Ins and Outs of Hearing Aid Coverage Under the ACA

Last week’s Supreme Court affirmation of the Affordable Care Act is good news for the 6.4 million Americans who stood to lose their health insurance if the decision had gone the other way. But it doesn’t improve matters for those with hearing loss. The ACA, unlike Medicare, does not specifically exclude coverage for hearing aids. In fact, the ACA does not specifically exclude any coverage: It was written in a positive way, delineating several categories of benefits that must be included in …

Good News for People on Medicare: Bipartisan Bills to Fight Unexpected Costs, Fraud

BREAKING NEWS: On August 6, President Obama signed the NOTICE Act into law!   On Wednesday, June 24, the Senate Finance Committee approved several bills to improve Medicare. AARP is especially pleased by the advancement of two of these bills: the Notice of Observation, Treatment and Implication for Care Eligibility (NOTICE) Act (S. 1349) and the Preventing and Reducing Improper Medicare and Medicaid Expenditures (PRIME) Act (S. 861). AARP supports the NOTICE and PRIME Acts because they are commonsense, bipartisan …

Facing Facts About Hearing Loss

May was Better Hearing Month, and I did a lot of radio interviews, some on behalf of AARP, others for my new book, Living Better With Hearing Loss: A Guide to Health, Happiness, Love, Sex, Work, Friends … and Hearing Aids. As I heard myself repeating the statistics in one interview after another, I was unhappily reminded of the magnitude of the numbers of people with hearing loss, and the blithe dismissal with which it is generally treated. The prime example …

When It Comes to Telemedicine, Medicare Has a Ways to Go

En español | Hundreds of thousands of people are going virtual to get their health care — replacing traditional face-to-face visits with telemedicine, or health services provided via telecommunication systems by health care professionals at a different location. Telemedicine has a variety of uses. For example, cardiologists can monitor the status of patients with heart disease miles away. Telemedicine can also help patients learn how to manage their illness at home, take their medications as prescribed by their clinicians and …

Medicare Itemizes Its $103 Billion Drug Bill

The federal government popped the cap off drug spending on April 30, detailing doctor-by-doctor and drug-by-drug how Medicare and its beneficiaries spent $103 billion on pharmaceuticals in 2013. The data show that 14 drugs cost the federal government and Medicare beneficiaries more than $1 billion each, accounting for nearly a quarter of Medicare prescription drug spending in 2013. Most of those drugs are used to treat chronic conditions that plague the elderly, including diabetes, depression, high cholesterol and blood pressure, …

Lobby Day: Taking Capitol Hill by Storm

Today, I’m proud to join AARP volunteers from every state in making our voices heard on Capitol Hill. We will meet with members of the House and Senate from all 50 states, urging them to pass laws to protect and enhance the health and economic security of all people as they age. We will also express our thanks to those members who helped pass a “doc fix” law that allows Medicare beneficiaries to continue seeing their physicians. The issues we …