Medicare News

Current news for Medicare beneficiaries and the community that serves them.

Respite Care Needed to Limit Burdens on Family Caregivers

Policies, Resources for Family Caregiver

While that vast majority of older Americans want to remain in their homes through retirement, aging in place often requires some help—and the first choice for a caregiver is often an adult child, according to research from the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

More than 50% of adults 85 and older will have at least one limitation related to instrumental activities of daily living (ADLs), requiring some form of help, the Center found. As more Americans head into the golden years, more care will be needed. (Home Health Care News, Baxter, 6/6). Read Full Article.


New Federal Rules Will Require Home Health Agencies To Do Much More For Patients

Policies, Referring to Home Health
Now, patients will be asked what they feel comfortable doing and what they want to achieve, and care plans will be devised by agencies with their individual circumstances in mind.

Now, patients will be asked what they feel comfortable doing and what they want to achieve, and care plans will be devised by agencies with their individual circumstances in mind.

Kaiser Health News: New Federal Rules Will Require Home Health Agencies To Do Much More For Patients 
Judith Graham writes: “Home health agencies will be required to become more responsive to patients and their caregivers under the first major overhaul of rules governing these organizations in almost 30 years. The federal regulations, published last month, specify the conditions under which 12,600 home health agencies can participate in Medicare and Medicaid, serving more than 5 million seniors and younger adults with disabilities through these government programs.” (Graham, 2/9)


What Medicare Beneficiaries Pay Out-Of-Pocket For Cancer

Medicare Patient News, Reports & Statistics

If you are a Medicare beneficiary with a new cancer diagnosis, you can expect to incur some steep out-of-pocket (OOP) costs, according to a study published recently by JAMA Oncology. And those costs vary depending on the type – if any – of supplemental insurance you have. Hospitalizations were a primary driver of these high OOP costs.

For instance, patients with only Medicare, and no additional health coverage, paid on average $8,115 a year (that’s 23.7 percent of their incomes) on out-of-pocket costs after a diagnosis of cancer.

Beneficiaries in private Medicare plans, which is part of Medicare Advantage, had costs of almost $6,000 a year.

The lowest out-of-pocket costs went to Medicare beneficiaries who also had coverage through Medicaid ($2,116 a year) or the Veterans Health Administration ($2,367 a year).

Seniors with additional coverage through employers had costs of almost $5,500, while those with private “Medigap” policies, which cover copays and deductibles not picked up by Medicare, had expenses of $5,670.

Among the 10 percent of beneficiaries with cancer who incurred the highest OOP costs, hospitalization contributed to 41.6 percent of total OOP costs.

Check out the study findings here.