The Medicare Rights Center recently submitted comments responding to a federal request for information titled “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Reducing Regulatory Burdens and Improving Health Care Choices to Empower Patients.” The comments provide detailed suggestions about how the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) can improve the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulatory landscape to empower patients and promote choice; stabilize the individual, small group, and other health insurance markets; enhance affordability; and affirm the traditional regulatory authority of the states.
Medicare Rights is encouraged by the request for public feedback, and urges HHS and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, solicit broad input, and act responsively to the concerns of patients, consumer advocates, health care providers, and insurers as the agencies seek to improve the health care market through regulatory reform.
A recent example of this constructive collaboration involves the establishment of notices sent to people who have both Medicare Part A and a Marketplace plan. These notices serve several essential and sorely needed functions, including informing individuals of the need to enroll in Medicare, telling people that they are not eligible for tax subsidies for their Marketplace plan if they also have Medicare Part A, and directing them to personalized, unbiased assistance.
Responding to four areas of comment, Medicare Rights highlights ways federal agencies can work together with insurers, health care providers, and advocates. These include: