beneficiaries

More Doctors Accepting New Medicare Patients

Posted on 08/27/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsIt’s getting easier — not more difficult — to find doctors who take Medicare, according to a new study by the Department of Health and Human Services. Doctors have long complained about Medicare’s payment caps and the instability of a reimbursement system that forces cuts each year unless Congress intervenes to prevent them. Nonetheless, the HHS study says that the number of physicians accepting new Medicare patients is actually higher than the number taking new private insurance patients, according to …

If You Have Medicare, No Need to Go to Insurance Marketplaces

Posted on 08/26/2013 by |Health | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthBy Susan Jaffe, Kaiser Health News. This story produced in collaboration with USA Today While the Obama administration is stepping up efforts encouraging uninsured Americans to enroll in health coverage from the new online insurance marketplaces, officials are planning a campaign to convince millions of seniors to please stay away – don’t call and don’t sign up. “We want to reassure Medicare beneficiaries that they are already covered, their benefits are not changing and the marketplace doesn’t require them to do …

Surprising Facts About a Survivor – Social Security

Posted on 08/14/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsHappy 78th birthday, Social Security. Since FDR signed you into law on Aug. 14, 1935, you’ve survived wars, budget cuts and changing demographics. Today you may be older than most of your beneficiaries, but you’re still central to secure retirement. Related: How Has Social Security Changed Lives? In Millions of Ways Here are some surprising facts about the program: The number of people who received Social security benefits last year – 61.9 million – is nearly half of what the U.S. …

Medicare Drug Premiums Will Rise Just $1 a Month

Posted on 07/31/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthThe average monthly premium for a basic prescription drug plan under Medicare Part D will be just $1 higher next year, the government projects. What’s more, Medicare beneficiaries get some of the credit for keeping the average low by shopping around, the Associated Press reports. For this year, seven of the top 10 Medicare drug plans raised premiums by 10 percent or more. But the average stayed low because many seniors chose plans with lower premiums. “Consumer advocates say beneficiaries should …

Medicaid’s Costly ‘Revolving Door’

Posted on 05/30/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin TodayWhen Medicaid becomes a revolving door, it ends up both harming patients and increasing costs, a study by two George Washington University researchers finds. “Even short gaps in coverage can lead to delay or avoidance of needed care,” says Leighton Ku, the director of the Center for Health Policy Research at George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services. “This can result in significant increases in hospitalizations for chronic diseases like diabetes, asthma and mental disorders. These costly …

White House to GOP: Hands Off Medicaid

Posted on 02/5/2013 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsAs politicians squabble in the coming months over which federal programs to cut, Medicaid will be protected by a sort of favorite son status. “Other than the most minimal, smart, efficiency-type of measure, Medicaid savings — Medicaid cuts — for this president, for this administration, are not on the table,” said Gene Sperling, the director of the White House’s National Economic Council. Medicaid, the health care program for low-income Americans, will be expanded in 2014 under the provisions of President …