Bilirakis Introduces Bill to Protect Seniors During Transition to Medicare

Bilirakis Introduces Bill to Protect Seniors During Transition to Medicare

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
May 3, 2024

Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and four of his colleagues in the House have introduced the Medicare Enrollment Protection Act of 2024. The bill will attempt to “protect seniors from coverage gaps in Medicare” by closing loopholes in the system.

Current law penalizes anyone 65 or older who waits more than eight months after retiring or being laid off with a higher Medicare Part B lifetime premium and a “delayed start to coverage.”

However, Rep. Bilirakis believes that the switch from private medicine to Medicare should be smooth.

"We want to ensure the transition from private health care to Medicare is easy," said Rep. Bilirakis. "The current law does not meet that objective. Additionally, the law does not properly reflect the need for flexibility due to the various challenges that those exiting the workforce face in today's economy. Our bill empowers seniors to make the health care decisions that best fit their individual needs without fear of a lifetime penalty, and I look forward to its quick passage."

Rep. Bilirakis’ colleagues, Susan Wild (D-PA) and Tim Walberg (R-MI) gave their insight on the bill as well.

“I’m proud to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and introduce legislation to make health care more accessible to our seniors,” said Rep. Wild. “As I’ve said from the beginning of my time in Congress, breaking down barriers to care should not be a partisan issue, and I’m glad that we have taken a step towards closing another Medicare coverage loophole. No one should be penalized with higher premiums or delayed coverage for retiring or dealing with workforce challenges, and I look forward to our bill correcting the current law.”

Rep. Walberg said that seniors choosing a plan that’s right for them should not lead to penalization.

“The last thing seniors need are penalties for making personalized health care choices that best meet their needs,” said Rep. Walberg. “Our bipartisan legislation streamlines the process by removing barriers to affordable, uninterrupted coverage. I want to thank my colleagues for their leadership as we work together to empower seniors.”

Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) and Angie Craig (D-MN) also helped introduce the bill.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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