Let’s Talk Turkey About Taxes

Mitchell ClarkIn the Know, Medicare Watch0 Comments

As families around the country prepare to gather with loved ones for the Thanksgiving holiday, the House passed a tax bill that would threaten the health and economic security of many low-income and middle-class families. This Thanksgiving, talk turkey about taxes! It’s not too late to protect our health care and our families. Here’s what you can do: Read More...

We Didn’t Think The Tax Bill Could Get Any Worse. We Were Wrong.

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch0 Comments

Chris Curtis/Shutterstock.com

As the House and Senate rush to make changes to their versions of the tax bill, it keeps getting worse and worse, posing an immediate threat to the Medicare program and health care coverage for 13 million Americans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the enormous cost of the tax bill would prompt immediate, automatic, and ongoing spending cuts to Medicare – $25 billion in 2018 alone. Read More...

For Many with Medicare Part D, There’s No Limit to What You Can Spend on Prescriptions

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch0 Comments

According to a new issue brief by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), one million people with Medicare Part D had drug costs above the catastrophic limit in 2015. On average, they spent $1,251 after they hit the catastrophic limit and more than $3,000 total on their prescriptions for the year. While Part D helps bring down the drug costs for people with Part D, many are still exposed to high drug costs. This is because Part D does not place a cap on how much people can spend out of pocket on their drugs. Read More...

House Tax Plan Would Significantly Impact Older Adults and People with Disabilities

Casey SchwarzMedicare Watch0 Comments

karen roach/Shutterstock.com

The House Republican tax plan is currently being debated by the Ways and Means Committee, and several of the provisions would have a devastating impact on older adults and people with disabilities. Most notably, the plan does away with the medical expense deduction, which allows people who spend more than 10% of their income on health care expenses to deduct the remainder of their medical expenses from their federally taxed income. Medicare Rights, along with other organizations, sent a letter to congress urging them to protect this deduction. The letter highlights how this deduction helps people facing huge medical bills keep a bit more in their pockets–perhaps delaying enrolling in Medicaid, the state and federal program that covers healthcare and long-term care expenses for people with low incomes and limited assets. Read More...

Understanding Medicare Extenders

Julie CarterMedicare Watch0 Comments

ar130405/Pixabay.com

As 2017 winds down, there are several smaller pieces of Medicare legislation, often called “Medicare extenders,” that must pass Congress to keep the program stable in 2018. Extenders establish programs for a short time, and have to be passed or funded by Congress every one to two years. Two extenders are particularly important to people with Medicare: the low-income outreach and assistance extender and the therapy cap exception extender. Both extenders will expire in December of 2017 if Congress does not act. Read More...