Medicare Basics

  • Good News for Seniors! Medicare Counseling Program Funded for FY 2018

    By on March 27, 2018

    Good news! Our national SHIP program is saved! The Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP – known as Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program-HICAP- in California) is funded for FY 2018. Even though the Administration and the House proposed eliminating this program, the final omnibus appropriations bill signed into law on March 23,...

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  • New Medicare Cards Are Coming Starting in April!

    By on March 19, 2018

    Have you heard about your new Medicare card coming this spring? Medicare will start mailing these new cards beginning in April 2018. In California, they will arrive between April and June 2018. You don’t need to do anything to get your new Medicare card — it will automatically be mailed to you and it...

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  • What Does Medicare Assistance Mean to You? Contact Congress Today!

    By on March 8, 2018

    Last year, Frank Mirabella underwent sinus surgery that racked up a hospital bill of almost $23,000. He expected Medicare to pay for it. But Mirabella, 76, received a letter from Sutter Health, a large health system in Northern California, explaining that the federal health program for seniors wouldn’t cover the surgery because he had...

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  • How Does the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 Affect Medicare?

    By on February 22, 2018

    In early February, Congress passed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 which includes several changes to the Medicare program and to other health programs affecting older adults, people with disabilities and families with low incomes. Below is a summary of the Medicare changes outlined in Justice in Aging’s fact sheet. Funding for Outreach to...

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  • Do You Know What Preventive Care Medicare Covers?

    By on February 15, 2018

    Did you know that Medicare covers the entire cost of some preventive services? Preventive care is the care you receive to prevent illness, detect medical conditions, and keep you healthy. If you meet the eligibility requirements and guidelines for a preventive service, Part B of Original Medicare or your Medicare Advantage Plan must cover...

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  • Pass the BENES Act to Simplify Medicare Enrollment

    By on January 30, 2018

    Last week U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, pushed for passage of the Medicare Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act during a hearing, “Turning 65: Navigating Critical Decisions to Age Well.” This was introduced as H.R. 2575 last year. The bipartisan BENES Act (S....

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  • Weigh In Today & Tell HHS to Strengthen & Protect Medicare

    By on January 23, 2018

    The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an informal request for information(RFI) in late December, with significant implications for Medicare and Medicaid. Comments are due January 25. Below is an alert from the Medicare Rights Center and their template to use to weigh...

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  • Just a Few Days Left! Medicare’s Open Enrollment Ends Dec 7

    By on December 4, 2017

    Procrastination is a common human trait, and if that’s one you or someone you know has applied to the sometimes-daunting-task of reviewing your health care options for 2018, now is the time to take action. Medicare’s open enrollment period ends Monday Dec 7. Each year this open enrollment period, also known as the Annual...

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  • Extension of Equitable Relief for Beneficiaries Dually Enrolled in Medicare and Marketplace

    By on October 17, 2017

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is extending the deadline through Sept 30, 2018, for equitable relief assistance to Medicare beneficiaries currently enrolled in Medicare Part A and the Marketplace for individuals or families. This assistance provides eligible individuals with an opportunity to enroll in Medicare Part B without penalty. Further, CMS is offering assistance to...

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  • Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period Begins on Oct 15!

    By on October 3, 2017

    Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period offers an important opportunity each year to review and make changes to your coverage. It runs from October 15 – December 7 and any plan or coverage changes you make, become effective as of January 1. Below are 3 helpful tips for knowing the changes you can make and how...

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