Medicare

When 86-year-old Carol Wittwer took a taxi to the emergency room, she expected to be admitted to the hospital. She didn't anticipate being asked if she cooks for herself. If she has friends in her high-rise. Or if she could spell lunch backward.

Colin Campbell needs help dressing, bathing and moving between his bed and his wheelchair. He has a feeding tube because his partially paralyzed tongue makes swallowing "almost impossible," he says.

Campbell, 58, spends $4,000 a month on home health care services so he can continue to live in his home just outside Los Angeles. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, which relentlessly attacks the nerve cells in his brain and spinal cord and has no cure.

Each year, thousands of Americans miss their deadline to enroll in Medicare, and federal officials and consumer advocates worry that many of them mistakenly think they don't need to sign up because they have purchased insurance on the Affordable Care Act's marketplaces. That failure to enroll on time can leave them facing a lifetime of penalties.

Drug Coverage Denied By Medicare? How Seniors Can Fight Back

May 4, 2017

Kenneth Buss had taken Xarelto, a blood thinner, for more than a year when his mail-order pharmacy refused a request to refill his prescription several weeks ago.

Back in 2014, federal officials settled on what they thought would be a straightforward fix to curb abusive pill pushing: Require doctors and other health providers to register with Medicare in order to prescribe medications for beneficiaries.

Drug companies could be forgiven if they're confused about whether President Trump thinks the government should get involved in negotiating the price of prescription drugs for Medicare patients.

Just a few days before Trump was sworn in, he said the pharmaceutical industry was "getting away with murder" in the way it prices medicine, and he promised to take the industry on. It was a promise he'd made repeatedly on the campaign trail.

Six years ago, federal health officials were confident they could save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually by auditing private Medicare Advantage insurance plans that allegedly overcharged the government for medical services.

An initial round of audits found that Medicare had potentially overpaid five of the health plans $128 million in 2007 alone, according to confidential government documents released recently in response to a public records request and lawsuit.

Changing the way it does business, Medicare on Friday unveiled a far-reaching overhaul of how it pays doctors and other clinicians.

Seniors who like their Medicare choice this year, shouldn't assume it will be the same next year.

A doctor in your network this year could be out of network next year. The same goes for a prescription drug that is covered this year.

Seniors who aren't comparison shopping during Medicare open enrollment, could see their costs increase.

Colleen Krepstekies with the AARP says her agency can connect seniors to organizations that can help them navigate the enrollment process.

A program that has helped seniors understand the many intricacies of Medicare, as well as save them millions of dollars, would be eliminated by a budget bill overwhelmingly approved last week by the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.

Rubio's Take On Social Security And Medicare

Feb 9, 2016
Amika Osumi

 

 

The first in the nation New Hampshire primary is Tuesday.  

 

During this week’s home stretch, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio gave roughly the same remarks at all his events.

 

However, at his rally in Derry, New Hampshire Rubio cracked a joke about his home state to bring up an issue.

 

“You might not know this, this is not well known,” he said. “In Florida there are a lot of people on Social Security and Medicare.”

 

The crowd laughed at his reference to his home state.

 

Ten years after a prescription drug benefit was added to Medicare, 39 million older or disabled Americans have coverage to help pay for their medicine, including most of the 17 million with private insurance policies known as Medicare Advantage, an alternative to traditional Medicare.

Eleonora Edreva / WLRN

Medicare and Medicaid were established 50 years ago on July 30.

To celebrate the occasion, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had an event at Florida International University to reflect on the impact of the programs during the past half century, as well as look forward at how they can keep expanding and improving.

The event was themed as a birthday party, with a performance by a group of dancers from Little Havana and cake for everyone once the speakers were done.

freedigitalphotos.net

The University of Miami School of Business hosted its yearly health care conference Monday. The main topic of discussion was “disruptive innovation,” which organizer and professor Steven Ullmann says means "to disrupt how we do health care provision in this country."

Ullmann says the health care system now is fragmented, and that makes it expensive.

As privately run Medicare health plans for seniors scramble to stave off proposed funding cuts, federal prosecutors in Florida are pursuing an unusual criminal fraud case that's likely to raise new concerns that some plans may be overcharging the government.

The criminal case is believed to be among the first to take aim at billing practices of Medicare Advantage plans, which are popular with seniors because out-of-pocket costs are lower and they provide more benefits than traditional Medicare.

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