This week, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Health advanced the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act (H.R. 2477). Next steps for the bill include consideration by the full Committee.
“We applaud the Subcommittee’s work to prioritize the BENES Act,” said Fred Riccardi, president of the Medicare Rights Center. “Every day on our National Consumer Helpline we hear from people who made a Part B enrollment mistake and are experiencing significant consequences as a result—including gaps in coverage, high out-of-pocket costs, and lifetime financial penalties. The BENES Act would help prevent these costly errors,” he added.
“We appreciate the Committee’s strong, bipartisan support for the BENES Act’s commonsense reforms. We continue to urge lawmakers to pass this important bill without delay.”
Introduced by Representatives Ruiz (D-CA), Bilirakis (R-FL), Schneider (D-IL), and Walorski (R-IN), the Subcommittee-approved bill largely mirrors the version adopted by the House Committee on Ways and Means last year.
The Senate companion bill (S. 1280) is championed by Senators Todd Young (R-IN) and Bob Casey (D-PA).
In January, Medicare Rights president Fred Riccardi testified before the Subcommittee about the merits of the BENES Act. Read his written testimony.