Responding to Advocates, CMS Makes Needed Changes to the 2019 Medicare & You Handbook

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch0 Comments

Source: www.medicare.gov

This summer, 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 that alarmed advocates, including Medicare Rights. The agency recently released the final 2019 Handbook, which addresses many of our concerns. The handbook is an official government publication that is designed to provide people with Medicare with information about the Medicare program, their choices for obtaining coverage, and the benefits they can expect. Distributed to millions of homes each year, it is one of CMS’s most widely accessed resources among people with Medicare. Read More...

How does Medicare cover mental health services?

Alice MurphyDear Marci0 Comments

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Dear Marci, I am new to Medicare. I have been receiving treatment for depression and anxiety for several years, and have gotten treatment in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Will these services be covered under Medicare? How much will they cost? Beau (Baton Rouge, LA) Read More...

Pharmacists May Soon Be Allowed to Proactively Provide People with Medicare Information about Cheaper Medications

Julie CarterMedicare Watch0 Comments

This week, Congress passed two bipartisan bills aimed at removing barriers that may prevent people from paying the lowest possible price for their prescription drugs. The legislation will prohibit contractual limitations that can stop pharmacists from volunteering information about how consumers may be able to save money on their needed medications. The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act (S.2554) bars insurers and Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) from restricting a pharmacy’s ability to tell consumers when here is a difference between how much they would pay for a drug using their insurance and how much they would pay without it. This bill applies to plans offered through the Affordable Care Act’s exchanges and by private employers. The Know the Lowest Price Act (S. 2553) provides this same protection for individuals who are covered by Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans. Read More...

Medicare Rights Opposes Punitive “Public Charge” Proposal for Harm to Families and People with Medicare

Lindsey CopelandMedicare Watch0 Comments

Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock.com

The Department of Homeland Security recently released a proposed “public charge” rule that could greatly harm families and prevent people with Medicare from accessing the services and supports they need. The proposal would dramatically expand the government’s “public charge” test, which considers whether immigrants are likely to use public benefits when deciding whether or not to grant entry to the United States or permanent resident status. Read More...

Medicare Rights Asks CMS to Ensure Important Relief Opportunity Is Available to Those Who Need It, Now and in the Future

Lindsey CopelandMedicare Watch0 Comments

Today, the Medicare Rights Center and a diverse coalition of 80 state and national organizations representing health plans, consumers, and advocates urged the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to retain a policy that helps some Medicare beneficiaries correct problems with their Part B enrollment resulting from confusion or misinformation with Medicare and the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces. Under this relief, Medicare-eligible individuals with Marketplace coverage can apply to enroll in Part B without penalty, and those who have already transitioned to Medicare can request that any Part B late enrollment penalties be reduced or eliminated. Read More...