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Today’s Hot Topics in Medicare News

Why are these labor unions opposing Medicare for All?

BY NATALIE SHURE: For seven years, healthcare activists in New York have been pushing the New York Health Act, a single-payer bill that would provide statewide universal health coverage. Hopes for the bill’s chances were buoyed this year, as a new class of Democrats won election to the state legislature. But now the plan’s path forward could be called into question, thanks to opposition from labor unions in the state.

A recent Politico story reports that several New York City municipal unions, part of an umbrella group called the New York City Municipal Labor Committee, have serious qualms about the bill. Together, city unions represent some 380,000 public employees. Meanwhile, a number of more conservative unions — including the The New York State Building & Construction Trades Council and the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York — are outright opposing the proposal. These unions have joined a new initiative called “Realities of Single Payer” — backed by a coalition of healthcare industry and business groups — that seeks to kill the legislation. (read more)

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There's never been an easy way for Medicare beneficiaries to save on services and products not covered by Medicare alone, until now.

Group backing private Medicare is funded by insurance giants

BY RICARDO ALONSO-ZALDIVAR and RICHARD LARDNER: A group gaining influence in Washington as a champion for Medicare beneficiaries is bankrolled by major health insurance companies that are trying to cash in on private coverage offered through the federal health insurance program.

The Better Medicare Alliance claims a far-flung network of seniors, with a Facebook community of more than 380,000 and 110,000 signed up to receive email alerts. Its website displays profiles of “BMA Seniors” who describe private Medicare plans in glowing terms. The Associated Press found that one of the featured seniors, David Kievit, died in March at age 91.

The multimillion-dollar budget for the alliance isn’t supplied by seniors, but by UnitedHealthcare, Aetna and Humana, according to the group’s president and its federal tax returns. The three insurance giants together account for close to 50 percent of all enrollees in private “Medicare Advantage” plans and stand to benefit as that part of Medicare keeps growing. (read more)

Fight a Denied Medicare Advantage Claim

BY ELEANOR LAISE: If a Medicare Advantage plan denies you coverage for medically necessary care, don’t take it lying down. File an appeal, and your odds are good that the plan will overturn its decision.

That’s the message for consumers in a recent government report examining service and payment denials in Medicare Advantage plans, which are offered by private insurers and often combine basic Medicare benefits with drug, dental and vision coverage in a single package. Looking at appeals filed by Advantage enrollees and health care providers between 2014 and 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General found that plans overturned 75% of their own denials.

“The high number of overturned denials raises concerns that some Medicare Advantage beneficiaries and providers were initially denied services and payments that should have been provided,” the report says. To make matters worse, enrollees and providers appeal only 1% of denials, the Inspector General found, suggesting that some beneficiaries may be going without needed services or paying out of pocket for care. (read more)

Medicare Changes for 2019

BY IKEY FOWLER: January 1st of each year is a time that many make resolutions to make changes in their lives. But it’s also a time that Medicare makes changes for the upcoming year. In 2019 there are a couple of changes in Medicare that everyone should know.

The first is the Part B premium. Those of you who started Medicare prior to 2018 may see a change in your Part B premium for 2019. Early indications are that your Part B premium may go up. For those who are starting Part B in 2019 the premium will be $135.50 per month. This amount could be higher for people making more than $85,000 per year.

The Part A deductible is also changing in 2019. Th e Part A deductible in 2018 was $1,340 per benefit period. In 2019 the Part A deductible will be $1,364 per benefit period. Remember, the Part A deductible is not an annual deductible and can hit you more than once in a calendar year. The Part B deductible will be $185 in 2018. Th e Part B deductible is an annual deductible. (read more)

ETO Sterilization Equipments Market Forecast by Key Players 2018- 2025: Steris, Aurum Medicare Pte Ltd, Siam Steri Services, Sina Sterilgamma, Steri-Care

BY JOHN WATSON: A closer look at the overall business scenario presented through self-explanatory charts, tables, and graphics images add greater value to the study.

New York, NY — (SBWIRE) — 12/25/2018 — The detailed market intelligence report on the ETO Sterilization Equipments market applies the best of both primary and secondary research to weighs upon the competitive landscape and the prominent market players expected to dominate the ETO Sterilization Equipments market for the forecast period, 2018 – 2025. The study not only scans through the company profile of the major vendors but also analyses their winning strategies to give business owners, stakeholders and field marketing personnel a competitive edge over others operating in the same space. A detailed evaluation of the major events such as acquisition and mergers, collaborations, product launches, new entrants, and technology advancements offer a complete overview of what the future of the ETO Sterilization Equipments market will be like in the years to come. (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.

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