Medicare

Updated at 1:30 p.m. ET

On Wednesday, Alexis Conell will mark seven years since she received the kidney transplant that saved her life, but the 53-year-old Chicago woman isn't exactly celebrating.

Although the federal government paid most of the costs for her 2012 transplant, a long-standing Medicare policy halted coverage three years later for the drugs that keep her body from rejecting the organ.

Health insurers that treat millions of seniors have overcharged Medicare by nearly $30 billion over the past three years alone, but federal officials say they are moving ahead with long-delayed plans to recoup at least part of the money.

We all hope for some peace and comfort at the end of life. Hospices are designed to make that possible, relieving pain and providing emotional and spiritual support. But two new government studies released Tuesday morning find that the vast majority of hospices have sometimes failed to do that.

And there's no easy way for consumers to distinguish the good hospices from the bad.

Medicare, Social Security Face Shaky Fiscal Futures

Apr 23, 2019

The financial condition of the government’s bedrock retirement programs for middle- and working-class Americans remains shaky, with Medicare pointed toward insolvency by 2026, according to a report Monday by the government’s overseers of Medicare and Social Security. 

Costly Confusion: Medicare’s Wellness Visit Isn’t The Same As An Annual Physical

Mar 20, 2019

When Beverly Dunn called her new primary care doctor’s office last November to schedule an annual checkup, she assumed her Medicare coverage would pick up most of the tab. 

Medicare Trims Payments To 800 Hospitals, Citing Patient Safety Incidents

Mar 1, 2019

Eight hundred hospitals will be paid less by Medicare this year because of high rates of infections and patient injuries, federal records show. 

"Medicare-for-all," once widely considered a fringe proposal for providing health care in the U.S., is getting more popular. Several Democratic presidential hopefuls are getting behind the idea.

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., endorsed the approach Monday in a CNN town hall-style event, saying her aim would be to eliminate all private insurance.

Poll: Support For 'Medicare-For-all' Fluctuates With Details

Jan 23, 2019

"Medicare-for-all" makes a good first impression, but support plunges when people are asked if they'd pay higher taxes or put up with treatment delays to get it.

The Trump administration says it plans to change how Medicare pays for some expensive drugs for cancer and arthritis in a move to bring the costs more in line with the prices paid in European countries.

"For decades, other countries have rigged the system so that American patients are charged much more," President Trump said Thursday in a speech at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which administers Medicare. "American patients pay more, so other countries can pay less."

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.

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