BY PHILIP MOELLER: Even the most straightforward Medicare applications can turn into nightmares. The initial enrollment period for Medicare when someone without health insurance turns 65 is seven months. For someone born in January, this period would have begun the previous October and extended through April. Sometimes Social Security, which handles Medicare enrollments, signs you up for Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B when you turn 65. This should not happen, but of course it does in some cases. You should be able to confirm this by signing up for an online Medicare account. (read more)
BY LISA RAPAPORT: Out-of-pocket spending for hospital care by people with Medicare may be higher for those with lower incomes, because they’re more likely than wealthier Medicare beneficiaries to be kept in the hospital without being officially admitted, a new study suggests.
Under Medicare, the government insurance program for the elderly and disabled, people admitted to the hospital pay a fixed out-of-pocket fee that covers the majority of their care there, as well as follow-up acute nursing care and repeat hospitalizations within the first two months after they go home. (read more)
BY KATIE KUEHNER-HEBERT: An advocacy group for the blind and visually impaired is applauding bipartisan legislation in the House to investigate the federal government’s “systemic failure” to provide materials in accessible formats for recipients of Medicare and Medicaid.
U.S. Representatives Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) in late July introduced H.R. 3457, which would require the Comptroller General of the United States to conduct an evaluation on the extent to which the Medicare and Medicaid programs provide reasonable accommodations to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. (read more)
The new Medicare Plus Card saves you up to 75% on things not covered by Medicare
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.