Medicare Rights in the News

We routinely provide the press with news that impacts millions of 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 program, 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:

Why You Shouldn’t Wait to Sign Up for Medicare Part B

Some people can delay, but many will end up paying financial penalties if they don’t enroll when they turn 65. Here’s an explanation of the confusing rules.

How to Review Your Medicare Plan’s Prescription Coverage

Formularies and prices change every year, so be sure to check your plan before you enroll again.

Medicare has lots of rules for paying for home healthcare | Miami Herald

Getting Medicare to pay for home healthcare can be difficult, as the federal agency and the insurance companies have a lot of rules on when and how often to employ home healthcare aides.

Have You Really Been Admitted – as an Inpatient – to the Hospital?

It isn’t just a clerical distinction. Your status can significantly impact coverage and what you pay.

These free resources can help with your Medicare decisions

There are a number of good resources you can turn to that can help you choose Medicare coverage that better suits your needs.

Social Security Benefits to Get 2.8% Boost, Largest Since 2012

Seniors and other Americans receiving Social Security will see the largest increase to their benefits in seven years in January, the Social Security Administration said.

New Laws Lift ‘Gag Clauses’ on Pharmacists

The changes ban rules in pharmacy contracts with insurers that prevented pharmacists from suggesting ways to save money on prescriptions.

Medicare Fall Open Enrollment Advice

Medicare Fall Open Enrollment begins soon, so here’s how to ensure you have the right Medicare plans in 2019 if you are 65 or older.

How Preexisting Conditions Can Affect Medigap Insurance

In many cases, insurers can take preexisting conditions into account when deciding whether to sell you a medigap policy and what to charge you.

Full interview: Health-care policy expert Julie Carter talks about the future of Medicare and Medicaid

While Medicare and Medicaid have become programs on which many American seniors rely, the programs are facing issues as the U.S. population is aging and the use of prescription drugs has become more common.

Opinion | Medicare Advantage Perks

The Medicare Rights Center raises concerns about enhanced benefits that are not available to everyone.

Some Doctors, Patients Balk At Medicare’s ‘Flat Fee’ Payment Proposal

The Trump administration says its plan to overhaul the way Medicare pays doctors will save physicians time and paperwork. But critics worry the changes will hurt patients’ care and doctors’ income.

Retirement: Medicare deadlines for older workers

Many workers are staying on the job — and on their employer’s health insurance — beyond the age of 65, when retirees usually sign up for Medicare.

Opinion | Unconscionable proposed changes to Medicare and Medicaid

Regarding the June 22 news article ” Government reorganization plan embraces conservative goals for safety net “: Last week, the House majority followed through with its plan to use deficits created by last year’s tax-cut legislation as an excuse to gut Medicare, Medicaid and other programs on which older adults and people with disabilities and their families rely.

U.S. Medicare expands offer to reverse late enrollment penalties

Call it the Obamacare-Medicare penalty.

Ask Your Pharmacist This Question If You Want to Lower Your Medicare Drug Costs

If you are on Medicare, you can get cheaper prices on prescription drugs by asking the pharmacist if you can use cash instead of insurance.

Medicare Part D Drug Coverage Gap Closing at Faster Clip

Retirees should spend less on brand-name prescriptions in 2019, but it’s still a good idea to compare Part D options during open enrollment this fall.

Ideology threatens to trump facts in official Medicare handbook

In September, the federal government will mail a handbook on Medicare enrollment to 43 million households. “Medicare & You” is an important, authoritative source on a wide array of plan options for the annual enrollment period that runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, and it has been mailed out to beneficiaries each year since 1999.

Shining Some Light on Traditional Medicare

Three national advocacy groups want Medicare to curb its enthusiasm about managed care when writing its Medicare handbook resource for beneficiaries.

If You’re 65 and Still Working, Avoid Pitfalls and Maximize Benefits

If you plan to delay retirement, watch out for these benefit traps.

Senior advocates say new draft guide to Medicare distorts facts. Here’s what you need to know

Medicare advocacy groups are concerned that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is improperly putting its hand on the scales to tilt them further in favor of private Medicare Advantage plans.

Cuidado con los estafadores: esto es lo que debes saber sobre la nueva tarjeta de Medicare

A partir de abril, el programa de salud federal para adultos mayores enviará carnets que por razones de seguridad ya no contendrán el número de seguro social del beneficiario. Si recibes una llamada o correo electrónico solicitando información personal no respondas y repórtalo, advierten las autoridades.

There’s a Major Medicare Change Taking Place. Here’s Everything You Need to Know

The government is altering how 59 million Medicare recipients are identified.

More than 50 groups push Congress to extend Medicare programs

They warn a delay could hurt seniors.

Medicare Vs. Medicare Advantage: How To Choose

Despite Medicare Advantage plans’ increasing popularity, several key features remain poorly understood. Here is what you need to know.

