New Medicare Program May Be Reducing Hospital Readmissions for Joint Replacement Patients

Lately you may have noticed a growing number of commercials filled with people happily touting the benefits of their new joints. Experts expect such procedures to become increasingly popular as the active boomer population continues to age. However, the commercials typically gloss over the fact that joint replacements do not come without risk: Implant-related complications are common and can lead to unplanned hospital readmissions. While many hospital readmissions are unavoidable, experts believe hospitals can reduce readmissions for certain conditions. Accordingly, …

Medicare Releases Official 2016 Part B Premiums

After months of speculation, Medicare’s standard Part B premiums for 2016 have been officially announced. About 70 percent of beneficiaries will continue to pay the same amount that has been charged for the past three years: $104.90 a month. Others will pay $121.80 a month, or more for higher-income beneficiaries who already pay higher premiums. As previously reported, the double standard arises from a quirk in the law that occurs only when there is no Social Security cost of living …

Affordable Care Act Open Enrollment Is Underway; Shop Smart

AARP encourages Americans to review their health insurance options during the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment period that started Sunday. Open enrollment (from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31) is an important opportunity for consumers to find a plan that could save them more money, offer better services, or include more of their doctors. Since the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period in 2013, the uninsured rate for pre-Medicare Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 has dropped …

Three Big Wins for Retired People in New Budget Act

People of retirement age and their families scored three significant victories in the budget act passed by Congress. 1. We preserved every cent of current Social Security recipients’ benefits. Millions of Social Security recipients were going to have their benefits automatically cut by 20 percent in 2016. That’s been stopped. No current recipient will lose a cent of Social Security benefits. Social Security Calculator: When Should You Claim Your Benefits? » 2. We halted skyrocketing Medicare premiums. Millions of Medicare recipients …

How the Budget Deal Blunts Medicare Cost Increases, Tweaks Social Security

The bipartisan budget agreement reached by the White House and congressional leaders wards off a spike next year in Medicare premiums and deductibles for millions of older Americans as well as ensures full Social Security disability benefits to millions who had faced steep cuts. President Barack Obama signed the accord Nov. 2 after the House of Representatives adopted it Oct. 28 and the Senate Oct. 30. In a letter to Congress, AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins applauded the agreement: “Your …

It Pays to Compare Your Medicare Plan Options

It’s that time of year again: Medicare Open Enrollment. Open enrollment is the one time of year when you can re-evaluate your Medicare health and prescription drug plans and switch to ones that offer better coverage or save you money. By now you should have received your Annual Notice of Change packet of information in the mail. It’s very important to take the time to sit down and review this information to see if you want to make any changes …