A Public Meeting on “Dual-eligibles” and the Future of Health Care

A local group called Disability Advocates Advancing our Healthcare Rights (DAAHR) is holding a public meeting tomorrow from 1-3pm at The Paulist Center at 5 Park St. in Boston. Everyone with an interest in shaping health care delivery methods is encouraged to attend, but this meeting should be of particular interest to so-called “dual-eligibles.”

What’s a “dual-eligible?” In plain English, a dual-eligible is any person who qualifies for both Medicare and MassHealth. If this is a new term for you, that’s because it’s a fairly new term for all of us. Part of President Obama’s health care reforms called for a tighter and more efficient coordination between Medicare (which is administered by the federal government) and Medicaid (which is administered by the states). According to federal estimates, dual-eligible people make up 15% of Medicaid enrollment but account for nearly 40% of Medicaid costs. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—better-known as Obamacare—awarded $1 million each to Massachusetts and 14 other states to implement pilot programs to deliver care in a seamless, cost-effective way for dual-eligible people.

On the national scale, this is Obamacare in action: a federally funded drive to let states create the health care models that will save us all money in the 21st century. On a local scale, this is a fantastic opportunity to make your voice heard and to help create a program that could become a model for the rest of the country.

If you are dual-eligible or know someone who is, I encourage you to attend tomorrow’s meeting. To request accommodations or for more information, please contact Allegra Stout (astout@bostoncil.org; 617-338-6665) or Florette Willis (willisflorette@yahoo.com; 617-297-2030).

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