Your 2018 Medicare Open Enrollment Checklist

Contributor Mark Miller explains how to effectively and efficiently re-evaluate your prescription drug or Medicare Advantage coverage.

Medicare open enrollment has begun: What you need to know

Most beneficiaries have from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 to decide on drug coverage and whether to switch from traditional Medicare to Medicare Advantage plan.

Standard Medigap plans are learning some new tricks

If you are considering a certain Medigap letter plan, don’t assume that all such plans will offer the same features.

Keeping elderly in their homes a healthy goal

By 2030, the number of people aged 65 and older is expected to double in the United States.

My physician isn’t in my Medicare Advantage network. What can I do?

“My Medicare Advantage plan made a mistake about my physician network,” writes one of our readers. “The day my coverage began, I attempted to make an appointment with the physician, but was told by the insurance billing office that none of the physicians in their office is in the network!”

How to appeal higher Medicare premiums

Free guide now available for advisers on appealing income-related surcharges.

Social Security says I owe money for Medicare coverage I didn’t get. How do I appeal?

A cautionary tale about how even the most straightforward Medicare applications can turn into nightmares.

Five ways to get the most from Medicare

Looking for ways to save money in retirement? Start with healthcare. A healthy 65-year-old couple retiring this year can expect to spend $322,000 (today’s dollars) on Medicare premiums and dental insurance, according to Healthview Services, a maker of healthcare cost projection software. Add in deductibles, copays, hearing, vision, and dental cost sharing, and that figure rises to $404,000.

New Senate health bill still risky for older people’s premiums, any pre-existing conditions

Latest Senate Republican health care proposal gives latitude for some but could cause higher rates for older Americans and pre-existing conditions.

Medicaid cut in GOP health bill worries the nursing home set

The Senate Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act would cut projected Medicaid spending over the next decade by 25 percent. In the case of Bernard’s 83-year-old mother, retired teacher Franceen Golditch, the $4,000 that she receives each month from her pension and Social Security goes almost entirely to the nursing home.

As Seniors Get Sicker, They’re More Likely To Drop Medicare Advantage Plans

Medicare Advantage plans say they offer good value and aim to keep patients healthy, but sicker people are far more likely than others to drop out because of lack of access to specific doctors.

5 Ways to Get the Most From Medicare

Healthcare is among the largest expenses in retirement, but making smart decisions about Medicare coverage early can help down the road, says contributor Mark Miller.

The American Health Care Act Could Chip Away At The Medicare Savings Programs

Nevertheless, these draconian reforms have been among the lesser told stories of the AHCA’s anticipated impact. The breakneck speed and secrecy surrounding the bill’s construction left little time to unpack how Medicaid per capita caps would affect the many populations, including older adults, people with disabilities, families, and children, who rely on Medicaid to afford quality health care.

Feds To Waive Penalties For Some Who Signed Up Late For Medicare

People who were using marketplace plans instead of Medicare may qualify for the reprieve. They have until Sept. 30 to apply.

FAQs About Medicare

When you turn 65, you have to master a new health care system. We’re here to help.

Albany health experts still uncertain about Obamacare

Six days later, on Thursday, local health industry officials and consumer advocates were wondering anew whether that would remain true for, in Ryan’s words, “the foreseeable future,” as President Donald J. Trump has returned to speaking of a possible deal on the Republicans’ American Health Care Act.

Senior advocacy groups quick to applaud repeal bill failure

AARP and others say interests of older adults will be much better protected by continuing Obamacare.

This New Tweak to the GOP Health Care Bill Will Make Medicare Less Stable

Tweaks to the GOP Obamacare replacement bill would accelerate a tax break for the rich on the back of Medicare’s long-term strength.

Experts worry ObamaCare repeal plan puts Medicare trust fund at risk

A little noticed element of the Republican plan for repealing and replacing ObamaCare could put the Medicare trust fund at risk, experts worry.

By Law, Hospitals Now Must Tell Medicare Patients When Care Is ‘Observation’ Only

Not being officially admitted – a status known as observation care – can have financial consequences for beneficiaries, and patients had often complained they were not informed.

Column: What you need to know about Medicare this week

Here’s what the American Health Care Act, the GOP effort to replace Obamacare, would mean for Medicare.

Ask Kim: Can I switch out of a Medicare Advantage plan now?

Q: I recently signed up for a Medicare Advantage plan and started to use it, but I discovered that some of my doctors weren’t included. Can I switch to another Medicare Advantage plan or switch back to traditional Medicare? A: You generally can’t switch to another Medicare Advantage plan until open enrollment in the fall, which runs from Oct.

Another Voice: Older New Yorkers stand to lose in health care debate

By Joe Baker Congressional leaders and President Trump have made it clear: Upending our nation’s health care system is at the top of their agenda. First up, …

Tom Price owes us answers on Medicare, not clichés

OPINION | People need to know what Price will mean for healthcare and Medicare.

