Medicare

What Really Is Happening To Medicare Spending?

A new report this week about future increases in Medicare spending set off wildly misleading headlines about the program’s future and what is might mean for efforts to expand it, as many prominent Democrats are proposing. As you wade through all this, there may be much less to the new forecast than meets the eye. Keep in mind three points: [...]

By |2019-02-22T14:15:11+00:00February 22nd, 2019|Medicare|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+00:00February 6th, 2019|Medicare|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+00:00January 23rd, 2019|Medicare|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+00:00January 2nd, 2019|Medicare|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

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