Medicare Rights Center, Inc.

Getting Medicare Right

aka Medicare Rights   |   New York, NY   |  www.medicarerights.org

Mission

The Medicare Rights Center is a national, nonprofit consumer service organization that works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs and public policy initiatives. Since 1989, we’ve been helping people with Medicare understand their rights and benefits, navigate the Medicare system and secure the quality health care they deserve. We’re the largest and most reliable independent source of Medicare information and assistance in the United States.

Notes from the nonprofit

The Medicare Rights Center is committed to: 1. Serving as a kind and expert health insurance counselor, educator, and advocate for those who need it most. 2. Providing independent, timely, and clear information on Medicare, Medicaid for dual-eligibles, and related topics to communities nationwide. 3. Fostering diverse partnerships and points of view. 4. Finding lasting solutions to systemic problems that prevent older adults and people with disabilities from accessing needed health coverage and care.

Ruling year info

1994

President

Mr. Fred Riccardi

Main address

266 West 37th Street 3rd Floor

New York, NY 10018 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

13-3505372

NTEE code info

Health (General and Financing) (E80)

Seniors' Rights (R25)

Disabled Persons' Rights (R23)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Older adults and people with disabilities rely on the Medicare program for their health care needs, and many beneficiaries face barriers when trying to access affordable health care. People with Medicare—half of whom live on incomes of $24,150 or less per year—spend almost 15% of their household incomes on health care. The Medicare Rights Center seeks to help a cross-section of the national Medicare population understand and navigate their health insurance, and to identify trends through this work that can be used to advocate for nonpartisan policy reforms to improve the Medicare program as a whole. This work is especially crucial as programs like Medicare and the Affordable Care Act change under a new administration, and Medicare Rights is needed to educate beneficiaries on their rights and options. Medicare Rights serves millions of people with Medicare nationally, focusing attention on enrolling those with low incomes into Medicare-related cost-saving benefits.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

National Consumer Helpline

The Medicare Rights Center engages roughly 12 expert staff and 60 trained volunteers to answer the questions of people over 65, people with disabilities, their families and caregivers, and the professionals serving them. The national helpline is equipped to provide counseling in dozens of languages, and answers nearly 20,000 questions annually.

Population(s) Served
Seniors
People with disabilities

The Medicare Rights Center’s expert print and online resources, trainings, and presentations reach millions of individuals each year, helping people find answers to their Medicare questions and access needed health care services.

Medicare Rights powers the Medicare Interactive (MI) website (www.medicareinteractive.org), a free online resource complete with hundreds of answers to Medicare questions and downloadable information. The site includes MI Pro, an online curriculum designed to empower any professional to help their clients, patients, employees, retirees, and others navigate Medicare questions, with Continuing Education (CE) credits available for social workers and Certified Financial Planners.

Additionally, the national Medicare Minute (MM) program provides monthly content for locally hosted presentations at senior centers, retiree meetings, libraries, and other sites, to keep everyone informed about their benefits and options. A free MM webinar is available on MI each month.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Medicare Rights Center leverages the stories of the people it serves to protect and strengthen the Medicare program as a whole for the 59 million people who rely on the program for health care. With offices in New York City and Washington, DC—and directly serving tens of thousands of people each year through helplines and educational programming—Medicare Rights is uniquely equipped to serve as a voice for people with Medicare with state and federal policymakers.

Population(s) Served
Seniors
People with disabilities

Where we work

Awards

Regular panel and presentations at conferences 2013

American Society on Aging

Affiliations & memberships

New York Community Health Access to Mental Health and Addiction Program 2018

AARP Public Policy Institute 2016

National SHIP Technical Assistance Center 2015

Senior Medicare Patrol Resource Center 2015

New York Independent Consumer Advocacy Network 2014

National Council on Aging’s National Resource Center 2013

Health Care for All New York 2012

New York Consumer Health Advocates 2010

Health Insurance Information and Assistance Programs 1990

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total value of Medicare benefits secured for clients

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Seniors, People with disabilities, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

National Consumer Helpline

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Questions answered for consumers and professionals on national helpline

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Seniors, Caregivers, People with disabilities

Related Program

National Consumer Helpline

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total visits to Medicare Interactive website

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, People with disabilities, People with diseases and illnesses, Economically disadvantaged people

Related Program

Educational Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Free online reference tool answers hundreds of Medicare questions.

