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The Cost Of Seniors’ Health Care May Be Moderating But The Need For Long-Term Care May Be Growing

The pace of medical spending for older adults is slowing, and one highly-respected health economist gives much of the credit to the increased use of medications that reduce the risk of heart disease. That is good news, but it largely ignores the growing costs of long-term care and the increasing burden on family caregivers, whose assistance is not included in [...]

By |2019-02-13T15:43:53-04:00February 13th, 2019|Health Care|0 Comments

Would Trump’s New Drug Rebate Rule Help You?

The Trump Administration has proposed a major change in the way drugs are priced for Medicare beneficiaries. The new rules would upend the current complex and opaque pricing system for pharmaceuticals, lower prices for users of some costly drugs (though not others), and raise Medicare Part D premiums for everyone. Whether you win or lose under the new system would [...]

By |2019-02-06T14:23:56-04:00February 6th, 2019|Medicare|0 Comments

The Federal Government Will Spend Half Its Budget On Older Adults In Ten Years

In 10 years, the federal government will spend half its budget (not counting interest on the debt) on those aged 65 and older. The inexorable aging of the Baby Boom generation means that a growing share of federal spending will be used to support older adults—mostly for health care and retirement benefits. As CBO importantly notes, it is misleading to [...]

By |2019-02-01T09:25:16-04:00February 1st, 2019|Aging|0 Comments

Could Trump and Hill Democrats Make A Deal To Curb Medicare Drug Prices?

Believe it or not, there is a chance President Trump and congressional Democrats can reach an agreement this year to limit the growth in Medicare drug prices. It certainly won’t be easy, given the toxic relationship the president and Democrats have built up in just the past few weeks. But both sides have good reasons to make a deal, and [...]

By |2019-01-23T13:22:05-04:00January 23rd, 2019|Medicare|0 Comments

The Anti-Alzheimer’s BOLD Act Isn’t. But It Could Be A Step In The Right Direction

Last week, President Trump signed into law the BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act, a measure aimed at building a public health model to fight Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The law would authorize up to $100 million over five years to improve public education, support health and social service agencies’ dementia initiatives, and collect and disseminate data about cognitive decline. [...]

By |2019-01-09T11:00:47-04:00January 9th, 2019|dementia|0 Comments

Understanding Medicare Observation Status

No issue generates more anger and confusion among Medicare recipients than observation status—that hospital stay that really isn’t a hospital stay. Over the holidays, I got an earful from three people who had been treated at a hospital by hospital staff yet not admitted to the hospital. A typical case goes like this: A person comes to a hospital emergency [...]

By |2019-01-02T11:32:42-04:00January 2nd, 2019|Medicare|0 Comments

The Changing Demographics of Family Caregivers

Are family caregivers—and care recipients--getting younger? Are men more likely to care for parents and other relatives than in the past? Perhaps, according to a recent survey by the long-term care insurance company Genworth. The survey found that about half of family caregivers now are men. That’s significantly higher than the 40 percent in other studies. At the same time, [...]

By |2019-01-09T20:14:11-04:00December 26th, 2018|family caregivers|0 Comments

What Striking Down The Affordable Care Act Would Mean For Seniors

US District Judge Reed O’Connor’s Friday night decision to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act would damage the well-being of older adults, those 50-64 nearing Medicare, and frail elders and younger people with disabilities who are receiving long-term care benefits under Medicaid. Many lawyers believe the ruling is poorly reasoned and likely would be reversed on appeal. However, it [...]

By |2018-12-17T14:09:45-04:00December 17th, 2018|Health reform|0 Comments

Minnesota Considers Two New Ways To Pay For Long-Term Care

Would you buy a term life insurance policy that automatically converts to long-term care coverage once you reach retirement age?  How about paying a modest additional premium to add some home care benefits to your Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) insurance or your Medicare Advantage plan? Minnesota, a state that has been a leader in long-term care delivery reform, may soon experiment [...]

There Are Not Enough Personal Care Aides To Care For Frail Seniors. What Will We Do?

The long-predicted shortage of personal care aides is here. And it is creating enormous challenges for frail older adults and people with disabilities living at home as well as for operators and residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. This shortage inevitably will drive up costs for services that already are unaffordable for many consumers. They will increase financial [...]

By |2018-12-06T11:18:31-04:00December 6th, 2018|long-term care workers|0 Comments