Social Security is often anointed as the most important social program in the U.S. because of the income it provides retired workers each month. But you’d be making a mistake if you didn’t put Medicare, the program designed to provide medical care primarily to seniors aged 65 and up, in the same discussion.
According to an analysis conducted by the Urban Institute, the cumulative lifetime benefits for a median income 65-year-old are estimated to be higher from Medicare than Social Security by the year 2055. In other words, the importance of Medicare is growing, especially on account of the medical inflation rate handily outpacing both the national inflation rate and wage growth.
Despite Medicare’s being a critical program for seniors, there’s a lot about it that’s simply misunderstood. Unfortunately, if you misunderstand Medicare it could come back to haunt you in your pocketbook. Here are seven of the most common myths associated with Medicare.
1. Medicare is free
Arguably one of the biggest Medicare misconceptions is that since it’s a critically important social program, it’s free. In reality, though some aspects of the program may be offered “free,” retirees are expected cover certain expenses on their own.
For example, Part A, otherwise known as hospital insurance, has no premium attached if you’ve earned 40 work credits throughout your lifetime. However, Medicare Part B (outpatient services) has a standard premium of $121.80 in 2016. Part D, or prescription drug plans, also requires a monthly premium.
There are few programs that are more important for seniors than Medicare. And the role it plays in ensuring the health and financial well-being of older Americans is only expected to grow. On one hand, the older American population is … Continue reading
A Medicare provider must cover a continuous blood glucose monitor (CGM) for one of its patients with type 1 diabetes, an administrative law judge has ruled. The patient, Jill Whitcomb, had recently become eligible for Medicare, which does not cover … Continue reading
Newswise — August 14, 2015- Medicare patients in rural areas have lower rates of follow-up care after leaving the hospital—which may place them at higher risk of emergency department (ED) visits and repeat hospitalizations, according to a study in the … Continue reading
Newswise — Fit & Strong!, an exercise program tailored to break the cycle of weakening and pain in older adults with osteoarthritis and developed at the University of Illinois at Chicago, may soon be covered by Medicare. The program has … Continue reading
For all of its flaws, Medicare and Medicaid’s Nursing Home Compare five-star rating system gives consumers a head-start when searching for a facility. Now, the Kaiser Family Foundation has taken a closer look at the ratings, and reached some interesting … Continue reading
Newswise — Reston, Va. (Sept. 2, 2014) – Questions regarding effectiveness, infrastructure and cost effectiveness of low-dose computed tomography (CT) screening of those at high risk for lung cancer have now been answered. Medicare should rapidly provide full national coverage … Continue reading
About 1 in 5 Medicare patients is discharged from hospice care alive, whether due to patients’ informed choice, a change in their condition, or inappropriate actions by the hospice to save on hospitalization costs related to terminal illness. How live … Continue reading
Newswise — Chicago – A large number of United States Senators and Representatives are taking the lead to support full Medicare coverage of low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) screening for seniors at high risk for lung cancer. Through grassroots advocacy from … Continue reading
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A review of more than 25,000 admissions of Medicare beneficiaries to Rhode Island hospitals has found that patients with a documented diagnosis of dementia are nearly 20 percent more likely to be readmitted within 30 days than … Continue reading
Telemedicine can reduce hospitalizations of nursing home residents and generate savings for Medicare
Authors: David C. Grabowski and A. James O’Malley Journal: Health Affairs, Feb. 2014 33(2):244–50 Contact: David C. Grabowski, Ph.D., Professor of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, firstname.lastname@example.org Summary Writers: Martha Hostetter Synopsis Nursing homes that used telemedicine to … Continue reading
In the U.S., one in five Medicare patients is readmitted to a hospital each year at an estimated cost of $17.5 billion annually.i To reduce this impact, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has introduced hospital penalties based on readmissions conditions … Continue reading
Since the creation of Medicare in 1965, significant changes have affected the legislation. With 77 million baby boomers entering the program, questions about what Medicare is and how it affects seniors are certain to arise. Medicare For Dummies addresses this … Continue reading
ST. LOUIS, Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — As the nation approaches open enrollment for new public health insurance exchanges and Medicare, a new survey shows major misconceptions among seniors over how healthcare reform impacts Medicare benefits. This knowledge gap, coupled with … Continue reading
Therapeutic drug substitutions have the potential to double or even triple annual cost savings compared with savings achieved with generic substitutions, according to O. Kenrik Duru and colleagues from the University of California, Los Angeles. Therapeutic drug substitutions involve the … Continue reading
Today, we mark the 48th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid becoming law, a sacred promise our country made to older Americans and low-income working Americans and families that they will have the medical care they need to live healthier lives. … Continue reading
by Jennifer LaFleur, Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein, ProPublica, June 24, 2013, 8:47 a.m. Hundreds of thousands of times each year, Medicare pays for prescriptions purportedly written by massage therapists, athletic trainers, interpreters and others who aren’t allowed to prescribe … Continue reading
Because of the health care law – the Affordable Care Act – the average person with traditional Medicare will save $5,000 from 2010 to 2022, according to a report today from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. People … Continue reading
NEW YORK, July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — For more than 25 years, Dr. Meg Allyn Krilov has practiced rehabilitation medicine in New York City, prescribing hundreds of power wheelchairs to patients in need of mobility assistance to improve their quality of … Continue reading
Why new Medicare regulations penalizing hospitals for high readmission rates may be ineffective at improving care
More hospital readmissions posts Differences in regional hospital readmission rates for heart failure are more closely tied to the availability of care and socioeconomics than to hospital performance or patients’ degree of illness, according to research presented at the American … Continue reading
Patients who paid for heart medications solely through Medicare were 57 percent more likely to not take them during coverage gaps compared to those who had a Part D low-income subsidy or additional insurance, according to research published in Circulation: … Continue reading
A new study that tracked what Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders (ADRD) costs Medicare during three distinct stages of patient care suggests that the government insurer could realize substantial savings through efforts to reduce the hospitalizations that occur before patients … Continue reading
As the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act approaches, new data shows that more than 5.1 million seniors and people with disabilities on Medicare saved over $3.2 billion on prescription drugs because of the new health care law, Kathleen … Continue reading
Nearly 3.6 million people with Medicare saved $2.1 billion on their prescription drugs in 2011 thanks to the Affordable Care Act according to data issued today by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Savings for people with Medicare … Continue reading
Because healthy enrollees cost them less, Medicare Advantage plans would profit from selecting seniors based on their health, but Medicare strictly forbids practices such as denying coverage based on existing conditions. Another way to build a more profitable membership is … Continue reading
Newswise — WASHINGTON—At a time when everyone is looking for ways to reduce health care costs in America, using commercial disease management programs to reduce the fee-for-service Medicare costs associated with chronic conditions among senior citizens seems like a practical … Continue reading
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