November 21, 2023 Advocacy Alert




Funding for Medicare Outreach at Risk, Push Congress to Fix the Oversight!  


November 21, 2023

This Thanksgiving, we were ready to just be thankful for the passage last week of a Continuing Resolution (CR) which kept FY 2024 funding flowing for another few months and avoided a shutdown. Unfortunately, aging advocates can’t wind down for the holidays just yet, as we recently learned that the authorization and funding for the Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act’s (MIPPA) low-income outreach and assistance program was dropped from the CR at last minute. The program was hitching a ride with other health bills in the CR and held hostage for horse-trading purposes, not due to substantive disagreement.
 
This major oversight currently leaves MIPPA unauthorized and unfunded. The former may make it complicated for ACL to administer the program in the next few months. And the latter will eventually create obvious problems for the SHIPs, AAAs and ADRCs that rely on this funding to conduct targeted outreach to those Medicare beneficiaries most in need of Medicare’s cost-savings programs such as the Medicare Savings Programs and LIS/ExtraHelp.
 
To prevent the discontinuation of MIPPA, we need you to reach out to your congressional delegations to draw attention to this critical situation!
 
It is important that our collective advocacy begins now and continues until MIPPA reauthorization and funding is passed in one of the early-2024 funding bills, so please take action today or early next week!
 
Take Action Today
 
Call or email your U.S. Senators and all Representatives whose constituents you serve in your planning and service area. Express concern about the state of the MIPPA low-income outreach program and share the value it brings to Medicare beneficiaries you serve.
  • Customize our template email (below) to include your local MIPPA data and perspective.
  • Find your Members’ contact information on their websites: www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.
Sample Language
 
Be sure to customize carefully!
 
Dear [Senator/Representative LAST NAME]:
 
On behalf of [YOUR AGENCY/PROGRAM NAME] in [AGENCY/PROGRAM LOCATION/STATE], we are writing to alert you to an unfortunate oversight of an important program our agency relies upon to conduct targeted outreach to low-income Medicare beneficiaries who are not yet enrolled in Medicare programs designed to save them money.
 
The Medicare Improvements for Patients and Providers Act’s (MIPPA) low-income outreach and assistance program provides essential funding to [AGENCY NAME] and other Area Agencies on Aging, State Health Insurance Programs (SHIPs) and Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs) around the country. The program, administered at the federal level by the U.S. Administration for Community Living, wasn’t included in the recent continuing resolution for FY 2024 funding, even though other “health extenders” were.
 
While our agency is grateful the November funding bill prevented a shutdown and included continued funding for key aging programs such as the Older Americans Act, it is also important that Congress approve the MIPPA efforts swiftly!
 
[INSERT ANY KEY DATA OR OTHER POINTS ABOUT YOUR PROGRAM AND THOSE YOU HAVE HELPED.]
 
Our hope is that you can take action, or speak with your colleagues on the right committees, to ensure that MIPPA is updated and funded as soon as possible or at least included in the next spending bill.
 
Please feel free to reach out anytime to [INSERT CONTACT INFORMATION], on this or any aging issues of importance to you and your constituents.
Sincerely,
[NAME, affiliation, address, etc.]

Stay tuned for more updates from USAging and thank you for your advocacy on this important issue!

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If you have questions or concerns about this Advocacy Alert or USAging’s policy positions, please contact the USAging Policy Team, Amy Gotwals, Olivia Umoren and Seth Ickes at policy@usaging.org.


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