Lynda Flowers is an AARP Public Policy Institute expert on Medicaid, health disparities and prevention/public health.

Health Reform 2.0: Improving Health Literacy of Older Americans

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) increases access to health insurance coverage, establishes a minimum benefit package, makes coverage more affordable, and eliminates most cost sharing for recommended preventive services. Now it’s time to empower consumers to take advantage of these improvements. One way to achieve this goal is to increase basic health literacy. What is health literacy? Health literacy is the capacity to obtain, process and understand basic health information and services in order to make appropriate health decisions. Why …

Keep Low-Income Medicare Beneficiaries From Falling Through the Cracks

The Affordable Care Act allows states to offer Medicaid to low-income adults who would not have qualified under previous law. Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia offer this expanded coverage. Those who qualify will face higher cost-sharing requirements when they transition from Medicaid expansion coverage to Medicare, but some may be eligible for traditional Medicaid benefits or Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) that will help reduce their costs. >> Get your questions about the health law answered here. Medicare beneficiaries …

La importancia de servir en otros idiomas en los centros de cuidado a largo plazo

En inglés | La Oficina del Censo de EE. UU. calcula que 55.4 millones de personas en Estados Unidos hablan un idioma diferente al inglés cuando están en el hogar. Además del español, un número cada vez mayor de personas en EE. UU. habla portugués, ruso, hindi, chino, vietnamita, tagalo, árabe y otros idiomas. Esto representa un salto del 140% desde 1980. La Oficina del Censo también predice que Estados Unidos continuará siendo una nación con diversidad lingí¼í­stica y el …

The Importance of Language Access in Community-Based Long-Term Care Settings

En español | The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 55.4 million Americans speak a language other than English when they are at home. In addition to Spanish, growing numbers of Americans speak Portuguese, Russian, Hindi, Chinese, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Arabic and other languages. This represents a 140 percent jump since 1980. The Census Bureau also predicts that the United States will continue to be a linguistically diverse nation and home to large numbers of people with limited English proficiency (LEP). This …

States Can Smooth the Transition from Medicaid to Medicare

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) created an additional set of rules governing Medicaid eligibility. These new rules and the traditional rules interact in ways that can significantly affect low-income Medicare beneficiaries. States need to understand what’s at stake. The ACA makes it easier for low-income individuals to qualify for Medicaid by using much simpler rules for counting income, called the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) rules. People who qualify for the Medicaid expansion under the ACA are referred to as …

Protecting Consumers in Dual Eligible Demonstration Projects

The Federal Office of Medicare and Medicaid Coordination has entered into agreements with six states-CA, IL, MA, OH, VA, and WA- to test models that integrate services and financing for persons eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligibles or duals).  The initiative’s goal is to ensure that duals have access to seamless, high quality cost-effective health care. This is important because some of the duals are the most chronically ill and costly individuals in Medicare and Medicaid, many having …