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Medicaid Archives - JUSTICE IN AGING

Justice in Aging and Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation Offer Recommendations to Improve Non-Emergency Medical Transport for Older Adults

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November 3, 2016 (Oakland, CA) – A new report released today by the Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation (the Center) and Justice in Aging outlines the importance of Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Services (NEMT) for older adults and people with disabilities, details the challenges faced by users and offers a series of recommendations based on promising state practices. The report, Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: An Overlooked Lifeline for Older Adults, can be accessed at Justice in Aging and the Center.

Across the country, 7.1 million Americans rely on NEMT services to get to medical appointments. Yet, every year, an estimated 3.6 million Americans miss or delay health care because of difficulty accessing these critical services. NEMT is an important Medicaid benefit for the people who rely on it to visit their doctors, receive treatment for chronic conditions and travel to settings such as adult day health care. Considering that NEMT represents less than 1 percent of total state and federal Medicaid expenditures and has the potential to prevent much more costly medical care, it provides exceptional value for states.

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Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation (NEMT): An Overlooked Lifeline for Older Adults

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Low-income older adults depend on Medicaid’s non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) benefit for transportation services to and from medical services. Nearly 7.1 million Americans rely on it. Yet, every year, an estimated 3.6 million Americans miss or delay health care because of difficulty accessing these critical services.

With our partners at Community Catalyst’s Center for Consumer Engagement in Health Innovation, we created an issue brief, Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation: An Overlooked Lifeline for Older Adults.

The brief outlines the importance of NEMT for older adults and people with disabilities, details the challenges faced by users, and offers a series of recommendations based on promising state practices.

For a quick overview of the full brief, visit our blog. You can also view the accompanying webinar here.

 

Democratic Debate Senior Poverty Question: A Missed Opportunity to Provide Solutions

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“How will you as president work to ensure low-income seniors get their basic needs?”

During last night’s Democratic debate, Gwen Ifill shared a question from Farheen Hakeem about senior poverty. While both the Democratic and GOP debates and have discussed poverty and income inequality, Farheen’s question was the first specifically focused on senior poverty. Farheen is a 40-year-old woman who works for a nonprofit organization in Wisconsin. She asked:

“My father gets just $16 in food assistance per month as part of Medicaid’s family community program in Milwaukee County for low-income seniors. How will you as president work to ensure low-income seniors get their basic needs?”

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Governor’s Budget is a Start But Doesn’t Go Far Enough for Poor Seniors

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In releasing his proposed budget today, Governor Brown recognized that too many seniors and people with disabilities living in our communities are living in poverty. But the proposals he offered provide only limited relief to those Californians struggling to afford rent, food, heat and other necessities. More action and bolder policies will be needed to lift seniors and people with disabilities out of poverty. California is a wealthy state with a strong economy, and a large budget surplus, but its benefits are not equitably distributed.  For low-income seniors struggling on fixed incomes, we can and must do more. Read More

Comments Submitted for Medicare Part C and D

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Justice in Aging submitted extensive comments to the draft 2016 Call Letter for Medicare Part C and Part D plans to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS issues the Call Letter annually to highlight areas where it is changing requirements on plans for the coming year, to request input on program elements where the agency is considering future changes and to identify areas where it is looking for improvements in plan performance.  The Justice in Aging comments applauded CMS for much of the content of the draft. We noted specific areas where increasing complexity in plan design is making it increasingly difficult for beneficiaries to navigate the Part D benefit and urged CMS to continue rigorous review of formulary structure changes that create consumer confusion.  We also argued for more translation of key beneficiary communications in the program.  In addition to its own comments, Justice in Aging also joined twenty other advocacy organizations in a letter, spearheaded by the Medicare Rights Center, expressing strong support for CMS guidance requiring better adherence by plans to notice requirements for coverage denials in Part C and D and encouragement for CMS to explore ways to strengthen the appeals process and make it more accessible to beneficiaries. Read the call letter.