BENES Act Introduced in Congress

Jun 8, 2017 / By Michael Natalie, Horsesmouth Associate Editor

A successful transition to Medicare requires a certain degree of communication between beneficiaries, the government, and employers. Unfortunately, existing procedures are often inadequate in informing incoming Medicare beneficiaries of their obligations.

A bipartisan bill has been reintroduced in the House of Representatives which, if passed, would mitigate the myriad communication problems facing citizens about to enroll in Medicare. The BENES Act would require three government agencies— the Department of Health and Human Services, the Social Security Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service—to work together to identify people approaching Medicare age and inform them of the enrollment rules.

The reintroduction of this bill coincides with a measure to waive penalties for some latecomers to the Medicare system. Like the BENES act, this temporary waiver was written in acknowledgement of the communication deficit facing citizens signing up for Medicare.


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