Doctor Ruiz’s Bill to Help Seniors Access Medicare Coverage Passes House

December 9, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – This week, the House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass a bill authored by Congressman Raul Ruiz, M.D. (CA-36) to improve seniors’ access to Medicare coverage. The Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification (BENES) Act of 2019 would expand beneficiary outreach and education to help clarify when and how to sign up for Medicare Part B and reduce gaps in coverage. By arming seniors with more information on the enrollment process, the legislation will help them avoid a lifetime of higher premiums.

“Passing my bill, the BENES Act, through the House is a big win for older Americans in our district and around the country,” said Dr. Ruiz. “This bill strengthens Medicare and is very important for the health and financial well-being of our nation’s seniors. Missing an initial enrollment period for Medicare Part B should not mean gaps in coverage or a lifetime of higher premiums. I look forward to working to get this bill passed in the Senate and to the President’s desk.”

Background 

H.R. 2477, the BENES Act of 2019, introduced by Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA), would improve beneficiary outreach and education and reduce gaps in coverage. The BENES Act would require the Federal Government to send advance notice about the enrollment process to individuals approaching Medicare eligibility. 

The bill would also require that Part B coverage begin during the first month after an individual enrolls, through either the initial enrollment period or general enrollment period. 

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