CMS Maintains Important Changes in Draft 2020 Medicare & You Handbook

Julie CarterMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

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. Read More...

Medicare is Strong and Built to Last

Lindsey CopelandMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

The Medicare Trustee’s report underscores what we already know: Medicare is strong and built to last. We urge lawmakers to pursue commonsense reforms—like reversing the tax bill’s troubling trajectory, reigning in high prescription drug prices, and eliminating Medicare Advantage overpayments—to ensure it stays that way. Read More...

New Models May Tweak how Medicare Works, but Beneficiaries Must Remain the Priority

Julie CarterMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the agency that oversees the Medicare program, released information about eight new payment and delivery models this week. Five of these models, collectively known as the CMS Primary Cares Initiative, will test new ways to pay Medicare primary care and other providers while the other three would explore ways for Medicare and Medicaid to better work together to provide coverage. Read More...

Middle-Income Older Adults Face Insufficient Resources for Housing and Health Care

Casey SchwarzMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

This week, Health Affairs released a report finding that, increasingly, middle-income seniors will have not enough money to cover the cost of housing and healthcare. The authors project that by 2029, 14.4 million people over age 75 will be “middle income.” Around 60% of these older adults will have mobility limitations and 20% of whom will have high health care needs, but their incomes will put them at risk of not being able to afford health care or housing. Unfortunately, middle-income seniors are not served by the private seniors housing industry nor by the supportive housing available to lower income individuals. This means that 54% of these individuals will not have sufficient resources to pay for the level of care provided in senor housing. Read More...

Recent Trends in Drug Pricing Show Stark Differences in Brand-Name and Generic Drug Affordability

Lindsey CopelandMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

A new report from the AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) examines trends in prices for 390 generic prescription drugs widely used by older adults. The report found that retail prices for these drugs fell by an average of 9.3% between 2016 and 2017; the general inflation rate rose by 2.1% during the same period. This follows two consecutive years of substantial generic drug price decreases; the previous two years saw prices increase. Read More...