Legislation has recently been introduced that would work to improve the Medicare enrollment process for individuals nearing Medicare eligibility, aged 60-64. Longtime home care champions Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Todd Young (R-IN) are leading the charge for the Beneficiary Enrollment Notification and Eligibility Simplification 2.0 (BENES 2.0) Act, (S. 2675). BENES 2.0 continues the theme of the original BENES Act, many provisions of which became law in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, in supporting individuals in their Medicare enrollment process.
BENES 2.0 would require the federal government to provide clear explanation on Medicare benefit eligibility, information on late enrollment penalties, coordination of benefits, and resources available for further assistance. This information is to be included on Social Security Account statements for those attaining the ages of 60 – 65.
At introduction Senator Casey stated, “Medicare is one of America’s greatest success stories, but we need to make sure people can make the most of the Medicare benefits they have earned. That’s why I introduced the bipartisan BENES 2.0 Act to ensure that fewer people miss the deadline to enroll, which can lead to costly lifelong penalties.”
Senator Young added, “Currently, seniors who miss the sign-up deadline for Medicare Part B face onerous penalties that persist for the rest of their lives. The BENES 2.0 Act will ensure individuals have access to the information necessary to make more informed decisions as they approach Medicare eligibility.”
Joining Senator Casey and Young with introduction were Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Susan Collins (R-ME), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Tim Scott (R-SC), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Tina Smith (D-MN).