Thursday, May 5 , 2016, 2:33 am | Overcast 56º

Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council to Discuss Federal Medicare Legislation

By Joyce Ellen Lippman for the Area Agency on Aging |

The Advisory Council of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, Area Agency on Aging will hold its monthly meeting on Friday.

“At this meeting, the council members will consider supporting H.R. 4998, Medicare Advantage Participant Bill of Rights,” said Amy Mallett, chairwoman of the AAA Advisory Council. "The role of Medicare Advantage programs, such as Medicare HMOs, is expanding, and seniors are not afforded the same rights in these plans as in original Medicare.

“The goal of this legislation is to enhance beneficiary and provider protections and improve transparency in the Medicare Advantage market. Currently, Medicare Advantage Plans can terminate a provider without notice and this can have a significant negative impact on Medicare beneficiaries.

“This legislation would require a Medicare Advantage Plan to remove a service provider or a supplier from a plan network only for cause, subject to completion of a fair notice and appeals process.

“In addition, at this meeting the council will hear a report from Todd Kelly, director of the Senior Nutrition Program of the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County. The council is interested in hearing about the home delivered meal and congregate meal programs operated by CAC throughout Santa Barbara County for older frail persons.

“The council is also looking for new members who are interested in issues affecting older adults.”

For additional information, contact Mallett or Joyce Ellen Lippman, AAA executive director, at 805.925.9554 or 800.510.2020.

— Joyce Ellen Lippman is executive director of the Area Agency on Aging.

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