Medicare

Ensuring that people with pre-existing health conditions can get and keep health insurance is the most popular part of the Affordable Care Act. It has also become a flashpoint in this fall's midterm campaigns across the country.

And not only is the ACA protection, which mostly applies to people who buy their own coverage, at risk. It's also possible that pre-existing condition protections that predate the federal health law could be in play.

No More Secrets: Congress Bans Pharmacist ‘Gag Orders’ On Drug Prices

Oct 10, 2018

For years, most pharmacists couldn’t give customers even a clue about an easy way to save money on prescription drugs. But the restraints are coming off.

When the cash price for a prescription is less than what you would pay using your insurance plan, pharmacists will no longer have to keep that a secret.

Company Led By Cook To Offer Medicare Plans

Oct 4, 2018

The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has given SOLIS Health Plans approval to begin offering Medicare Advantage plans in Florida beginning in 2019 in Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Orange and Hillsborough counties. 

Check your mailboxes Florida residents because your new Medicare card is coming soon.

The Trump administration's Medicare chief on Wednesday slammed Sen. Bernie Sanders' call for a national health plan, saying "Medicare for All" would undermine care for seniors and become "Medicare for None."

Critics Take Aim At Medicaid Change

Jun 21, 2018

A move by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration to eliminate a long-standing policy that gives poor, disabled and elderly Floridians 90 days to qualify for the Medicaid program isn’t getting support from people who care for patients or from patients’ family members.

Medicare will run out of money sooner than expected, and Social Security's financial problems can't be ignored either, the government said Tuesday in a sobering checkup on programs vital to the middle class.

Nelson, Democrats Blast Proposed Medicaid Cut

May 11, 2018

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Democratic U.S. House members Thursday called for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to reject a move by Gov. Rick Scott’s administration to cut $98 million by trimming the length of time people have to apply for the Medicaid program.

“I rise here today because the state of Florida has again proposed to harm thousands of seniors and folks with disabilities who rely on Medicaid for their health care,” Nelson, a Democrat who faces an election challenge this year from Scott, said on the Senate floor.

One reader suspects a double standard — how come people with private health insurance are allowed to use a manufacturer's discount coupon for medicine, but Medicare patients can't? Another consumer wonders what ever happened to cost-free primary care appointments. We have answers to these health care questions that may have been worrying or frustrating you, too:

The woman arrived at the emergency department gasping for air, her severe emphysema causing such shortness of breath that the physician who examined her immediately put her on a ventilator to help her breathe.

The patient lived across the street from that suburban Denver ER. The facility wasn't physically located at a hospital, says Dr. David Friedenson, the physician who took care of her that day. But it was affiliated with a hospital several miles away — North Suburban Medical Center.

It came down to the wire, but a federal agency that helps thousands of Florida seniors sign up for Medicare will be funded for another year.

In April, the government will start sending out new Medicare cards, launching a massive, yearlong effort to alter how 59 million people enrolled in the federal health insurance program are identified.

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.

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