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I [would like to express] my high regard for the Center for Medicare Advocacy, the center's Executive Director Judy Stein, and her staff. This is a group of individuals who are deeply immersed in their efforts to assist older adults and persons with disabilities. They are often far too busy, and maybe even too humble, to advertise their accomplishments – and there have been many – to the wider public, but there is no other entity in the state of Connecticut – or, arguably, nationally – with expertise on Medicare issues like the Center for Medicare Advocacy.

The Connecticut Commission on Aging has had a professional relationship with Judy Stein and the Center for Medicare Advocacy for over 17 years – our entire existence as a state agency.  Attorney Stein also serves on the executive board of the Connecticut Elder Action Network, which I founded and co-chair.  In this time I have come to know the Center as a model organization. One we would hope others would emulate.
 
On policy issues and individual case work alike, the staff at the Center is supremely knowledgeable and dedicated. Connecticut is fortunate to have the Center located here; Judy Stein and her staff have contributed greatly to our state's discussion of policy issues affecting older adults, including our state's prescription drug plan, a redesign of Medicaid for the ABD population and more.  They also have critical relationships with Connecticut's Congressional delegation and provide a needed voice on the national level.  
 
They bring a sense of compassion to their work, motivated by an intense commitment to serve those who might otherwise be forgotten. They are highly professional and at the same time very collegial. Within the organization, they live by principles of teamwork and celebrate the efforts of all its members. They are also an excellent community partner.

The Commission of Aging looks to the Center [often]:

  • When we are contemplating a Medicare Policy Issue, we often call upon the Center for their expertise.
  • They are also part of a coalition that gathers monthly to discuss aging related issues.
  • when an elder calls our office about a Medicare denial, we refer them – with the utmost confidence – to the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
  • In fact, the Center for Medicare Advocacy receives over 6,000 calls each year on their toll free hot line.
  • The Center does a phenomenal job with education and outreach through their Website, newsletters, and multi-faceted educational materials.
  • The Center is also a key partner in the highly utilized Choices program – which provides health insurance counseling for older adults.

In the complicated maze of Medicare and health care coverage – the Center seeks to simplify the issues and protect basic rights.

As Medicare changes, the role for the Center will only become more critical.

We should all view the Center for Medicare Advocacy as one of Connecticut’s treasures – one that must be preserved.

Thank you.

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