Medicare

Same-Sex Couples Still Waiting for Equal Treatment

Posted on 04/8/2014 by |Senior Editor, Money Team | Comments

Bulletin Today | Money & SavingsThe U.S. Supreme Court ruled the law that prevented same-sex spouses from enjoying federal benefits was unconstitutional nearly a year ago, yet the financial repercussions for these couples are still being worked through. Federal agencies have been updating their regulations to comply, and some have moved faster than others. And even among agencies that have acted, how they handle same-sex marriage differs. The IRS, for instance, says same-sex spouses now must file federal returns as joint filers or as married …

Medicare Changes Its Policy for Heart Failure Patients

Posted on 04/4/2014 by |Personal Health and Well-being | Comments

Bulletin Today | Personal HealthAfter deliberating for a decade, Medicare recently announced that it will now cover cardiac rehab for some patients who suffer from stable but chronic heart failure, a costly, debilitating disease that could be improved with supervised exercise and counseling. Heart failure is a chronic condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the body’s need for oxygen. Patients often suffer shortness of breath and swelling in their feet, ankles, legs and stomach from fluid buildup. Some 650,000 …

Medicare Accepting Applications From Same-Sex Spouses

Posted on 04/4/2014 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsSpouses in same-sex marriages can now apply for Medicare benefits. The Social Security Administration, which is in charge of determining eligibility for Medicare, has begun working on requests for Part A and Part B coverage by spouses in same-sex marriages as well as requests for special enrollment and reductions in late-enrollment penalties. The Supreme Court’s ruling last year in United States v. Windsor invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act, which had prevented Medicare from allowing benefits for same-sex couples. >> Sign …

House GOP Plan Seeks Health Cuts to Balance Budget

Posted on 04/2/2014 by |General News | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsBy Andrew Taylor, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are pressing ahead with a slashing plan to try to balance the budget within 10 years, relying on big decreases in health care programs for the middle class and the poor, as well as tax increases and Medicare cuts engineered by President Obama. The GOP fiscal plan by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., promises $5.1 trillion in spending cuts — and unorthodox accounting incorporating the pro-growth effects of …

Obama Budget Proposal Targets Medicare Savings

Posted on 03/4/2014 by |Washington Watch | Comments

Bulletin Today | PoliticsAs expected, President Obama’s budget proposal abandoned a call to change the way annual increases in Social Security benefits are calculated and continued a call for Medicare savings. Announced March 4, his plan, which goes next to Congress, would hit some Medicare providers, drug companies and higher-income Medicare beneficiaries as part of $402 billion in estimated health care savings over the next decade. Among the proposed changes for beneficiaries: Charge higher premiums for Parts B and D for higher-income people …

Report Shows Rampant Patient Harm in Skilled Nursing Facilities

Posted on 03/4/2014 by |Caregiving | Comments

Bulletin Today | CaregivingIf ever there were a statistic to make your heart stop, this is it: 1 out of every 3 patients who went to skilled nursing facilities after a hospital stay was harmed by his or her treatment. A study released this week by the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services found that this harm included infections and medication errors. The report looked at 653 Medicare patients from more than 600 skilled nursing facilities who had been …