House Hearing Highlights the BENES Act ~ Let’s Get it Passed in 2020

House Hearing Highlights the BENES Act ~ Let’s Get it Passed in 2020

Last week the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing called, “Legislation to Improve Americans’ Health Care Coverage and Outcomes.” In it they highlighted the bipartisan bill, the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (H.R. 2477) which would improve the Medicare Part B enrollment process to help stop people approaching Medicare eligibility from making costly mistakes.

 

Far too many people (an estimated 760,000 in 2018) who made an honest mistake or were misinformed about the consequences of delaying their Medicare Part B enrollment when 65 end up with gaps in coverage and a lifetime of paying a Medicare Part B late enrollment penalty. This is too easy to do as currently there is virtually no notification for the growing number of people who are working longer, delaying their Social Security benefit and/or who already have coverage through COBRA, a retiree plan or the marketplace when they are approaching 65.

 

The BENES Act would remedy this situation by providing 1) a much needed simplification of the Medicare enrollment process, and 2) improving the notification process of Medicare eligibility and the consequences of not signing up when eligible.

 

We invite you to join us in urging Congress to pass the BENES Act in 2020.

Karen Fletcher
Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.

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