Medicare

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If you’ve got Medicare insurance, you probably already know this. But if you don’t, you need to know this: It won’t be a relief from high health care costs.

That’s according to a new study out from the Commonwealth Fund.

Back in 2014, federal officials settled on what they thought would be a straightforward fix to curb abusive pill pushing: Require doctors and other health providers to register with Medicare in order to prescribe medications for beneficiaries.

A federal judge has accepted Medicare's plans to try once more to correct a commonly held misconception that beneficiaries' are eligible for coverage for physical and occupational therapy and other skilled care only if their health is improving.

Four years after Medicare officials agreed in a landmark court settlement that seniors can't be denied coverage for physical therapy and other skilled care simply because their condition isn't improving, patients are still being turned away.

As a result, federal officials and Medicare advocates have renewed their federal court battle, acknowledging that they cannot agree on a way to fix the problem. Earlier this month, each submitted ideas to the judge, who will decide — possibly within the next few monthswhat measures should be taken.

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On Sounds Good, Purchase Area Development District’s Aging Coordinator Susan Caldwell Black speaks with Tracy Ross on the importance of reviewing your Medicare options before you become eligible at the age of 65.

 

Black coordinates the State Health Insurance Program for the Area Agency for Aging and Independent living which helps people navigate Medicare options. Black is working to raise awareness about the need to review these options before turning 65, emphasizing prescription drug plans in particular.

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More than 74,000 Kentuckians have signed up for health insurance through HealthCare.gov as of January 14. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released the numbers Wednesday. 

When Cindy Hunter received her Medicare card in the mail last spring, she said she "didn't know a lot about Medicare." She and her husband, retired teachers who live in a Philadelphia suburb, decided she didn't need it because she shared his retiree health insurance, which covered her treatment for ovarian cancer.

The Affordable Care Act's requirement that people have health insurance or pay a fine is one of the least popular provisions of the law, and one that Republicans have pledged to eliminate when they repeal and replace Obamacare.

But take a look at some of the replacement proposals that are floating around and it becomes clear that the "individual mandate," as it's called, could still exist, but in another guise.

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Whether or not your doctor stays in business over the next few years could hinge on their ability to adapt to a new regulation changing how Medicare pays doctors and clinicians.

The federal government released its first overall hospital quality rating on Wednesday, slapping average or below average scores on many of the nation's best-known hospitals while awarding top scores to many unheralded ones.

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