Medicare Premiums Expected to Rise Steeply for Some, Stay Unchanged for Most

Most Medicare enrollees can expect to pay the same amount for their Medicare Part B coverage (the portion of Medicare that pays for doctors’ services and outpatient care) in 2016 as they do this year ($104.90), according to estimates from the latest Medicare trustees report. But about 1 in 7 enrollees will face a dramatic increase. Most enrollees will see no change In 2016, about 70 percent of Medicare enrollees will be protected from an increase because of a “hold …

Are Accountable Care Organizations Improving Care for Medicare Patients?

The Medicare program is busy trying out new ways of paying for medical care that are designed to improve care and lower spending. One of the most important of these initiatives offers financial incentives to groups of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers, known as Accountable Care Organizations (or ACOs), that agree to share responsibility for delivering medical services to their patients. The idea is that when providers coordinate their efforts they will be able to improve the quality …

Medicare Does Not Pay for Long-Term Care

Many consumers and policymakers mistakenly believe that Medicare – the federal health insurance program for people age 65 and older and some younger people with disabilities – pays for long-term care. It does not, as stated in the official Medicare handbook. Millions of Medicare enrollees must pay for long-term care services (such as personal assistance at home, assisted living, and nursing home care) entirely from their own income and savings. Confusion often stems from misinterpretation of coverage provided by Medicare’s …