On behalf of the Medicare Rights Center (Medicare Rights), thank you for clarifying that 2019 Social Security and Railroad Retirement beneficiaries do not have to file a federal tax return to receive the economic stimulus payment created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P. L. 116-136).
As outlined in our recent letter,1 automatically advancing these stimulus payments will allow millions of older adults and people with disabilities—who are among those most in danger of infection, serious illness, and even death from the coronavirus2 —to obtain their rebates quickly and safely. We urge you to build on this decision by extending these efficiencies and safeguards to other low-income Americans, including those who receive Supplemental Security Income, Veterans Disability Compensation, and Veterans Pension benefits.
It is our understanding that, as with Social Security beneficiaries, the federal government has the information and authorities it needs to determine eligibility and distribute payments to these individuals, without their needing to file an otherwise unnecessary 2019 tax return. We urge you to utilize these mechanisms and advance their rebates without delay, and without requiring additional documentation. Doing so will best ensure their timely access to needed financial relief.
Any changes to the Medicare program must aim for healthier people, better care, and smarter spending—not paying more for less. As policymakers debate the future of health care, we will provide our insights here.
Thinking ahead to Medicare's future, it’s important to modernize benefits and pursue changes that improve how people with Medicare navigate their coverage on a daily basis. Here are our evolving 30 policy goals for Medicare’s future.
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