AARP Opposes Employer Invasion of Medical Privacy

UPDATE (5/16/2016): AARP is deeply disappointed with the new EEOC rules on workplace wellness programs. Read our press release. ***** With election season in full force, much of the work inside Washington is flying under the radar. While Congress remains deeply divided, there continues to be action on the regulatory front. One such development should be a real attention grabber: a proposed Obama administration rule that would allow an employer’s workplace wellness program to require you and your family to …

New Guidelines Give Consumers Easier Access to Their Medical Records

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) gives consumers the right to access their medical information. But many people still have to jump through hoops to get their medical records from reluctant health care providers.   New Guidance Prods Clinicians to Provide Patient Records Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services issued updated guidelines that will make it much easier for people to see their paper or electronic health information, including what their doctor has written about them. …

4 Tips for Long-Distance Caregivers

I have been both a live-in caregiver and a long-distance caregiver. In fact, currently, I’m really both. My dad lives with me (as do my sister and her two sons at the moment), and I also travel for work, about a week every month. I’ve learned to manage my loved ones’ care no matter where I am. Here are some of my tips for other long-distance caregivers. 1) Include local people on your caregiving team. My paternal grandparents lived in …

Feds Propose New Health Insurance Consumer Protections

En español | Have you ever scheduled a medical procedure, made sure your health insurance was covering it as in-network — but later were surprised to receive an out-of-network bill from one of your health providers? Or, have you ever enrolled in a health plan available in your area, but then, when it came time to seek needed medical care from a specialist, you discover that none were available both in-network and within a reasonable distance from your home? Fortunately …

Among Older African Americans, Depression Continues to Be Under-Detected and Undertreated

The good news is that appropriate treatment can help most older adults with depression. What’s more, Medicare has recently improved its coverage for people with mental disorders. It now covers a free annual depression screening, and beneficiaries no longer have to pay more for outpatient treatment of mental illnesses than they do for physical illnesses. In addition, Medicare’s prescription drug benefit covers essentially all antidepressants used to treat people with depression. Older African Americans’ Depression Is More Likely to Go …

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 …