Medicare Rights in the News

We routinely provides the press with news that impacts the 47 million people with Medicare—and their family, friends, coworkers and communities. By alerting print, broadcast and online media outlets, we’re able to keep people abreast of changes in the Medicare system, share our research findings and recommendations for reform, and inform them about new Medicare Rights Center initiatives. Our experts, services and resources are often featured in the news. Here are some recent examples that have appeared in prominent media outlets:

How to save big on Medicare? Know when to sign up

Enrolling in Medicare can be stressful and confusing, but delay signing up and it can also set you back a bundle. Late enrollment penalties can hike a monthly premium by 10 percent or more – for the rest of your life. – Sam Wood, Philadelphia Inquirer

Missing your Medicare enrollment window can cost you big – for the rest of your life

There is a specific seven-month enrollment period for Medicare Part A and Part B that is centered around your 65th birthday. Miss that window of opportunity and there’s a good chance of a monetary penalty being tacked onto your monthly Medicare Part B premium – for the rest of your life.

Budget cuts threaten SHIP Medicare counseling program

Would you call a U.S. program that helps 7 million seniors save money on Medicare annually “unnecessary”? Probably not. But a network of more than 3,300 free Medicare counseling services could lose its $52 million in federal funding due to budget cuts.

In Report to Congress, Panel Targets Rising Medicare Drug Costs

Congress should move to slow spending in Medicare’s drug benefit by adopting a package of changes that could save billions, but would also add costs to insurers and have mixed effects on enrollees, an independent advisory commission said earlier this month.

About to turn 65? Forgetting to enroll in Medicare will cost you, Schumer warns

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Medicare should notify people about to turn 65 to enroll in the federal health insurance program so they are not forced to pay hefty financial penalties for the rest of their lives, according to Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-NY. People are automatically enrolled in Medicare when they become eligible for Social Security benefits.

Medicare Patients Struggle With Prescription Prices

Senior Citizens across the U.S. face a unique struggle when it comes to dealing with their high prescription prices. Find out how you might be able to reduce costs.

Senate committee-approved spending bill would eliminate Medicare assistance program

SHIPs are “critical” to Medicare beneficiaries, Stein says A federal program that provides seniors with advice for the Medicare program is one of 18 groups on the chopping block under a spending bill approved by a Senate committee last week.

Senate Panel Kills Medicare Program That Offers Help On Enrollment, Billing Issues

It’s not clear yet if the full Senate or House will concur in the plan to cut funding for the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, which operates in all states and gives beneficiaries free advice on enrollment in drug and insurance plans, appealing coverage decisions and applying for financial subsidies.

Two experts square off on Part B pilot

Bill Gates wants genetically modified mosquitoes, and the man who was once favored to win the GOP nomination is instead closing out the AHIP conference today. But first: Inside the battle roiling Washington’s health care community. PULSE CHECK: Two experts square off on Part B.

Medicare Rules for Home Health Care

Making the most of Medicare’s home health care policy is easier than you think. ThinkStock Medicare home health coverage can be a crucial benefit for seniors who have just been discharged from the hospital or who struggle with a chronic condition and have difficulty leaving home.

Federal Program That Helps Patients Navigate Medicare May Be Cut

A program that has helped seniors understand the many intricacies of Medicare, as well as save them millions of dollars, would be eliminated by a budget bill overwhelmingly approved last week by the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. The State Health Insurance Assistance Program, or SHIP, is among more than a dozen programs left out of the bill by the committee.

Advisory Panel Targets Rising Medicare Drug Costs In Its Latest Report To Congress

Congress should move to slow spending in Medicare’s drug benefit by adopting a package of changes that could save billions, but would also add costs to insurers and have mixed effects on enrollees, an independent advisory commission said Wednesday.

Can My Spouse Qualify for Medicare on My Work Record?

Q. Your questions often relate to Social Security benefits for spouses, especially lower income-earning spouses, or spouses who have not worked. Does Medicare have similar considerations? I have worked all my life. My spouse worked for a few years and then cared for our children. Will he be eligible for Medicare?