Value of benefits secured for clients with low incomes = $8.8 million

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Medicare Rights Center works to ensure access to affordable health care for older adults and people with disabilities through counseling and advocacy, educational programs, and public policy initiatives. Each year, Medicare Rights reaches millions of Medicare beneficiaries, their families, caregivers, and the professionals who serve them with counseling and educational resources to help them navigate health insurance and access affordable, quality health care.

Medicare Rights is currently working to achieve the following overarching objectives, in line with its three-year strategic plan:

• Serve in a more in-depth fashion a greater number of caregivers, individuals dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid, and hard-to-reach individuals through new funding opportunities, concerted outreach, more interactive staff and volunteer trainings, and improved tracking and referral protocols.

• Offer consumer counseling through an email channel in addition to the telephone helpline (considering fee-based options where appropriate); capture non-anonymous client stories; and successfully survey a subset of 10% of all consumer and professional clients to ensure quality and improve counseling and education services.

• Serve a greater number of people with Medicare through expanded Part A Buy-in counseling (which helps extremely low-income clients secure needed benefits), training, and benefits processing; hold regular, goal-oriented, enrollment-related meetings with New York City agencies; and, absent policy change, successfully process at least 1,000 Medicare Savings Program (MSP) applications per year.

• Strengthen the competitiveness of Medicare Interactive (MI), MI Pro, and the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) Online Counselor Certification & Training platform (MI Pro for SHIPs) through content and design improvements.

• Shape new and existing Medicare and Medicaid programs while spotlighting the critical need for these programs and continuing to protect them and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) from threats.

• Understand and redesign/re-launch as needed Medicare Rights’ various Communications resources in order to continue efforts to present a more cohesive brand strategy, increase organizational visibility, and improve the organization’s ability to convert individuals into subscribers, purchasers, and donors.

Medicare Rights will achieve its overarching objectives by engaging in a variety of activities that include:

• Strengthening its staff and volunteer base and ensuring that its lawyers, social workers, and others are fully versed on all changes to Medicare and ready to answer all helpline and other technical assistance questions.

• Streamlining Medicare Rights' protocol for screening all helpline callers for Medicare-related cost-saving benefits.

• Promoting Medicare Rights' service and educational products by developing and maintaining strategic partnerships with state- and community-based organizations, health care professionals, and other relevant entities (e.g., financial advisors, human resources departments, academic institutions).

• Increasing organizational visibility and impact by launching new products, attending and presenting at relevant trainings and conferences, implementing targeted list-building campaigns, increasing the organization's donor base, and educating journalists and policymakers about new Medicare proposals and policies and their effects on people with Medicare and their families.

• Responding to any federal changes to the health care system by counseling and educating consumers and professionals on new policies and advocating for proposals that reflect the needs of older adults and people with disabilities (in coalition with state and national organizations).

The Medicare Rights Center is the nation's preeminent source of Medicare information. Over the past 30 years, Medicare Rights has gained extensive on-the-ground experience developing direct service and training models and helping millions of people with Medicare, their families, and the professionals serving them navigate the complicated and often frustrating health insurance system. Medicare Rights is unique in its ability to take the stories of the people it serves to the highest levels of policymaking, seeking long-term reforms to benefit people with Medicare and their families.

In New York, Medicare Rights successfully reaches low-income individuals with reliable information about health care and cost-saving benefits through partnerships, outreach events, and helpline assistance. Medicare Rights has a strong track record of creating successful, sustainable partnerships with organizations working toward shared goals and excels at building the capacity of other senior-serving organizations to better serve their own clients. Additionally, Medicare Rights' enrollment work helps low-income beneficiaries nationwide enroll in cost-saving benefits that can save them thousands of dollars per year in out-of-pocket drug costs.

Medicare Rights also focuses on expanding the organization's reach to serve an increased number of professionals. Through community partnerships and relationships with a network of social workers, doctors, nurses, and others, Medicare Rights provides the health care community with relevant, timely Medicare information. As part of this effort, Medicare Rights launched the online resource MI Pro, which empowers professionals with Medicare information while earning unrestricted income for the organization.

