The Fierce Urgency of Now: How $880 Billion in Cuts to Medicaid Could Hurt Us All

If you have protection against future catastrophic out-of-pocket costs for basic life functions, consider yourself lucky. The vast majority of people in the United States don’t. Yet the reality is that there’s a 52 percent chance that someone turning 65 today might develop a severe disability requiring long-term services and supports (LTSS)—that is, help with such functions as eating, bathing, dressing and toileting. For more extensive care, the cost can surpass $250,000 for those over the age of 65 — …

New Rules on Workplace Wellness Programs Make Employees Pay for Privacy

You might soon be paying more for your insurance than some of your coworkers if you are unwilling to share your medical information with your employer, according to rules released May 16 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The new rules allow employers to charge employees a penalty equal to 30 percent of the total employer-employee cost of employee-only health insurance unless they divulge their health data to their employer’s workplace wellness program. Spouses can also be charged another …

Stars for Hospital Quality, Help for Consumers

  There’s good news for consumers interested in taking more control of their health care. On Wednesday, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released quality star ratings for U.S. hospitals, an online resource for consumers. With this release, consumers and family caregivers will have an easy-to-use, easy-to-understand tool to help them evaluate the quality of hospitals. The star rating provides a summary of a hospital’s performance on over 60 quality measures reported on CMS’ Hospital Compare website, in …