Awards and Recognition

New York State Health Foundation's Ten "Best of 2009"
Social Security Administration's Public Service Award



New York State Health Foundation's Ten "Best of 2009"

The New York State Health Foundation has named its grant to the Medicare Rights Center as one of its ten “strongest achievements” in its “Best of 2009” Annual Report.

With funding from the New York State Health Foundation, Medicare Rights partnered with the Benefits Data Trust (BDT) and New York State’s Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC) program to identify and enroll older New Yorkers in programs that help them with their Medicare-related expenses. These programs, the Medicare Savings Programs (MSPs) and the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy program (LIS, also known as “Extra Help”), are designed to help people with limited incomes get the health care and medications they need, but are greatly underutilized by those who might benefit from them.

In the first phase of the grant, a six-month period from April 1 through September 30 in 2009, Medicare Rights partnered with the Benefits Data Trust and enrolled 3,400 people in MSPs and LIS, which saved them more than $17 million. New York State also saved close to $5 million as a result of this enrollment effort.

The Foundation has awarded Medicare Rights a follow-up grant to continue collaborating with BDT to reach more qualified New Yorkers who are still not enrolled in these programs, and to ensure that those who are enrolled maintain their benefits.



Social Security Administration's Public Service Award

On Friday, January 8, 2010, the Medicare Rights Center received a Public Service Award from the Social Security Administration. Commissioner of Social Security Michael J. Astrue presented the award to Medicare Rights president Joe Baker.

The award recognizes Medicare Rights’s outreach efforts to inform the public about Extra Help, the federal program that helps pay for premiums and copayments under Medicare prescription drug coverage, and its continuing work to ensure that all eligible people receive this benefit.

The award was presented at a press event to highlight new changes in the law that will make it easier for people to qualify for Extra Help. Commissioner Astrue and rock-and-roll legend Chubby Checker introduced the new campaign to publicize these new "twists" in the law.

Not only were we honored with an award, we danced the Twist with the man who created it and made it famous!

Joe Baker receiving Public Service Award from Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue
joe baker receiving award from Commissioner Astrue

Chubby selecting people to do the Twist
Chubby Checker selecting people to do the Twist

Chubby Checker and Joe Baker
Chubby and Joe

Heather Bates and Joe Baker
Heather and Joe in front of BB Kings

Staff with Chubby Checker and Commissioner Astrue
Staff with Chubby Checker and Commissioner Astrue

Chubby leading the audience in the Twist
Chubby Checker doing the Twist with the audience

Joe Baker, Heather Bates and Chinwe Nwosu
Staff at Awards Ceremony and Twist Campaign Kickoff

Chubby Checker, Joe Baker, Chinwe Nwosu and Scott Dershowitz dance the Twist (video from NBC New York)