Medicare Basics

  • New Class of Hospital Patients May Gain Access to Appeal “Observation Status”

    By on August 1, 2017

    A new ruling yesterday in Alexander v. Price, 3:11-CV-1703 (MPS) certified a class composed of all Medicare beneficiaries who, since January 1, 2009, have received or will have received “observation services” as an outpatient during a hospitalization. This ruling is a first crucial step in creating a legal right where Medicare beneficiaries placed in...

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  • CHA Calls for Restored SHIP Funding for FY 2018

    By on July 18, 2017

    Last week, the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its FY18 bill, and among the cuts in programs that older adults rely upon was the total elimination of funding for the Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) -- this is called the Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) in California. With full committee...

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  • BENEs Act Improves & Simplifies Medicare Part B Eligibility Notices & Enrollment

    By on July 13, 2017

    The basic rules underpinning the Part B enrollment system were developed more than fifty years ago, when Medicare was first established. The Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (H.R. 2575) offers long-overdue solutions to modernize and simplify Part B enrollment. Through bipartisan, low-cost reforms, the BENES Act shields people with Medicare from steep...

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  • Call Today to Save Our Health Care & Say No to AHCA ~ National Call-In Day 6/14

    By on June 14, 2017

    Join us and advocates, organizations, agencies and people around the country in calling your Senators today to demand they say NO to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and protect our health care. To reach your Senators, call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224‐3121. Ask them to demand the legislation be made public and that public hearings...

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  • American Health Care Act = Unaffordable Health Care for Millions of Americans

    By on June 12, 2017

    Plain and simple, the American Health Care Act would make health care unaffordable and inaccessible for millions of Americans. The facts about the devastating impacts this legislation would have on people, and older adults in particular, is disturbing. Below is a short summary from AARP of the AHCA’s impact on older Californians. The bill...

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  • The AHCA Would Leave Many Older Californians Without Health Care

    By on June 6, 2017

    The American Health Care Act (AHCA) would make it harder for older adults in California to afford the health care they need. Older Californians may lose access to nursing home care, home health care, and other services that help them maintain their independence, and many older adults, particularly those ages 50-64, may not be...

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  • 1/4 of Medicare Beneficiaries Spend at Least 20% of Income on Health Care

    By on June 1, 2017

    Did you know that more than one-fourth of all Medicare beneficiaries—15 million people—spend 20% or more of their incomes on premiums plus medical care, including cost-sharing and uncovered services? This is a big financial burden, and beneficiaries with incomes below 200% of the poverty level (just under $24,000 for a single person) and those...

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  • Learn 10 Facts About Medicare’s Financial Outlook

    By on May 25, 2017

    Did you know that, contrary to what some believe, Medicare’s financial status has improved since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed in 2010?  And that repealing the ACA’s provisions related to Medicare would actually increase program spending and worsen the financial outlook for the program? The overall rate of Medicare program spending growth has...

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  • Tell Congress to Support and Fund Our SHIPs

    By on May 11, 2017

    Recent budget proposals both from the President and Congress would dramatically reduce or eliminate funding for our country’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). In California, our SHIP is called Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP), serving over 5.6 million Medicare beneficiaries statewide. SHIP, HICAP in California, is a lifeline for beneficiaries struggling...

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  • Why You’re Getting a New Medicare Card & Scams to Watch Out For

    By on May 3, 2017

    Congress passed the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 a couple years ago with the aim of decreasing Medicare beneficiaries’ vulnerability to identity theft. They aim to do this by replacing Social Security numbers with new Medicare Beneficiary Identifiers (MBI) on Medicare cards. This welcome change is a major undertaking involving various steps and a set...

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