Lack of Dental Coverage has Real Costs and Consequences for People with Medicare

Julie CarterMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

This week, the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released an issue brief examining the issue of oral health for people on Medicare. It describes the consequences of foregoing dental care, current sources of dental coverage, use of dental services, and related out-of-pocket spending. Despite the evidence that oral health is related to physical health, Original Medicare does not cover most dental care needs. While some Medicare Advantage plans may offer dental benefits, this coverage is often limited, and its availability can vary considerably across plans. As a result, many people with Medicare often lack adequate oral health coverage, which exposes them to serious health complications and high out-of-pocket spending. Read More...

President’s Budget Targets Key Health Care Programs

Joe Baker and Judith SteinMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

The President’s annual budget request is a statement of values. It is incredibly troubling then, that President Trump’s budget blueprint for FY 2020, submitted this week, again prioritizes deep cuts to programs on which older adults and people with disabilities rely, including Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act. Read More...

Medicare Rights Comments on 2020 Draft Rate Notice and Call Letter

Casey SchwarzMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

Each year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) releases a draft rate notice and call letter, which outlines rules and payment policies that will apply to Medicare Advantage plans in the upcoming plan year. Interested parties—including plans, beneficiaries, and advocates—can submit comments in response, which CMS takes into consideration when finalizing its proposal. The agency then releases a final rate notice and call letter in the spring, which contains information that plans use to submit their bids to offer Medicare Advantage and Part D plans. Read More...

Take Action to Support Expiring Medicaid Protections

Lindsey CopelandMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

In January, Congress temporarily extended two important Medicaid provisions that help older adults and people with disabilities live at home and participate in the community—the home and community-based (HCBS) spousal impoverishment protection and the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program. Unless Congress acts soon, these programs will expire on March 31. Take action to help protect Medicaid HCBS. Read More...

Older Adults Lose Billions of Dollars Each Year to Financial Abuse

Lindsey CopelandMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

A new report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)—the government agency charged with enforcing federal consumer financial laws—sheds light on the widespread problem of elder financial abuse. Studies show that financial exploitation is the most common form of elder abuse. Perpetrators can include a wide variety of people ranging from close family members to offshore scammers, and estimates of annual losses to older adults have ranged from $2.9 billion to $36.5 billion. Read More...