Congress is set to go out on a week-long recess for the Memorial Day holiday next week, but when they return, members of the House Ways and Means Committee will get to work on the much needed Medicare open enrollment period (OEP) bill, H.R. 588. A markup hearing on the bill is scheduled for Tuesday, June 2, where the committee members will debate the bill text and offer amendments with a vote on passage in the committee before it can head to the full House floor. NAHU has been pushing for this specific legislation for almost five years, and we need your help now to move it forward!
The bill was introduced by Representatives Keith Rothfus (R-PA-12) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR-5) in January, and would restore the original Medicare OEP that was severely restricted under the PPACA. Before the health reform law, beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan could make a one-time switch to another MA plan that better met their healthcare needs between January and March. This allowed beneficiaries to “test drive” their plans and not be locked into a coverage plan if their needs changed. However, now beneficiaries enrolled in MA plans who wish to make a plan change can only dis-enroll from their current coverage and enroll in traditional Medicare. H.R. 588 would restore the original OEP for Medicare beneficiaries so that beneficiaries are able to have the most flexibility in choosing the bill that is right for them. The bill currently has 21 co-sponsors.
Members of Congress need to hear from you about how your clients have been negatively impacted by the OEP provision of PPACA and why this needs to be changed now. Take Action today and send your member of Congress an Operation Shout asking them to support this important legislation!