center Texas Affordable Care Act Decision Flawed ACA is Still the Law of the Land Washington, D.C. – In … Read more

There are only two days left to get covered! Consumers have until December 15th to obtain health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace. Those who need coverage should visit www.healthcare.gov to shop, compare and find a plan that meets their needs. It is important to keep in mind that ACA plans prohibit annual … Read more

We have previously written about new guidance from the Administration that will make it easier for states to both ignore Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage and consumer protection rules, and weaken the ACA Marketplace. Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued waiver concepts about how states can implement the new guidance. … Read more

There is not much time left to obtain health insurance from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace during this year's Open Enrollment period. Consumers who need coverage should visit www.healthcare.gov to shop, compare and find a plan that meets their needs. Consumers should act quickly.  Not only has this year’s Open Enrollment period been shortened … Read more

Today is the first day of Open Enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace. Consumers who need coverage should visit www.healthcare.gov to shop around and find an ACA plan that meets their needs. Unfortunately, due to actions taken by the Administration to undermine the Marketplace, there is not as much assistance available to help … Read more

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 … Read more

New Legislation Dealing with Pre-existing Conditions is Not What it Seems Last week Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and others introduced the Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act. This bill would amend the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act to supposedly guarantee the availability of health coverage. The sponsors of the legislation claim that … Read more

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the final rule expanding the use of Short-Term Limited-Duration Insurance. For months, we have been highlighting how these “Junk Plans” would adversely impact both the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace and consumers with complex care needs. Short-term insurance is meant to be a … Read more

This week, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a poll showing that 56% of Americans believe that the Administration is “trying to make the ACA fail.” The polling also shows that by nearly seven to one, people think this is a negative thing. Over the last few months, we’ve highlighted negative actions taken by the Administration … Read more

Last year, we highlighted how the Administration cut funding for Affordable Care Act (ACA) outreach and enrollment assistance. They are at it again. This week it was reported that the Administration is slashing even more funding for organizations called “navigators” that assist people who need health insurance. The Washington Post reports that for the upcoming … Read more

This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their reports on the performance of the exchanges and individual health insurance market. These reports include the Early 2018 Effectuated Enrollment Snapshot, Exchange Trends Report and the Trends in Subsidized and Unsubsidized Enrollment. In the press release for these reports, CMS makes a few … Read more

Today marks the eighth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the most significant piece of healthcare legislation since Medicare was enacted in 1965. Like Medicare, the ACA provides security, peace of mind and comprehensive coverage for millions of Americans every day. The ACA has moved us closer to realizing that fair access to quality … Read more

Health Care Sabotage Continues

Throughout 2017 we called on the Administration to stop undermining the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and protect the care of millions of consumers in need of quality coverage. We highlighted the Administration’s actions cutting the ACA enrollment period in half; slashing funding for enrollment assistance, refusing to participate in enrollment events; shutting down www.healthcare.gov during … Read more

CMA Alert – Tax Cuts will Hurt, Not Help; Sherman Fairness Hearing Set; “Homebound” Settlement Objections Due; More

Words Matter. Tax Cuts Will Hurt, Not Help America Final Week in Health Care Sabotage – 2017 ACA Open Enrollment Over in Most States Social Isolation Among Older Medicare Beneficiaries Reminder: Objections to "Homebound" Settlement Due December 28, 2017 Settlement on Lower-Level Home Health Appeals Preliminarily Approved – Fairness Hearing Set for February 26, 2018 … Read more

Tax Cut Bill Just Got Worse. Health Care at Risk. This Week in Sabotage CMS Steering to Medicare Advantage Administration And Nursing Home Industry: Lockstep in Deregulating Nursing Facilities & Reducing Resident Protections Tax Cut Bill Just Got Worse.  Health Care at Risk. Free Webinar Series Next Webinar: Hospital Observation Status Update January 24, 2018 … Read more

CMA Alert, October 18, 2017 – Nursing Home Rights Roundup; ACA Stabilization; More

