Medicare Assistance That’s Just a Phone Call Away

Alison HamburgerInside Medicare Rights0 Comments

Every day, older adults and people with disabilities call the Medicare Rights Center’s national Consumer Helpline because they desperately need help navigating Medicare to access the affordable health care they need. Thanks to our generous donors, our highly trained helpline counselors stand ready to take their calls and provide immediate assistance to people with Medicare, their families and caregivers, and the professionals who assist them. Last year alone, Medicare Rights answered 17,000 of their questions. And the phones keep ringing! Read More...

Trustee’s Report Offers Outlook on Medicare Finances and 2017 Part B Premiums

Casey SchwarzMedicare Watch0 Comments

The 2016 annual report of the Board of Trustees (the Trustee’s Report) was released this week. The report estimates that the Medicare Part A trust fund will be fully funded through 2028. Health reform is a major contributor to an improved financial outlook for the Medicare program. The Part A trust fund’s projected fully funded date of 2028 is 11 years later than it was before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted. Read More...

Senate Proposes Elimination of Crucial Medicare Counseling Program

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch0 Comments


The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved a 2017 spending bill that completely eliminates funding for the Medicare State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Older adults, people with disabilities, and their families and caregivers need assistance understanding the A, B, C and Ds of Medicare. Operating in every state, SHIPs answer questions about Medicare and help people solve problems. Eliminating SHIPs would leave millions who need support comparing coverage options, appealing denials, applying for financial assistance, and navigating increasingly complex Medicare benefits stranded—with nowhere to turn. Read More...

MedPAC Makes Part D Recommendations to Congress

Casey SchwarzMedicare Watch0 Comments

In its June report to Congress, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) includes several suggestions to improve and reduce costs in the Part D prescription drug program. MedPAC, observing that Part D spending has increased more than 50 percent since 2007 as a result of rising drug costs and other factors, recommends proposals that it estimates could save $10 billion over five years. Read More...

Government Accountability Office Report Highlights Opportunities to Improve Medicare Appeals Process

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch0 Comments


Due to a recent increase in the number of appeals and appeal backlogs, GAO was asked to take a look at the various levels of the appeals process and examine trends, the data that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) uses to keep track of the appeals process, and what HHS is doing to decrease the number of appeals. Read More...