Sens. Young, Casey, and Reps. Ruiz, Walorski Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Prevent Medicare Late Enrollment Penalties
With a growing number of Americans aging into Medicare, U.S. Senators Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) introduced a bipartisan bill to simplify complex Medicare enrollment rules. The Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act would eliminate needless gaps in health care coverage and help prevent lifetime, late-enrollment penalties. Today, almost 760,000 Americans are paying these penalties, increasing their Medicare Part B premiums by an average of almost 30 percent. U.S. Representatives Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.-36) and Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.-02) have introduced a bipartisan companion bill in the House. The BENES Act would direct the federal government to provide advance notice to individuals approaching Medicare eligibility about basic Medicare enrollment rules, filling a long-standing gap in education for older adults and people with disabilities. The BENES Act would also eliminate needless multi-month coverage gaps in Medicare enrollment periods and align Medicare Part B enrollment periods with those in private Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Christopher Coons (D-DE) also co-sponsor the bill. The BENES Act is supported by more than 85 organizations including AARP, AHIP, BlueCross BlueShield Association and Medicare Rights Center.
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