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Letter to Congress: Certain Provisions in the FY18 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

On behalf of the Medicare Rights Center, I am writing to thank you for the provisions in the FY18 omnibus appropriations bill that will improve the health and economic security of older adults, people with disabilities, their families, and caregivers.

The Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives. Our organization provides services and resources to nearly three million people with Medicare, family caregivers, and health care professionals each year.

We are pleased that the final spending bill partially restores funding cut from the Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) in FY17. This will allow the SHIP program’s community-based counselors—most of whom are highly-trained volunteers—to continue to provide one-on-one, unbiased, personalized advice to Medicare beneficiaries, helping them understand their rights and navigate their coverage options. With 10,000 people becoming eligible for Medicare each day, an adequately funded SHIP program is needed now more than ever.1..

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