The toolkit includes resources to support communication and partnerships among allied organizations and policymakers in order to forge a path toward achieving dental coverage in Medicare. Current tools include an infographic, a social media guide with shareables as well as a position paper and supplemental research reports. The intent is to make this a living toolkit and to continue adding collateral monthly. (read more)
BY BEN JONES: In April, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) voted to approve several proposals aimed at decreasing Medicare spending for Part B physician-administered drugs—proposals that were formally submitted to Congress in June. MedPAC projected that the proposed policies would have a first-year savings of up to $750 million, increasing to $5 billion over 5 years. Unfortunately, MedPAC’s recommendations are centered around the creation of a Drug Value Program that combines 2 previously abandoned programs and could quickly backfire, accelerating the shift in cancer care from cost-efficient physicians’ offices to more-expensive hospital settings, fueling dramatic increases in Part B expenditures. (read more)
BY AUSTIN FRAKT: The Medicare Advantage program was supposed to save taxpayers money by allowing insurers to offer older Americans private alternatives to Medicare. The plans now cover 19 million people, a third of all those who qualify for Medicare. Enrollee satisfaction is generally high, and studies show that plans offer higher quality than traditional Medicare. But the government pays insurers more than they pay out for patient care — in some years, it turns out, a great deal more.
Concern about Medicare Advantage’s cost has found sharp expression in a recent suit brought by the Justice Department charging UnitedHealth with excessive billing of the government. While that suit plays out, research published by the National Bureau of Economic Research provides context. (read more)
Medicare doesn’t cover everything. Luckily, those on Medicare can now start saving on out of pocket expenses like prescription drugs, dental, vision, hearing, and more. Over 1 million people have already received their free Medicare Plus Card.(Read More...)