GNYHA members and providers nationwide used the Medicare advance payment program included in the CARES Act to secure vital funding during the initial COVID-19 surge. The recoupment period for these loans, which carry a near 10% interest rate, begins 120 days after the advance was issued. As the recoupment period approaches, securing Medicare advance payment relief is a top GNYHA priority. We have contacted our allies on Capitol Hill about this issue, and fortunately we see support for Medicare advance loan forgiveness growing in both bodies of Congress.
Last week, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) sent a letter (attached) to Senate leaders calling for the inclusion of Medicare advance payment loan forgiveness in the phase four COVID-19 response package. GNYHA and the Healthcare Association of New York State helped develop this letter, and we thank Sen. Gillibrand for her advocacy.
Representatives Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Bob Gibbs (R-OH) recently introduced bipartisan legislation (H.R. 7292) that would grant Medicare advance payment loan forgiveness for health care-related expenses or lost revenue that are directly attributable to COVID-19. It would provide a $101 billion appropriation to cover the cost of the Medicare Trust Fund loans given to all hospitals and other providers that received them. The legislation keeps the Trust Fund intact and covers the cost of the loans through a direct appropriation: the loans are covered and do not have to be repaid. The funds must be used to pay for COVID-19-related costs and losses between January 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021. We strongly support this legislation, are working to gain cosponsors, and are pushing for its inclusion in the phase four COVID-19 response package. Sixty-five members of the House, including 16 from New York and seven from New Jersey, have cosponsored this legislation. The full bill text can be found here.
Congress must include Medicare advance payment loan relief issue in its phase four COVID-19 response package, and GNYHA will remain extremely committed to ensure it is.