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, …

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 …

CFPB: Reverse Mortgage Ads Can Confuse More Than Inform

Advertisements touting reverse mortgages often leave older consumers confused about the loan terms and unaware of the risks, according to a new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. “Perhaps most concerning of all, the ads left the consumers believing that if they purchase a reverse mortgage loan, they will be able to rest assured that they can live in their homes and enjoy financial security for the rest of their lives,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a teleconference. …

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 …

Reverse Mortgages Now Harder to Get

If you’ve thought about taking out a reverse mortgage, be aware that new rules that recently kicked in might make it harder for you to qualify. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development tightened lending criteria late last month. The changes require that lenders determine whether would-be borrowers have enough income to keep up with property taxes and homeowners insurance so they don’t default on the loan and, possibly, lose their home. HUD’s Federal Housing Administration insures most reverse mortgages. …