Retiree Health Care Costs May Gobble Up Your Social Security Benefits

A new study projects that a couple retiring this year could spend 67 percent of their lifetime Social Security benefits on out-of-pocket health care costs. And that’s even when couples have Medicare Parts B and D with supplemental insurance. The news gets worse for today’s 55-year-olds who plan to retire in 10 years at age 65, the year in which they’re eligible for Medicare. According to the 2015 Retirement Health Care Cost Data Report, almost 93 percent of that couple’s Social Security …

Health Costs Inch Up as Obamacare Kicks In

By Jay Hancock, Staff Writer, Kaiser Health News Doctors and hospitals treated more patients and collected more payments in the spring as millions gained insurance coverage under the health law, new figures from the government show. But analysts called the second-quarter increases modest and said there is little evidence to suggest that wider coverage and a recovering economy are pushing health spending growth to the painful levels of a decade ago. >> 8 Things You Need to Know About Medicare …

FTC Raises Concerns About Efforts to Blunt Rx Competition

Biologic drugs are often used to treat health conditions that affect older populations – diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Derived from living organisms, biologics have an estimated average cost of $35,000 a year, which is far more than that of traditional, chemically derived drugs. Congress recently granted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to approve less expensive generic versions of biologic drugs, known as biosimilars or follow-on biologics. But while the FDA continues to work …

Why So Many Americans Put Off Medical Care

Hidalgo is a county in southern Texas just across the Rio Grande from Mexico. It’s also home to the highest prevalence of U.S. adults – about 40 percent of the population- delaying necessary medical care because of cost, according to data in the March 28 New England Journal of Medicine. The research letter in the March 28 issue of the journal found this number to vary significantly across the country and to be lower in places with less restrictive eligibility …

One in Three Older Adults Dies With Dementia

Less than a week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced plans to get new Alzheimer’s drugs to market more quickly, comes two alarming reports showing dramatic increases in the number of deaths from the degenerative brain disease. A new report, released by the Alzheimer’s Association, an advocacy group, finds that one in three older adults dies with dementia, based on numbers from Medicare and Medicaid reports. Although Alzheimer’s may not be the direct cause of death, it can …

29 States Get ‘F’ for Keeping Health Costs Hidden

By Russ Mitchell for Kaiser Health News Wonder why you can’t get a straight answer on how much a health care procedure will cost you? One big reason: State laws which allow hospitals and other providers to keep costs hidden until they send you the bill. A report card on price transparency released today gives 29 states an “F” and seven states a “D” for policies that keep patients and their families in the dark on prices. The failing grade …