Feb 15 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) recently introduced the Connecting Caregivers to Medicare Act, bipartisan legislation to increase outreach and education to Medicare beneficiaries and simplify access to information for family caregivers. 

“Caregivers carry a tremendous burden while caring for loved ones, and I know first-hand that caregivers too often face unnecessary barriers when trying to coordinate care,” said Senator Tillis. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation with Senator Hassan to enable caregivers to better advocate for their loved ones and make it easier for caregivers to communicate with Medicare on their behalf.”

“The 1-800-MEDICARE hotline is a vitally important resource for seniors and caregivers to get information about care options, medical expenses, and more,” said Senator Hassan. “This bill is a commonsense, bipartisan measure to ensure that the hotline is providing the best and most efficient support possible for seniors and their family caregivers through increased education, training, outreach, and opportunities for feedback.”

This legislation has been endorsed by AARP, ALS Association, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, American Heart Association, Autism Society of America, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Center for Medicare Advocacy, Elizabeth Dole Foundation, National Alliance for Caregiving, Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregivers, and The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

“AARP North Carolina is pleased that Senator Tillis recognizes family caregivers' vital role in our health care system. This legislation will provide a commonsense solution to help make it easier for family caregivers to provide care to their loved ones,” said Michael Olender, State Director of AARP North Carolina.

“AARP is pleased to endorse the Connecting Caregivers to Medicare Act, legislation to help family caregivers advocate and communicate with Medicare and save them time and frustration when trying to get care for their loved ones. We appreciate the leadership of Senators Tillis and Hassan in sponsoring this important bipartisan legislation,” said Nancy A. LeaMond, AARP Executive Vice President and Chief Advocacy & Engagement Officer.

Specifically, the Connecting Caregivers to Medicare Act supports family caregivers by:

  • Helping family caregivers use the 1-800-MEDICARE Hotline to better advocate and care for their loved ones;
  • Increasing outreach and education activities to protect beneficiaries and caregivers from fraudulent practices;
  • Ensuring accurate information sharing to make it easier for beneficiaries and caregivers to navigate the system and stay up-to-date on fraud prevention recommendations and existing fraud reporting mechanisms;
  • Streamlining training to ensure 1-800-MEDICARE operators provide appropriate resources and information to family caregivers as required;
  • Directing HHS OIG to analyze and make publicly available recommendations to better educate beneficiaries and improve timely agency investigation of fraud reports;
  • Establishing opportunities for family caregivers to provide feedback on their experiences and feedback on accessing information through 1-800-MEDICARE.

Full text of the bill can be found HERE