Reducing the Cost of Drugs

” Proposal to Reduce Medicare Drug Payments Draws Bipartisan Criticism ” (news article, May 23) details the backlash over a proposal to test new ways to pay for prescription drugs covered under Medicare Part B and also alludes to support among some lawmakers and patient advocates.

What you don’t know about Medicare could cost you a bundle

More From Return on Retirement Turning 65 is a milestone in many respects , one of which is qualifying for Medicare, the federally sponsored health-insurance program. Yet for many, the Medicare process can be daunting, from how to enroll to which of the various options to select.

Medicare’s Drug-Pricing Experiment Stirs Opposition

A broad proposal by Medicare to change the way it pays for some drugs has drawn intense reaction and lobbying, with much of the debate centering on whether the plan gives too much power over drug prices to government regulators.

Congressional Hearing Goof Pulls Back The Curtain On How Washington Really Works

WASHINGTON — Everyone knows Washington can be a virtual echo chamber, but a pair of witnesses at a congressional hearing this week took things a little too far.

This controversial rule could change how doctors profit from using the most expensive drugs

A controversial effort by the Obama administration to reform how doctors earn money from administering injection drugs would reduce their earnings on the most expensive drugs while making many older generics more lucrative, according to a new analysis.

Medicare change: ‘Perverse’ incentive or ‘perverse’ reform?

That’s what a proposed pilot program for Medicare is trying to figure out and it’s become a political hot potato. Powerful voices on either side of the debate describe the current system and the possible change as “perverse.”

Medicare prods docs to prescribe cheaper drugs – Bankrate.com

Medicare prods docs to prescribe cheaper drugs Last week Medicare announced that it was experimenting with a new way of paying doctors for administering drugs. The agency hopes the new change in its prescription drug models will lower how much patients have to pay for them.

Cigna Profits As Medicare Softens Penalty Policy

Cigna will get to keep hundreds of millions of dollars in bonus payments for some of its Medicare Advantage plans, despite recently-imposed sanctions for mismanaging those plans in ways that federal officials said threatened seniors’ health and safety.

Groups Scrutinize White House Plan to Cut Drug Costs in Medicare

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration touched off a tempest on Wednesday with its plan to test new ways of paying for prescription drugs under Medicare, widely seen as the administration’s first serious attempt to rein in drug spending. Groups representing Medicare beneficiaries welcomed some of the proposals but expressed concern about others.

Dangers lurk within health savings accounts for retirees

CHICAGO Health Savings Accounts are surging in popularity – and that can lead to some complications for older workers who enroll in Medicare. Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are offered to workers enrolled in high-deductible health insurance plans.

Medicare Advantage ratings proving to be boon to insurers, patients

Vantage Health Plan executives saw an opportunity when they realized few of their female Medicare members were being screened for osteoporosis after they broke bones. The test to identify women at increased risk for fractures is one of 40 measures that Medicare applies to produce its 5-star ratings comparing the private plans chosen by nearly a third of seniors over traditional coverage.

Cuomo Keeps Lifeline in Place for Medicare Recipients

In January, we got some good news in New York State when Governor Andrew Cuomo maintained funding in his 2016-2017 Executive Budget for the State’s Managed Care Consumer Assistance Program. MCCAP is a network of six community-based organizations across New York State that work together to serve seniors and people with disabilities and their families by helping them access needed health services and reduce their Medicare costs.

Your Medicare tax dollars at work

Editor’s Note: Journalist Philip Moeller, who writes widely on health and retirement, is here to provide the Medicare answers you need in “Ask Phil, the Medicare Maven.” Send your questions to Phil. Karen – Wash.: You can call this story “Your Tax Dollars at Work.”

Turning 65? Here’s what you need to do to receive your benefits

For most people, turning 65 brings big changes in health coverage. You can sign up for Medicare anytime from three months before to three months after the month you turn 65. If you’re already receiving Social Security benefits, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B when you turn 65 and will receive your Medicarecard in the mail three months before your 65th birthday.