Opinion | Medicare and the Health Law

The Medicare Rights Center says Medicare recipients are at risk if the law is repealed.

Medicare pulls 2017 benefit details from Plan Finder

Details about drug and health care benefits and co-pays removed from Medicare.gov because of low use by consumers and duplication, officials say.

Here’s where you can find advice on figuring out Medicare

Handbooks and websites may help lead you through the maze.

How To Enroll In Medicare And Avoid Costly Mistakes

Enrolling in Medicare is confusing and mind-boggling if you don’t act at the right time and avoid costly mistakes.

Some American have too much insurance

Ever since the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces opened for business in 2014, the Obama administration has worked hard to get

Medicare Annual Open Enrollment: 6 Steps for Picking the Best Plan

With all the media attention on Obamacare, it’s easy to overlook the annual open enrollment period for the nation’s more than 55 million Medicare beneficiaries, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. Now is the time to switch Medicare Advantage and stand-alone Part D prescription-drug plans

Medicare Open Enrollment Is Here: How to Save Hundreds a Month

Spending some time to search for better Medicare coverage can cut your monthly expenses by hundreds of dollars n

Medicare Open Enrollment 2016: What You Need to Know

It’s the annual opportunity for retirees to swap coverage and maybe lower health costs.

Seniors socked with huge unexpected bills after receiving hospital observation care

After three nights in the hospital following a fall, 73-year-old Gail Rubin learned she would need rehab in a skilled nursing facility before she could go back to her Havertown home. – Sam Wood, Philadelphia Inquirer

Medicare Enrollment Mistakes, Medicare Part D, and Enrollment

These common Medicare errors can be costly. Here’s how to avoid them.

Open enrollment period offers a chance for a Medicare ‘do-over’

Open enrollment starts Saturday. An expert offers ways to ensure the best coverage.

Retirement Revised: At age 50, let’s weigh the future of Medicare

Medicare is having a midlife identity crisis.

Some seniors surprised to find themselves automatically enrolled in private Medicare plans

Medicare seamless conversion policy allows Medicare Advantage providers to automatically enroll their members in new coverage

Op-Ed: Don’t make these Medicare mistakes

Author Phil Moeller warns that signing up for Medicare at the wrong time can add thousands to annual premiums and penalties that never go away.

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 the 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

Rising drug costs have helped drive Medicare Part D spending up nearly 60 percent from 2007 to 2014, according to a recent report that proposes changes.

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

Senator wants Feds to notify seniors they must sign up.

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 – McKnight’s Long Term Care News

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

Anti-addiction advocates cheer CARA advance – Bill Gates wants genetically altered mosquitoes

Medicare Rules for Home Health Care

Taking advantage of Medicare’s rules for home health care is easier than you think

Federal Program That Helps Patients Navigate Medicare May Be Cut

Counselors nationwide have helped 7 million people choose Medicare plans, challenge coverage denials and get subsidies. But some senators just voted to spend the money on other causes.

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

The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission outlined a package of changes to Medicare’s drug program that could save billions of dollars.

Can My Spouse Qualify for Medicare on My Work Record?

Spouses can qualify for premium-free Medicare Part A on their partner’s work record if both members of the couple meet certain requirements.

Opinion | Reducing the Cost of Drugs

Taking aim at “the ugly underbelly of our nation’s health care system, where care is rationed based entirely on one’s ability to pay.”

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

From how to enroll to which options to choose, what you don’t know about Medicare could cost you.

Medicare’s Drug-Pricing Experiment Stirs Opposition

A proposal to change the way Medicare pays for some drugs has set off intense reaction and lobbying – all tied to a common theme: How far should the government go in setting prices for prescription drugs?

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

Here’s a hint: It was lobbyists.

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

New data sheds light on the fight over Medicare drug payments.

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

If you have cancer does your doctor give you the best drug to fight it or the one that makes your doctor the most money? A Medicare experiment might find out.

Medicare prods docs to prescribe cheaper drugs

Medicare proposes new rules to make doctors think harder about prescribing expensive drugs.

Cigna Profits As Medicare Softens Penalty Policy

A new policy preserves Cigna’s access to bonuses while the insurer fixes “widespread” failures in its Medicare plans.

Groups Scrutinize White House Plan to Cut Drug Costs in Medicare

The Obama administration touched off a tempest with its plan to test new ways of paying for prescription drugs under Medicare.

Dangers lurk within health savings accounts for retirees

Health Savings Accounts are surging in popularity – and that can lead to some complications for older workers who enroll in Medicare.

Medicare Advantage ratings proving to be boon to insurers, patients

Since the bonus payments began in 2012, the percentage of Medicare plans earning 4 stars or more has doubled to 40%, reports the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Cuomo Keeps Lifeline in Place for Medicare Recipients

By Paula Arboleda , Senior Legal Advocate, New York Legal Assistance Group …

Your Medicare tax dollars at work

Medicare Maven Phil Moeller answers your Medicare questions.

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.