Federal Court Decision Blocks Medicaid Work Requirement in Kentucky

Julie CarterMedicare Watch0 Comments

Credit: succo/pixabay.com

In January, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved a Medicaid waiver in Kentucky that would allow the state to make participation in a work or “community engagement” program a condition for Medicaid eligibility. A group of advocates sued on behalf of Kentuckians who would be at risk of losing Medicaid coverage, and last month a federal judge put Kentucky’s Medicaid work requirement on hold. His decision called into question CMS’s attention to vital details about the Kentucky Medicaid waiver, including whether the waiver violates one of the primary purposes of the Medicaid statute—to provide health coverage. Read More...

Report Examines How Medigap Rules and Enrollment Vary Widely by State

Casey SchwarzMedicare Watch0 Comments

This week, the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) released an issue brief analyzing the availability of, and enrollment in Medigaps across different states. One in four people in traditional Medicare had this private, supplemental health insurance in 2015. Medigaps help cover Medicare deductibles and cost-sharing, reduce the out-of-pocket burden associated with accessing care, and protect against high costs because of catastrophic illness or injury. Read More...

As Federal Deficits Increase, so Do Threats to Medicare

Lindsey CopelandMedicare Watch0 Comments

Last week, the Medicare Rights Center explained how the House majority’s budget plan for 2019 would fundamentally restructure Medicare and Medicaid, slashing more than $2.1 trillion from the programs over 10 years. Though this approach is not unexpected—as lawmakers promised to use deficits created by last year’s tax bill as an excuse to pursue such cuts—it is extremely troubling. Read More...

Kaiser Family Foundation Places Medicare Spending Trends in Historical Context

Casey SchwarzMedicare Watch0 Comments

Source: Kaiser Family Foundation

This week, the Kaiser Family Foundation released a new issue brief on Medicare spending. The brief analyzes the most recent historical and projected Medicare spending data published in the 2018 annual report of the Boards of Medicare Trustees and the 2018 Medicare baseline and projections from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). In 2017, Medicare spending accounted for 15% of the federal budget, and for 20% of total national health spending in 2016. It also accounted for 29% of spending on retail sales of prescription drugs, 25% of spending on hospital care, and 23% of spending on physician services. Read More...

As Expected, House Budget Plan Targets Medicare and Medicaid

Lindsey CopelandMedicare Watch0 Comments


This week, House Republicans unveiled a 2019 budget proposal that would balance the federal budget in nine years—largely by significantly cutting and fundamentally restructuring Medicare and Medicaid. This approach is not unexpected. Lawmakers were clear that after passing a costly tax bill that drives up deficits, they would use these higher deficits to justify cuts to programs like Medicare. In the House budget resolution, they are keeping that promise: the budget would end Medicare and Medicaid as we know them. Read More...