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Medicare & Medicaid News for Seniors


Medicare & Medicaid News

Your New Medicare Card is On the Way

CMS notifying those in Medicare about their new cards

May 3, 2018 - Medicare notifying by email those on Medicare about the new membership cards without Social Security numbers that will soon be in your mailbox.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Advantage, Part D Updates to Provide New Benefits in 2019

CMS also proposing new protections in opioid crisis

Feb. 21, 2018 - Changes for the Medicare health and drug programs have been proposed for 2019 that increase flexibility in Medicare Advantage to allow more options and new benefits...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare & Medicaid Changing Focus to Outcome-Based Measures

October 30, 2017 - The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will begin focusing on outcome-based measures going forward, as opposed to trying to micromanage processes, according to Administrator Seema Verma.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Why medical cost climb? Read how these drugs are breaking Medicaid

Aleve went from 72 cents to $1.70 a pill (+136%); costing Medicaid extra $10 million in 2016.

By Sydney Lupkin August 14, 2017

Aug. 21, 2017 - Skyrocketing price tags for new drugs to treat rare diseases have stoked outrage nationwide. But hundreds of old, commonly used drugs cost the Medicaid program billions of extra dollars in 2016 vs. 2015, a Kaiser Health News data analysis shows. Eighty of the drugs - some generic and some still carrying brand names - proved more than two decades old.

Medicare & Medicaid News


EpiPen loses fight to be generic; saves Medicaid millions

cash in handSettlement calls for $465 million payment to government

Aug. 18, 2017 - The Department of Justice yesterday announced a $465 million settlement pertaining to Maylan’s claims that EpiPen is a generic drug. Mylan and its auto-injector product have been at the center of the national debate over prescription drug costs.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Hospice Care gets its own Compare website at Medicare-Medicaid

Hospice patient with caretakerCMS now provides seniors with 9 “Compare” websites

Aug. 17, 2017 - Hospice care was slow to be accepted but has officially moved up to be one of the standard services for senior citizens and the elderly. It became official yesterday with the launch of its own “compare website” on the list of those provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Medicare & Medicaid News

What you need to know about Hospice Compare website

Aug. 17, 2017 - The goal of Hospice Compare, launched yesterday, is to help consumers compare hospice providers on their performance and assist in making decisions that are right for them. The information that CMS presents on Hospice Compare can also provide consumers with helpful questions to ask a prospective hospice provider.

Political News for Seniors

AARP Wants Senate Health Bill Stopped; Older Americans in Danger

Seniors most threatened by new Republican health bill, says leading organization of older Americans

unhappy voterJune 25, 2017 — The Senate health bill imposes and “Age Tax” on older adults - increasing health insurance premiums and reducing tax credits. Even more damning, it makes cuts to both Medicare and Medicaid funding, and yet gives billions of dollars in tax breaks to drug and insurance companies. AARP calls on every Senator to vote ‘NO’ on this harmful bill.

Bulletin 6-22-17 1:00 pm

Four GOP senators oppose Senate health-care measure in its current form, puts plan in jeopardy - Washington Post

Medicare & Medicaid News

Meet The GOP Men Reshaping Your Health Care: Not Your Average Senators

Half are from just  three states - Texas, Utah, Wyoming; 10 rank among most conservative senators.

Senate Republicans unveiled on Thursday their revamp of the Affordable Care Act. But who are these GOP senators who worked on the American Health Care Act behind closed doors? You’ve likely heard they are all white men chosen by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Here are some of their vital stats that may have influenced the outcome...

New Senate Health Bill Revamps Medicaid, Alter ACA Guarantees, Cut Premium Support

Crafted in secret, senior citizens needing nursing home care - Alzheimer's patients in particular - may be worst hit if Medicaid can't pay

June 22, 2017 - Republicans in the U.S. Senate on Thursday unveiled a bill that would dramatically transform the nation’s Medicaid program, make significant changes to the federal health law’s tax credits that help lower-income people buy insurance and allow states to water down changes to some of the law’s coverage guarantees.

Medicare & Medicaid News


Round-up of News Reports on Senate Health Care Bill

Senate Republicans Unveil Health Care Proposal, Mostly Cutting Medicaid

June 22, 2017 - The Senate bill — once promised as a top-to-bottom revamp of the health bill passed by the House last month — instead maintains its structure, with modest adjustments.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Your new Medicare card with new number to remember is in works

Social Security numbers disappear to combat fraud says Medicare

By staff

June 19, 2017 – For senior citizens who like change, if there is one, the program underway at Medicare will provide some joy. All the rest may have trouble welcoming it into their lives, because it is giving us all a new number on our Medicare cards to remember. Up until now Medicare has used our Social Security number but this is all changing as part of a new fraud prevention program by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Medicare & Medicaid News

Senior citizens with Medicare get lots of benefits from Obamacare

12 million saved $26 billion on drugs; 40 million got free preventive services last year

By Tucker Sutherland, editor & publisher

January 27, 2017 – There was such a barrage of Republican attacks on Obamacare before it ever got off the ground that it has prevented many – maybe most – from even knowing what it does. Senior citizens, for example, are probably unaware that it lowered their drug prices and established new free preventive services. It saved twelve million on Medicare $26 billion on drugs since 2010 and over 40 million used the free preventive services just last year.

