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Monthly Archives: May 2019

Spending and Prescribing Patterns Across Medicare, Medicaid, and Large Employer Drug Coverage

Drug prices have been in the news lately, and a timely analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation gives valuable insight into prescription drug spending across large employer plans, Medicaid, and Medicare Part D. By understanding spending and prescribing patterns across these payers, policymakers can make better decisions about lowering the cost of medications for consumers.

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CMS Medicaid Demonstrations Lack Transparency, GAO Finds

The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report this week finding that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is insufficiently open about Medicaid demonstrations. Demonstrations allow states to test new approaches to delivering services under the Medicaid Program. Currently, demonstrations account for nearly a third of Medicaid spending.

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Coming Soon to a TV Near You: Drug Prices

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that oversees the Medicare and Medicaid programs, have put a rule in place that will change the look of television ads for prescription medications. Last week, CMS announced that most drugs that are covered by Medicare or Medicaid must soon include pricing information in their TV ads.

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Extending Medicare Rights’ Reach

The Medicare Rights Center answers 20,000 questions from people with Medicare and their families each year through its National Consumer Helpline, and the organization’s expertise reaches even further in New York State through professional trainings and partnerships. Working with the Health Insurance Information, Counseling, and Assistance Program (HIICAP) and assisting hundreds of community-based organizations in New York City, Medicare Rights helps more people with Medicare, especially in underserved and low-income communities.

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Medicare Rights Applauds the Introduction of the Bipartisan BENES Act

While most people newly eligible for Medicare are automatically enrolled in Part B—because they are collecting Social Security retirement benefits at age 65—a growing number are not, as they are working later in life and deferring their Social Security benefits. Unlike those who are auto-enrolled in Part B, these individuals must make an active Medicare enrollment choice, taking into consideration specific timelines and existing coverage.

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CMS Maintains Important Changes in Draft 2020 Medicare & You Handbook

Last year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees the Medicare program, released a draft version of the annual “Medicare & You” handbook that contained several glaring inaccuracies. In a significant advocacy success, Medicare Rights and our allies convinced CMS to correct these major errors and release a final 2019 handbook that was greatly improved.

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