Evidence is emerging that Annual Wellness Visits, the preventive health benefit for Medicare enrollees created by the Affordable Care Act, are achieving their intended purpose—linking people with preventive services. But not all demographic groups are gaining the benefits equally.
Recent research shows that Medicare's Annual Wellness Visit appears to be achieving one of its key goals: providing a gateway for beneficial preventive and screening services.
One quarter of Medicare Advantage enrollees used the annual wellness visit benefit in 2015—42% higher than the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimate for annual wellness visits in the traditional Medicare population.
Health care is full of confusing jargon, such as VBID, which stands for value based insurance design. Here’s a quick primer on VBID and why it matters for people with people with Medicare private plans (known as Medicare Advantage).
Dementia is an increasingly prevalent condition that millions of families must deal with every day. It can be taxing—emotionally, physically, and financially—for all involved, and people are understandably looking for help wherever they can find it. However, there could be a big disconnect between how health care providers prescribe drugs used to treat the condition and what is supported by clinical evidence, a new AARP Public Policy Institute report finds.
Changing Medicare into a “Premium Support” Program Would Reduce—Not Increase—Choices for Individuals
The budget blueprint recently passed by the House proposes to redesign Medicare—the program that nearly all Americans ages 65 and older and millions of younger people with disabilities rely on for health coverage. The proposal would transform Medicare into what’s termed a “premium support” or “voucher” program. This change would have a huge impact on people with Medicare today and in the future.
Federal law prohibits traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage providers and suppliers from billing people who are qualified Medicare beneficiaries (QMBs) for Medicare deductibles, coinsurance and copayments — a practice known as balance billing. Qualified Medicare beneficiaries (QMBs) are people with Medicare who have incomes at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level — or a higher level set by their state — and very few resources. In spite of the prohibition, many QMBs are receiving and, out of fear, paying these bills.
Boomers retiring without dental benefits, and Medicare recipients who don’t have a Medicare Advantage plan, may be surprised and dismayed by the latest study on the cost of dental coverage.
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