Press Release             

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Nathan Heggem
Policy and Communications Associate
212-204-6286

February 28, 2011

Doug Goggin-Callahan Named Medicare Rights Center’s
New York State Policy Director

-- Will Lead Project Funded by New York State Health Foundation --

New York, NY—The Medicare Rights Center has chosen Doug Goggin-Callahan, Esq., to serve in the newly created position of New York State Policy Director. Mr. Goggin-Callahan was formerly Client Services and Program Counsel at Medicare Rights and has been co-coordinator of the New York State Medicare Savings Coalition, a group of over 200 government agencies; business, labor and insurance interests; and community-based organizations dedicated to identifying and eliminating systemic barriers that limit access to public benefits for older adults and people with disabilities.

In his new role, Mr. Goggin-Callahan will coordinate all policy efforts in New York State and will spearhead a new project funded by the New York State Health Foundation to work with New York State policymakers, consumer advocates and other stakeholders to ensure that low-income people with Medicare have seamless access to health coverage through Medicaid or Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) as new eligibility and enrollment systems are developed for Medicaid, pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“Doug’s legal skills have proved an exceptional asset to the Medicare Rights Center, and I am thrilled that he has accepted this new position,” said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center. “His leadership and Medicare expertise will serve us well as we work to ensure that ACA-related changes to Medicaid and the formation of the new health insurance exchanges address the needs of low-income people with Medicare.”

“Health reform implementation offers an exciting opportunity for Medicare Rights to channel more than 20 years of direct service and policy experience into practical advocacy to craft rules and systems that are responsive to people with Medicare,” said Mr. Goggin-Callahan. “During my tenure at Medicare Rights, I have seen firsthand how older adults and people with disabilities—and especially those with low incomes—can lose valuable public benefits and other rights when relegated to outdated enrollment and insurance management systems. New York State is taking important strides to ensure quality coverage and care for all residents, and I look forward to working with the Medicare Savings Coalition and others to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

The ACA, through funding to upgrade state Medicaid enrollment systems and the creation of state-based health insurance exchanges, promises to make enrolling in Medicaid much easier and more efficient for those aged 64 and younger. Medicare Rights, through this project, will work to ensure that new eligibility standards and enrollment systems that are developed for those under age 65 also benefit those low-income New Yorkers aged 65 and older who are eligible for Medicaid or MSPs. For example, if electronic and online systems are used to determine Medicaid eligibility for those under 65, the same or similar systems should also be available to those 65 and older. 

“The ACA has the potential to revolutionize enrollment processes for low-income New Yorkers, helping to ensure that many get access to coverage for the first time by eliminating the bureaucratic barriers and delays that currently exist, and there is no reason why people with Medicare should have to use an older, more complex system,” said Baker. “Through this New York State–based project, we hope to demonstrate that everyone—the state, the non-Medicare population and people with Medicare—will benefit if the new eligibility and enrollment systems developed for Medicaid also serve low-income people with Medicare.”

Mr. Goggin-Callahan has a J.D. from Fordham Law School and a B.A. from New York University. He is admitted to the New York State Bar and the Southern District of New York.

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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.

 

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