Blog

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+00:00December 6th, 2018|long-term care workers|0 Comments

What The New Congress Will Mean For Medicare And Other Issues For Older Adults

After the new Congress is sworn in next January it may address several issues that directly affect the well-being of older adults as well as younger people with disabilities. The House, which will be controlled by Democrats, and the Senate, still run by Republicans, will have very different perspectives on these issues but both chambers are likely to confront the [...]

By |2018-11-26T13:00:07+00:00November 26th, 2018|long term care reform, Medicare|0 Comments

Is Maine Ready For A Universal Home Care Benefit For Seniors And People With Disabilities?

On Tuesday, voters in Maine will decide whether to create the nation’s first universal public home care benefit for older adults and younger people with disabilities. The hotly debated referendum, Ballot Question 1, would be funded through a surtax on high-income households. The measure was introduced by the Main People’s Alliance and is supported by many progressive and consumer groups. [...]

By |2018-10-31T10:58:54+00:00October 31st, 2018|aging in place, long term care reform|0 Comments

Trump’s Latest Plan To Cut Medicare Drug Prices Would Benefit Few Seniors

With great fanfare, and just two weeks before the congressional elections, President Trump announced a new initiative aimed at reducing Medicare drug prices. It is an issue he has been promising to address since his presidential campaign. But a close look shows that the package announced yesterday is quite modest. The plan, which the Department of Health & Human Services [...]

By |2018-10-26T12:35:41+00:00October 26th, 2018|Medicare|0 Comments

Welcome to Medicare’s Open Season. Your Head Is About To Explode

It is Medicare open season. And, let’s face it, nobody has any idea what to do. The other night, I got a call from a friend who works in the long-term care advocacy world. She will soon turn 65 and is confronting the reality of enrolling in Medicare. She has been doing diligent research and creating detailed spreadsheets. And she [...]

By |2018-10-19T10:56:44+00:00October 19th, 2018|Medicare|0 Comments

Medicare May Be Spending Far Less on End-Of-Life Patients Than We Think

You probably have heard the statistic: One-quarter of Medicare spending is for patients in the last year of life.  It is cited as a major reason for excessive medical spending in the US and leads to a widely-accepted conclusion: If only we would stop “wasting” dollars on futile care for those who soon will die anyway, we could significantly slow [...]

By |2018-10-11T09:32:44+00:00October 11th, 2018|End of life, Medicare|0 Comments

What A Medicare Advantage Personal Services Benefit Looks Like

Earlier this year, Congress and the Trump Administration for the first time allowed Medicare Advantage plans to offer their members non-medical supportive services such as transportation and home meals. As insurers begin to roll out their plans for Medicare’s 2019 open season enrollment, we are starting to see what these new benefits are going to look like. Relatively few plans [...]

By |2018-10-05T11:39:18+00:00October 5th, 2018|Medicare|0 Comments