If health care advocacy were a sport, there’d be no question about our defensive strategy. Much of our collective efforts over the last few years have centered around defeating threats to Medicaid and Medicare, and protecting the Affordable Care Act. Defense is crucial; defense is where games are lost. And defense is exciting. There’s a palpable urgency in the crunch to defend needed programs that piques the interest of otherwise passive spectators, and as our state partners have seen,.... Read More
Medicare Advantage Plans Cleared To Go Beyond Medical Coverage — Even Groceries
Air conditioners for people with asthma, healthy groceries, rides to medical appointments and home-delivered meals may be among the new benefits offered to Medicare beneficiaries who choose private sector health plans, when new federal rules take effect next year.
On April 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expanded how it defines the “primarily health-related” benefits that private insurers are allowed to include in their Medicare Advantage policies. And insurers would include these extras on top of providing the benefits traditional Medicare provides.
“Medicare Advantage beneficiaries will have more supplemental benefits, making it easier for them to lead healthier, more independent lives,” said CMS.... Read More
Southeast Asian Americans Speak Out to Protect Affordable Healthcare
For many Southeast Asian Americans, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal fight last year felt personal.
When the ACA was first passed, uninsured rates in Cambodian, Hmong, Lao, and Vietnamese American communities were high. Compared to the 15% of Americans overall who did not have health insurance in 2011, 20% of Cambodian, 20% of Vietnamese, 19% of Laotian, and 16% of Hmong Americans were uninsured. Too many families used emergency rooms as last-resort healthcare providers or went for years without regular check-ups.
Only four years later in 2015, the uninsured rate was cut in half. Thousands of families were finally accessing the preventative and life-saving care that they needed. Some accessed care through the healthcare exchange, supported by subsidies to.... Read More
What Advocates for Older Adults Need to Know About the Budget Resolution
If you work with older adults (or have older adults in your life), you have a sense of what we all need as we age. The burden of high health care and housing costs on low-income seniors is growing, and fewer seniors can meet these basic needs: hot meals and enough food to eat, a stable home in the community, and quality health care. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans passed a budget resolution that would make this vision of aging more and more rare. The budget resolution.... Read More
Diverse Elders Coalition urges CMS Innovation Center to identify and meet the needs of diverse older adults
Contact: Jenna McDavid, National Managing Coordinator 646-653-5015
Today, the Diverse Elders Coalition (DEC) submitted a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center in response to a request for feedback on a proposed new direction for the Center. In the DEC’s comments, we urged CMS to keep the needs of diverse older adults at the forefront of their work, and to make every effort to identify the diverse elders in the U.S. population by collecting comprehensive, disaggregated data about race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
by Seema Verma, CMS Administrator. This post originally appeared on the CMS blog. To read this article in Spanish, click here.
When you get your new Medicare card in the mail, keep it safe! Guard your card to prevent fraud.
As you may have heard, or perhaps you’ve seen a recent TV commercial, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will soon be issuing every Medicare beneficiary a new Medicare Card, without Social Security Numbers, to prevent fraud, fight identity theft, and keep taxpayer dollars safe, and to help ensure that we always put the needs of patients first.
It’s unfortunate that criminals are increasingly targeting people age 65 or.... Read More
Open Enrollment Season is Right Around the Corner – Are You Ready to #GetCovered?
This past week, I flipped my calendar from August to September, and I started thinking about pumpkins and sweet potatoes, hot chocolate, leaves changing color – and open enrollment for health insurance! This time of year is vitally important to diverse elders, because both Medicare and the Affordable Care Act have had a profound impact on our ability to age with health and dignity. Read on for more information and key dates around healthcare open enrollment, and make sure you’re ready to #GetCovered!
Medicare Open Enrollment October 15 – December 7, 2017
Medicare has a huge impact on diverse elders’ ability to get care. Various studies have found that
46% of Latino older adults 43% of Asian.... Read More
Are you managing multiple chronic health conditions? Medicare can help!
Managing your health can be challenging, especially if you have two or more chronic conditions or illnesses. The Connected Care campaign offers information to help you take advantage of new Medicare services that pay for comprehensive care management particularly needed by patients dealing with multiple chronic conditions. If you have Medicare and live with two or more chronic conditions, you may be eligible for chronic care management (CCM) services to help you maximize your health and spend more time with your loved ones.
What does CCM mean for you?
CCM means having a continuous relationship with a.... Read More
People across our country are enjoying longer lives. In fact, 10,000 people are turning 65 every day. This is great news for all of us, as we have longer to enjoy the intergenerational relationships that make our families stronger. However, it provides a challenge for our caregiving infrastructure.
These demographic shifts are putting an increased demand on our families, our finances, and on our care system in ways we didn’t anticipate. With some forethought, investment and planning, we can prepare for them. Instead of preparing for the future, though, we’re facing unprecedented attacks on the care we already have. Republicans in Congress are trying to take us back decades right when we need to provide more care, not less.
Last week, the Diverse Elders Coalition traveled to Alexandria, VA for the Oral Health America Medicare Symposium. Advocates, policymakers, and providers convened for this Symposium to discuss how to get a dental benefit included in Medicare. A recent study found that 52% of older adults are unaware that Medicare doesn’t cover routine dental care – maybe you didn’t know that, either!
Given how important oral health is to overall health – if you can’t chew or swallow food, or if you are living with chronic pain from infection or gum disease, your overall health is certainly impacted! – it is shocking that once an elder turns 65, they are their own for.... Read More