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Category: Medicare

New Rule May Make It Harder for Medicare Beneficiaries to Receive Home Care

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It may become harder for Medicare beneficiaries to find home health care due to a new rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Although the rule changes the way home health care providers are reimbursed, it could affect patient care as well.  Starting in January 2020, Medicare will reimburse home health agencies … Continue reading

New Rule Once Again Allows Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements

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The Trump administration is officially rolling back a ban on the use of arbitration agreements by nursing homes that was initiated under President Obama. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a rule that once again allows nursing facilities to use arbitration to settle disputes with residents.  Historically, nursing homes increasingly asked — … Continue reading

Medicare Beneficiaries Need to Know the Difference Between a Wellness Visit and a Physical

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Medicare covers preventative care services, including an annual wellness visit. But confusing a wellness visit with a physical could be very costly.  As part of the Affordable Care Act, Medicare beneficiaries receive a free annual wellness visit. At this visit, your doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant will generally do the following:  Ask you to fill … Continue reading

Report Ranks States on Nursing Home Quality and Shows Families’ Conflicted Views

A new report that combines nursing home quality data with a survey of family members ranks the best and worst states for care and paints a picture of how Americans view nursing homes. The website Care.com analyzed Medicare’s nursing home ratings to identify the states with the best and worst overall nursing home quality ratings. Using Medicare’s … Continue reading

Understanding Medicare’s Hospice Benefit

Medicare’s hospice benefit covers any care that is reasonable and necessary for easing the course of a terminal illness. It is one of Medicare’s most comprehensive benefits and can be extremely helpful to both the terminally ill individual and his or her family, but it is little understood and underutilized. Understanding what is offered ahead of … Continue reading

Do You Have Private Insurance and Are You Turning 65? You Need Sign Up for Medicare Part B

If you are paying for your own insurance, you may think you do not need to sign up for Medicare when you turn 65. However, not signing up for Medicare Part B right away can cost you down the road. You can first sign up for Medicare during your Initial Enrollment Period, which is the … Continue reading

Medicare’s Different Treatment of the Two Main Post-Hospital Care Options

Hospital patients who need additional care after being discharged from the hospital are usually sent to either an inpatient rehabilitation facility (IRF) or a skilled nursing facility (SNF). Although these facilities may look similar from the outside, Medicare offers very different coverage for each. While you may not have complete say in where you go … Continue reading

Don’t Make the Mistake of Not Signing up for Medicare Supplemental Coverage

You are turning 65 and enrolling in Medicare, but as a healthy senior do you really need to also sign up for Medicare’s supplemental coverage? Not signing up initially can be very costly down the road. Medicare pays for only about half of all medical costs. To augment Medicare’s coverage, you can purchase a supplemental … Continue reading

Medicare Premium to Edge Up in 2019

After staying the same last year, Medicare’s Part B premium will increase slightly in 2019. The premium will increase $1.50 from $134 a month to $135.50. Some Medicare recipients have been paying a lower premium because they are protected by something called the “hold harmless” rule from any increase in premiums when Social Security benefits … Continue reading