Congress Approves Bill Bolstering Medicare Patients’ Hospital Rights

The U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation Monday night requiring hospitals across the nation to tell Medicare patients when they receive observation care but have not been admitted to the hospital. It’s a distinction that’s easy to miss until patients are hit with big medical bills after a short stay. The vote follows overwhelming approval in the U. S. House of Representatives in March. The legislation is expected to be signed into law by President Barack Obama, said its House sponsor, …

Take Advantage of Medicare’s Free Preventive Services

Being able to treat a medical problem is good, but dodging the problem altogether is even better. That seems obvious, yet Medicare has only recently expanded coverage for services that help prevent or stave off some of the diseases that make people very ill and — not coincidentally — cost Medicare mountains of money. Many of these preventive tests, screenings and counseling sessions are now available for free, with no copays or deductibles, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. More …

Supreme Court Rules Health Insurance Subsidies Can Continue in All States

Some 6.4 million Americans in states relying on the healthcare.gov federal insurance exchange will continue to receive subsidies for coverage after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled June 25 that the Affordable Care Act allows such financial support. The law’s supporters applauded the court’s decision. “The ACA’s goals of improving affordability and removing barriers to access for health insurance have been critical in reducing the number of uninsured Americans,” said Jo Ann Jenkins, CEO of AARP. “Importantly, for older Americans, we …

AARP Applauds Supreme Court Ruling on ACA

AARP applauds the U.S. Supreme Court’s King v. Burwell decision today that allows individuals who purchased health insurance through the federal exchange to continue receiving subsidies to help pay premiums. The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) goals of improving affordability and removing barriers to access for health insurance have been critical in reducing the number of uninsured Americans. Importantly, for older Americans, we have seen a 31 percent drop in the uninsured rate for those ages 50-64. The ACA has benefited …

Medicaid Expansion Helps Cut Rate of Older, Uninsured Adults From 12% to 8%

The health law’s expansion of Medicaid coverage to adults with incomes over the poverty line was key to reducing the uninsured rate among 50- to 64-year-olds from nearly 12 percent to 8 percent in 2014, according to a new analysis. “Clearly most of the gains in coverage were in Medicaid or non-group coverage,” says study coauthor Jane Sung, a senior strategic policy adviser at the AARP Public Policy Institute, which conducted the study with the Urban Institute. Under the health …

Supreme Court Hears Challenge to Health Care Law

For the second time in three years, the federal Affordable Care Act went before the Supreme Court on Wednesday. And before a packed courtroom, a divided group of justices mostly picked up right where they left off the last time. Once again, commentators and experts were left to wonder where Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, considered swing votes in the case, stand. A decision is expected by the end of June. Unlike in 2012, the current case, …