Medicare & Medicaid News

New Medicare Rules Should Help ‘High Need’ Patients Get Better Treatment

Senior citizens with suspected cognitive impairment get lift from new payments tied to standards physicians must follow after January 1

elderly couple concerned about dementia, Alzheimer's diseaseDec. 23, 2016 - Doctors have complained for years that they’re not paid adequately for time-consuming work associated with managing care for seriously ill older patients: consulting with other specialists, talking to families and caregivers, interacting with pharmacists and more. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Trump Pick To Run Medicare and Medicaid Has Shown Tough Approach

Two business-oriented managers taking reins of programs critical to seniors

On Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump tapped Seema Verma, a health care consultant, to head the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. That’s the part of the Department of Health and Human Services that oversees Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program and has a budget of just under a trillion dollars in 2016. More...

Political News for Seniors

Seniors may see massive changes in Medicare from new Trump appointee to head HHS

Rep.Tim Price, to head HHS for TrumplAggressive advocate for the privatization of Medicare, Tim Price,  will head Health & Human Services

Nov. 30, 2016 - This week, with the appointment of Rep. Tim Price to head Health and Human Services (HHS), many Americans are left wondering what will happen to Medicare, according to a report on the Fox News website. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Part B price hike for seniors with highest incomes biggest news in A and B premiums for 2017

Part B jumps for many, flat for others as is Part A but deductibles climb

Nov. 30, 2016 - There is a grain of good news for most senior citizens resulting from the mediocre Social Security increase - Part B Medicare premiums will stay flat  next year, although, higher income seniors will see a 10 percent jump. Part A premium are not paid by most in Medicare but the deductible for inpatient hospital stays and some other services will increase. More...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Open Enrollment ready for seniors to choose new health, drug plans

Every year, Medicare’s open enrollment period is October 15 through December 7.

Nov. 2, 2016 - Medicare health and drug plans can make changes each year - things like cost, coverage, and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks. October 15 to December 7 is when all people with Medicare can change their Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better meet their needs.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Here is what seniors can do during Medicare Open Enrollment

There are many opportunities for seniors during Medicare's Open Enrollment

Nov. 2, 2016 - Every year, Medicare has what is known as the open enrollment period, which has been set to occur from Oct. 7 through Dec. 7. Most seniors on Medicare tend to associate this period as a time to consider a new drug plan that better fits the person's changing needs for prescription drugs. But, there is much more you can do to improve your health and drug insurance.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Open Enrollment: Be a smart shopper says Medicare Blog

Tips for senior citizens on what to look for in open enrollment period

Nov. 2, 2016 - Whether groceries, health insurance, or anything else, everybody wants to get the best value for their money. And health care is no different—that’s why it’s a good idea for seniors to shop around for a plan. Cost is an important factor in any purchase, especially when it comes to health care, but it’s not the only thing to consider.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare Advantage premiums remain stable in 2017 with better plans

Senior couple happy with Medicare prices for 20172017 Open Enrollment for Medicare health and drug plans begins on October 15, 2016 and ends on December 7.

Sept. 26, 2016 – Good news for many seniors: Medicare Advantage premiums will remain stable and more enrollees will have access to higher quality plans in 2017, according to word last week from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)... premiums and costs for Medicare health and drug plans for the 2017.

Medicare & Medicaid News

Medicare’s Nursing Home Compare adds new measures, updates today

New quality measures included in calculation for Nursing Home five star ratings

Nursing home patient outdoors with nurse Aug. 10, 2016 – One of Medicare’s most popular ratings websites - Nursing Home Compare – was updated this morning. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) says it has added new measures...

Medicare & Medicaid News

Raising Medicare eligibility age may save feds dollars but drive up total spending

Some health spending dropped by a third with switch from private insurance to Medicare

By Michelle Andrews, Kaiser Health News

May 6, 2016 - Healthcare spending for some services dropped by nearly a third when people turned 65 and switched from private insurance to Medicare, according to a recent study. The decline was driven by lower prices paid by the Medicare program to doctors and other providers rather than a drop-off in the volume of services seniors receive.


Nursing Home Compare expanded by six quality measures

Now has 24 measures for 15,655 nursing homes

May 2, 2016 - Six new quality measures have been added to the Nursing Home Compare website and three are the first to be based on Medicare-claims data from hospitals, rather than data self-reported by nursing homes.

Medicare & Medicaid News

New CMS rules for Medicaid plans will improve services

Rules tighten for private insurance plans that administer most Medicaid benefits for the poor

By Jay Hancock,