by Leland Kiang, LICSW. Leland is the Information & Referral Manager at IONA Senior Services in Washington, DC. IONA supports people as they experience the challenges and opportunities of aging by educating, advocating, and providing community-based services to help people age well and live well. This post originally appeared the IONA website.
No matter your party affiliation, this election may have inspired you to get more involved in the political process. And why shouldn’t you? Like it or not, the federal government directly impacts each of our lives through programs as diverse as education to veterans’ benefits.
Federal laws dictate what Medicare covers, how much Social Security pays.... Read More
With the confirmation of Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), diverse elders may have more questions than ever about the future of the Affordable Care Act. The Diverse Elders Coalition will make protecting healthcare access a priority in the coming months, and as we learn more about the fate of the ACA, we will communicate that on our blog and social media.
In the meantime, here are some questions and answers about the Affordable Care Act and where things stand right now. If you have additional questions, please reach out to the health navigators.... Read More
What the Repeal of the Affordable Care Act Means for My Wife and Me
For my wife, Mala, and me, this decision and the ensuing uncertainty is literally a matter of life or death. We’re middle-aged, self-employed elder caregivers. We’re not alone. Repealing the ACA puts people like us in a hopeless situation. As caregivers, we can’t take the full-time jobs that provide health care (even supposing they’d hire us so easily). But as self-employed people, we need access to affordable healthcare, or else we are one minor emergency away from.... Read More
Join us in DC to Speak Up About Aging in Our Communities
The need for the voices of diverse elders is more apparent than ever before. With the introduction of each new piece of legislation that threatens older adults in this country — such as the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, and immigration policies that will separate families and caregivers — it becomes even more important for us to speak up, tell our stories, and push back against policies that will devastate our communities.
Join us! On Thursday, February 23rd at 10am EST, the Diverse Elders Coalition will be hosting a Congressional Briefing in Washington, DC to release our new report, “Aging with Health and Dignity: Diverse Elders Speak Up.” This report is based on the nearly 5,000 comments.... Read More
Repealing the Affordable Care Act without a Replacement Hurts Seniors
by Jennifer Goldberg, Directing Attorney of the Justice in Aging Health Team. This post originally appeared on the Justice in Aging website.
Every day, whether seniors need to see a doctor, receive care in their home, or pay for prescription drugs, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are lifelines for older adults. However, the entire health care system upon which older adults rely is at risk in the new Congress. Changes to the ACA will dramatically alter the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and jeopardize the care seniors receive each day.
The ACA is under immediate threat in the next Congress. Over 30 million individuals risk losing coverage if the ACA is repealed. This includes over.... Read More
It’s Open Enrollment Season! Find a Health Insurance Plan Now at Healthcare.gov
It’s that time of year: Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment on Healthcare.gov. From now until January 31, 2017, Americans can elect to purchase healthcare coverage for 2017. And while there has been a lot of discussion about the cost of Obamacare for consumers, more than 70% of consumers will be able to find an insurance plan on the Marketplace that will cost them less than $75/month.
“Thanks to financial assistance, most Marketplace consumers this year will find plan options with premiums between $50 and $100 per month,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “Millions of uninsured Americans qualify for financial assistance, and so could as many as 2.5 million Americans currently paying full price for off-Marketplace coverage. I encourage anyone.... Read More
Winning Strategies to Protect Consumers from Surprise Medical Bills
Even consumers who do their best to get care from providers in their networks may still be charged unexpectedly for out-of-network care – an issue otherwise known as surprise medical bills or balance billing.
Currently, no federal standards on surprise medical bills exist, but the recently updated NAIC network adequacy model act and CMS’ proposed Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) for 2017 can bolster both federal and state action to protect consumers. However, because both the model act and the NBPP set a minimum floor even if implemented, state-driven protections are still the most effective way to shield consumers from unexpected.... Read More
Ringing in a New Year at the Diverse Elders Coalition
As we flip our calendars from 2015 to 2016 (assuming you still actually use a paper calendar, that is), I find myself really excited about the initiatives that the Diverse Elders Coalition will be working on in the coming year. This promises to be a milestone year for our elders and their communities, with a presidential election in the balance and the continued “graying” and “browning” of America as our population grows older and more ethnically and racially diverse.
Here are just a few of the things I’m looking forward to in 2016:
ACA Enrollment: January 31st is the last day on which Americans can enroll in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. (Note that members of federally-recognized American.... Read More
What Should We Hope To Achieve Through Health System Transformation?
This is the first in a blog series outlining Community Catalyst’s policy priorities for Health System Transformation. Each subsequent blog will take a deeper dive into one of the six areas we believe must be addressed to achieve better care, better value and better health.
Although much work remains to fully realize the coverage vision embodied in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), another aspect of the ACA—how we deliver and pay for health care—is receiving increasing attention. To date, the bulk of this attention has come from providers and public and private payers. But consumer advocates are coming to the table, increasingly recognizing that critical decisions about access, quality and affordability are being made.
November 1st marks the beginning of an open enrollment period for the Health Insurance Marketplace. From now until January 31, 2016, Americans can elect to purchase healthcare coverage from HealthCare.gov for 2016. (American Indian/Alaska Native members of federally recognized tribes can enroll in the Marketplace any time of year and are not subject to this deadline.) Additionally, eight out of ten people who enrolled in a healthcare plan through the Marketplace qualified for financial help to make their monthly premiums more affordable.
Why do we at the Diverse Elders Coalition care about the ACA and open enrollment? Research shows that people of color, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and LGBT people deal with significant physical and mental health disparities. An older.... Read More