This Week in ACA Sabotage Bipartisan Agreement on ACA Stabilization Package Nursing Home Rights Roundup CMS Signals End of Campaign to Reduce Unnecessary Use of Antipsychotic Drugs In Nursing Homes; Claim of Success is Grossly Overstated OIG Report about Nursing Home Complaints Leaves Questions Unanswered Congressional Letter Asks for Revision and Delay of Nursing Home … Read more

CMA Alert – Joint Replacement Model Undermines Care;  OTC Hearing Aids Legislation Passed; More

Care is Compromised Under CMS’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) Model: A Case In Point Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aid Act Signed into Law Severe Harm if ACA Cost-Sharing Payments End Care is Compromised Under CMS’s Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) Model: A Case In Point On a Friday this past March, “Ms. T”, … Read more

CMA Alert – Critical Issue Roundup: MA Overpayment; HH Payment; Observation; More

Former CMS Administrator Comments on Medicare Advantage Overpayments Proposed Home Health Rules – Payments Drive Delivery of Care, Harming Beneficiaries Observation Status Harms Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries Poll: Americans Favor Making the ACA Work Former CMS Administrator Comments on Medicare Advantage Overpayments In Austin Frakt’s August 7, 2017 The Upshot blog in the New York Times … Read more

Congress is on recess, but we can’t be – the health care repeal debate continues!  In their home states and through tough, ongoing negotiations, Senators are making up their minds about the future of the ACA, Medicaid, and Medicare.  This CMA Alert provides updated “Myths & Facts” about the most recent potential changes to the … Read more

Facts should be key to participating in the debate about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its future. To help separate what is true from what is often stated, we offer the following Myths and Facts. ACA Myths ACA Facts Affordability The ACA makes it too hard for middle-income Americans to purchase insurance in the … Read more

The proposed Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal legislation, the American Health Care Act, would cause 24 million people to lose coverage by 2026 and cut Medicaid by $880 billion over the next ten years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a non-partisan, independent group of budget economists and analysts used to score the financial … Read more

March 7, 2017, Washington, DC – Last night House Republicans presented a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and cut Medicaid payments to states.  While the new bill, “America Health Care Act” (AHCA) lacks either an estimate of how many people will lose their health insurance coverage as a result of the bill … Read more

Last night, President Trump, in a speech to Congress, discussed health care but offered no new insight into his Administration’s plans concerning the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and Medicare.  A day after noting that “nobody knew health care could be so complicated”, the President stated "[t]onight, I am also calling on this Congress to repeal … Read more

Many Americans are greatly concerned that repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will once again leave people with pre-existing conditions without health insurance. The ACA replacement proposal released by Speaker Ryan on February 16 would move coverage from the general ACA marketplace to specific High Risk Insurance Pools. These High Risk Pools would separate … Read more

According to a recent report from Vox, Congressional plans to repeal key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have devastating consequences for thousands of Americans each year. Vox’s Julia Belluz cites evidence to estimate that 24,000 Americans would die annually if Congress repeals vital provisions of the ACA without simultaneously enacting an appropriate … Read more

Replace – verb – 1. To place again; to restore to a former place, position, condition, or the like. Retrench – verb – 1. Reduce amount of, cut down; economize Regress – noun –  2. Movement backward to a previous and especially worse or more primitive state or condition February 21, 2017 – Washington, DC … Read more

The Administration and the Republican Congress threaten to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and have suggested various ideas about what a replacement to ACA would include. To better understand these proposals we’ve compiled a list of ACA replacement materials available from colleagues and partnering organizations. Though there is no consensus about what an ACA … Read more

As we approach a new year, a new Administration and a new session of Congress, the catastrophic risks to health care coverage include threats to repeal the Affordable Care Act – without an agreed-upon replacement, turning Medicaid into a block grant or per capita cap program, and further privatizing Medicare. Several recently-issued/updated reports underscore some … Read more

June 25, 2015 Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision in King v. Burwell (No. 14-114), a case challenging one of the central pillars of health insurance coverage offered through the Marketplaces, also known as Exchanges, created through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The case challenged whether tax credits and subsidies that make health care more affordable for … Read more

As originally enacted, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) required each state to expand Medicaid eligibility to 138 % of the Federal Poverty Level.  However, the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court’s decision National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, changed that.  The National Federation decision gives states the option to accept federal funds, reject the funds altogether and … Read more

