Commonwealth Fund Highlights Risk of High Health Care Costs for Some People with Medicare

Mitchell ClarkMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

In an issue brief released this month, the Commonwealth Fund examines the risk of high health care costs for a certain segment of the Medicare population. For more than 50 years, Medicare has provided guaranteed health benefits for millions of older adults and people with disabilities. Yet, a significant number of people with Medicare are exposed to high health care costs, with lower income populations being the most at risk. Read More...

Kaiser Family Foundation Releases Update on 2016 Medicare Advantage Market

Mitchell ClarkMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released an update on the Medicare Advantage (MA) plan market in 2016. According to the report, enrollment in MA plans continues to increase despite concerns that adjustments in payments to MA plans enacted by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would stifle enrollment. These payment adjustments were put in place to reduce overpayments to MA plans and align costs with Traditional Medicare. As of 2016, payment reductions are fully implemented in 78 percent of counties, which accounts for 70 percent of people with Medicare and 68 percent of people with MA plans. Read More...

Kaiser Family Foundation Brief Highlights Decline in Employer Sponsored Retiree Health Plans

Mitchell ClarkMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

According to a recent issue brief by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), from 1988 to 2015 there was a considerable decrease in the number of large employers that offer retiree health coverage. In 1988, 66 percent of large employers with 200 or more employees offered retiree health benefits and just 23 percent of large employers offered these benefits in 2015. Read More...

Medicare Rights Supports Proposal to Close Loophole in Physician Self-Referral Policies

Casey SchwarzMedicare WatchLeave a Comment

Last week, Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, sent a letter to the leaders of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, Chairman Orrin Hatch and Ranking Member Ron Wyden expressing support for a proposal to close a loophole in physician self-referral policies. The Ethics in Patient Referrals Act (the Act) prohibits certain types of referrals, specifically ones where the referring doctor owns or has an interest in the provider who administers the referred service. The Act includes exceptions for certain services, including those that could be provided by a physician while the patient is present for the initial visit to aid in diagnosis and minimize delays. Read More...