Today’s Hot Topics in Medicare News

Open Enrollment Head Start

Get a Head Start on 2019’s Medicare Open Enrollment

BY DAN CAPLINGER: Most Americans turn to Medicare after their 65th birthdays to give them the assistance they need to cover their healthcare expenses. With estimates of total lifetime medical costs for retired couples soaring toward the $300,000 mark, you can’t afford not to make the most of the Medicare benefits to which you’re entitled.

Every year, Medicare gives its participants the chance to make key changes to their coverage during the annual open enrollment period. With a start date of Oct. 15, it’s smart to take the time now to prepare yourself for the choices you’ll have once open enrollment begins. That way, you’ll be in the best position possible to use open enrollment to get more value out of your Medicare coverage. Here’s some basic information about how Medicare open enrollment works, along with some tips to help you figure out the best way for you to navigate it. (read more)

AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s not-so-strong Medicare, economy myths

BY HOPE YEN: Eager to dismiss his critics, President Donald Trump is fabricating the circumstances regarding jobs, the economy and the social safety net.

He insists that Social Security and Medicare are becoming stronger under his watch when the most recent government report shows the financial condition of both programs worsening. On the economy, his claims of spurring the strongest U.S. growth ever fall way short.

The statements were among varied misrepresentations from the White House and in hearings for his Supreme Court nominee, coming in a remarkable week after an anonymous senior official went public about an effort within the administration to thwart his agenda. Trump also faces the special counsel’s continuing Russia investigation, fewer than 60 days before November’s midterm elections. (read more)

Arrayit Corporation Approved for Direct Medicare Billing by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

BY ARRAYIT CORPORATION: Arrayit Corporation (OTC: ARYC), a life sciences and personalized medicine company, announces that Arrayit’s proprietary finger stick allergy microarray test has been approved for direct Medicare billing by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  The Medicare national health insurance program provides health insurance to more than 55 million Americans annually, including 46 million seniors and 9 million younger people.  CMS projects a 2018 Medicare budget of approximately $705,000,000,000 ($705 billion dollars), representing about 17% of total federal spending.

Arrayit recently completed an allergy testing pilot program for a top retail chain, established a nationwide network of 1,700 allergy sales professionals, met with top officials at the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding FDA approval of a major product line, reported the sale of clinical instrumentation to the FDA, signed allergy testing contracts with a consortium of 178 medical clinics, received approval for in-store promotions by a major retailer, and announced allergy testing partnerships with major allergy therapeutics providers.  The new Medicare billing entitlement allows doctors to prescribe Arrayit’s allergy test to a significantly expanded number of patients. (read more)

The Health 202: GOP argument against ‘Medicare for All’ doesn’t make sense

BY COLBY ITKOWITZ: Late last week, Florida Gov. Rick Scott became the latest GOP politician to test out his party’s new attack line.

“If you want to protect Medicare, vote Republican. If you want a socialist experiment with Medicare, by all means vote Democrat,” he tweeted.

It’s a line borrowed straight from President Trump’s campaign-style rallies. “They want to raid Medicare to pay for socialism,” the president bellowed at an event in Indiana last month. “They’re going to ruin your Medicare. Watch. They want to turn America into Venezuela. I don’t think so,” Trump told a crowd of supporters Friday in Montana. (read more)

Medicare Advantage Overpayment Rule Vacated. Now What?

BY JOHN COMMINS: A federal judge on Friday provided a big win for the health insurance industry, ruling that a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services final rule on overpayments was fundamentally unfair.

In a 30-page ruling that vacated the Medicare Advantage 2014 Overpayment Rule, U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer sided with UnitedHealth Group and said the final rule “will inevitably fail to satisfy the statutory mandate of actuarial equivalence.” (read more)

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