Finally, as state and federal changes to the health care system are proposed, Medicare Rights works with diverse media outlets and others to serve as a voice for millions of Americans with Medicare and their families. Last year, Medicare Rights generated around 2,933 media placements in outlets such as The New York Times, the Washington Post, Kaiser Health News, NPR, and the Chicago Tribune. In sum, Medicare Rights seeks to educate and activate diverse consumers, service providers, advocates, journalists, and others on potential changes to Medicare and new systems, and to comment on and wherever possible inform policies that reflect the needs of older adults and people with disabilities.

The Medicare Rights Center is most effective at directly serving people with Medicare and leveraging their stories to improve the Medicare program as a whole. Medicare Rights reaches millions of people with Medicare each year—and aims to reach more. For instance, the organization's Medicare Interactive website received over three million visits last year, and staff are adding features to the website to make it more user-friendly and engaging. Additionally, Medicare Rights has strong partnerships with other consumer advocates, insurers, providers, and policymakers—and seeks to leverage these relationships and build new ones, for instance with new media and educational partners.

In recent years, Medicare Rights, in coalition with other state and national organizations, has achieved significant policy victories for people with Medicare, such as securing a permanent extension of time-limited equitable relief for certain individuals who require extra time transitioning from Marketplace coverage to Medicare, and permanently repealing the Medicare payment caps on outpatient physical, speech, and occupational therapy services in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.

In the coming years, Medicare Rights will respond to new health care system policies and proposals emerging from state and federal agencies—and to questions that clients and partners will inevitably have as the national insurance landscape changes. Medicare Rights is building and adapting its existing educational and advocacy materials to protect and strengthen the Medicare program for this and future generations, and collecting more stories of the people served by Medicare Rights to make the case for consumer-friendly reforms.

Finally, Medicare Rights already receives significant contract and foundation support and is continuing to build its earned income (through educational products like MI Pro) and individual contributions, seeking more unrestricted income to carry out mission-driven projects. Medicare Rights is developing materials and adding new features to Medicare Interactive—e.g., improved MI Pro course catalogues, new Special Topics courses, and downloadable guides and resources—to make it more user-friendly and to expand the scope of MI's educational resources and products. Medicare Rights is also redesigning its organizational website in order to present a more cohesive story to potential subscribers, purchasers, and donors.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Older adults, people with disabilities, and their families and caregivers and the professionals who serve them.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, general email inbox,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    During the pandemic, we learned that many people who called our helpline also needed assistance besides help accessing affordable health care. The Medicare Rights Center began a program to call the clients who were living in underserved communities and/or had low incomes or multiple health issues, to learn if they needed referrals for assistance such as nutrition assistance.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    The Medicare Rights Center welcomes feedback from its constituents to learn how the organization can enhance its services on the helpline, including the follow-up materials, as well as through its free online educational information. The organization's use of feedback has improved the information and services that Medicare Rights provides.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We act on the feedback we receive,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Medicare Rights Center, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Medicare Rights Center, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 07/12/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Carol Raphael

Manatt Health

Term: 2021 -


Board co-chair

Ms. Kathy Hirata Chin

Crowell & Moring LLP,

Term: 2021 -

Edith Everett

Everett Foundation

Alan Lubin

NYSUT

Marilyn Moon

American Institutes for Research

Jeffrey Krinsk

Finkelstein & Krinsk LLP

Terrence Melvin

New York State AFL-CIO

Herman Rosen

Kathy Chin

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Peter Hutchings

Carol Raphael

Manatt Health

Donna Regenstreif

GeroConcepts, Inc.

Curtis Cole

Weill Cornell Medicine

Tina Georgeou

David Caluori

WCAS

Ann Adenbaum

Bruce Vladeck

Greater New York Hospital Association and LiveOnNewYork

Renu Thomas

Susan Caughman

New Hope Media LLC

Van Dunn

1199SEIU Benefit Funds

LeRoy Barr

UFT

Cybele Bjorklund

Virta

Albert Siu

ookdale Department of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine, Mount Sinai

Tim Gronniger

Caravan Health

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 5/5/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data