The open enrollment period for health insurance coverage for 2015 under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) begins November 15, 2014, and ends on February 15, 2015. More information on the ACA health insurance Marketplace is available at: https://www.healthcare.gov/ Plans With Automatic Enrollment Some individuals who are currently enrolled in a health plan through the Marketplace … Read more

Signed into law by President Obama in 2010, a primary goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is to provide health insurance for citizens who lack such coverage. This alert is designed to guide new and returning consumers on accessing the ACA’s exchanges and purchasing an appropriate policy through them. One way the ACA provides … Read more

Kaiser Family Foundation Poll: Potential Impact of Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the Mid-term Elections On September 9, 2014, the Kaiser Family Foundation issued its August – September 2014 Health Tracking Poll analyzing the potential impact of voter opinion of the Affordable Care Act on the November mid-term elections. The results found that health care broadly … Read more

The Supreme Court decision in Burwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services, et al. v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., et al. (5-4 decision), 573 U.S. ___ (2014) is ominous. Not only is the decision, and its interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFFA) a blow to a woman's access to preventive and contraceptive care, its … Read more

On February 21, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued its draft 2015 Call Letter to Medicare Advantage (MA) and Part D plan sponsors, which includes a proposed rate for MA payment for 2015.[1]  Much anticipated, the draft Call Letter, which will be finalized in April, was preceded by an aggressive advertising … Read more

Beware of Scammers Trying to Sell Marketplace Plans to People with Medicare The Health Insurance Marketplace, created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), opened for business on October 1, 2013.  Uninsured people can shop for and purchase health insurance on the Marketplace. They can also apply for public programs on the Marketplace like Medicaid and … Read more

On October 1, 2013, online health insurance Marketplaces opened in every state. These Marketplaces, which are a central feature of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), allow uninsured Americans to shop for and purchase health insurance. The Marketplaces also allow individuals to apply for Medicaid and subsides to help pay for insurance. Open enrollment will continue … Read more

Today, the Medicare Trustees issued their annual report on Medicare's financial status.   According to this year's report, the Part A (Hospital Insurance) Trust Fund has sufficient reserves to fully pay Medicare benefits until 2026 – two more years than projected in last year's report.  Since 1970, the Trustees have projected the Medicare Trust Fund would … Read more

This article is part of a NAELA Journal symposium edition that focuses on "The Future of Elder Law and Special Needs Planning." This article will provide an overview of the policy debate that led to the creation of the Medicare program.  It will identify key cost and quality problems facing the program and review solutions … Read more

It has been three years since the landmark Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law on March 23, 2010.[1]   As the law approaches full implementation, ACA has already increased access to needed health services, reduced costs and improved care for millions.  Yet, as this progress continues and the law's most impactful provisions near implementation, … Read more

In the past few weeks, the media spotlight on the country's fiscal issues has led to a flurry of attacks on Medicare.[1] Pundits and some policymakers decry Medicare spending as "the largest driver of the federal debt" and argue that the program on which millions of American families rely is unsustainable and must be radically … Read more

Under the Affordable Care Act, states will be eligible for greatly increased federal-match payments beginning in 2014 if they expand their Medicaid programs to cover adults with incomes up to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL).  In a letter dated December 10, 2012, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Kathleen Sebelius said that … Read more

Over two years after becoming law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to improve health care and lower costs for millions of Americans, including those who rely on Medicare. The recent election was key to the future of the landmark legislation, which will expand access to health care coverage and work to improve quality of … Read more

Medicare: Just the Facts! Misinformation about Medicare and the Affordable Care Act is widespread and increasing as the election nears.  Below, we try to dispel misinformation and base discussions on a factual foundation.  Spread the word. Help set the record straight! The Fact Here's Why The Affordable Care Act does NOT cut Medicare for beneficiaries. … Read more

Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted once again to repeal the Affordable Care Act with a 244-185 vote. Despite the Supreme Court affirming the law, House leaders proceeded in scheduling yet another vote to end it – the 33rd such attempt. Meanwhile, more data has been released showing the Affordable Care Act continues to help … Read more