Medicare Database Reveals Top-Paid Doctors

By Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Serdar Tumgoren, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – Medicare paid a tiny group of doctors $3 million or more apiece in 2012. One got nearly $21 million. Those are among the findings of an Associated Press analysis of physician data released Wednesday by the Obama administration, part of a move to open the books on health care financing. Topping Medicare’s list was Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen, whose relationship with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), made headlines last year …

Government Hikes Payment Estimate for Medicare Advantage Plans

By Tom Murphy, AP Business Writer The government has raised its payment estimate for Medicare Advantage plans months ahead of a busy election season during which cuts to the program promise to be a key focus for politicians and voters. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said Monday that 2015 payments to the plans should increase less than 1 percent overall. That compares to a drop of nearly 2 percent that the government forecast in February. Analysts expect actual …

Health Care Law Helps Add 3 Million to Medicaid

By Erica Werner, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – Three million Americans signed up for Medicaid under President Barack Obama’s new health care law as of the end of February, the administration announced on April 4, offering its first full accounting of how much the safety net health program has grown since implementation of the law. Many were newly eligible because of the law’s Medicaid expansion, while others already eligible but not yet enrolled came forward because of publicity around the …

Health Law Sign-Ups on Track to Hit 7 Million

By Josh Lederman and Ricardo Zaldivar, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) – Beating expectations, President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul was on track to sign up more than 7 million Americans for health insurance on deadline day, Monday, government officials told the Associated Press. The 7 million target, thought to be out of reach by most experts, was in sight on a day that saw surging consumer interest as well as vexing computer glitches that slowed sign-ups on the HealthCare.gov website. …

Answers About the Health Care Law Deadline

Time is almost up. March 31 is the last day this year for most people to sign up for health coverage made available by the Affordable Care Act. If you have started the process and encountered problems, you have until April 15 to request an extension. “Remember, if you don’t have health insurance you may have to pay a penalty, and if you do get sick, you won’t be turned away from an emergency room but you will leave with a …

Senate Deal on Jobless Benefits Won’t Bring Fast Relief for Unemployed

One of the hurdles blocking the extension of unemployment insurance benefits for about 2 million long-term unemployed workers has been eliminated. A small group of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate on March 13 reached an agreement that would extend benefits for another five months – gathering enough support to prevent a filibuster by opponents. The extension would be retroactive to Dec. 28, 2013, when benefits expired. Legislators who have been against extending benefits cite the cost, which runs about …