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).