Dill: how to avoid Medicare ‘gaps’ in necessary coverage

Medicare helps to pay for a wide variety of health services, from flu shots to hospital stays, and from preventive health screenings to hospice care. But it doesn’t cover everything. And it doesn’t cover all your out-of-pocket costs. Many services covered by Medicare require co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles. You can purchase supplemental insurance to cover […]

OPINION: Medicare can help protect your eyesight

Are you at risk for glaucoma? Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes loss of vision—usually side vision—by damaging the optic nerve, which sends information from your eyes to your brain. Some forms of glaucoma don’t have any symptoms, so you may have it even if you don’t have trouble seeing or feel any pain. […]

Arizona gets federal OK for work requirement for Medicaid recipients

Arizona is one of 10 states that got federal approval Thursday, Jan. 11, to move ahead on proposals to require that able-bodied Medicaid recipients are either working or involved in “community engagement activities” to be eligible for coverage. The guidance released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services clears the way for those states […]

OPINION: Fight Medicare fraud – guard your card

If you have Medicare, you can protect your identity and help prevent health care fraud by guarding your Medicare card like you would a credit card. Identity theft arising from stolen Medicare numbers is becoming more common. Medicare is in the process of removing Social Security numbers from Medicare cards and replacing them with a […]

Klink: On Medicare, Democrats shouldn’t trust Trump

President Trump doesn’t understand or care about health care policy. He recently suggested that health insurance costs just $12 a year. And he fervently supported the GOP’s Obamacare repeal plan, which would have increased deductibles from $800 to $13,000 for individuals making $26,500 a year. That’s hardly the “great health care” plan with “much lower […]

OPINION: How to lower your Medicare drug costs

Driving near Monterey, California, recently, I stopped at a roadside stand to buy some freshly picked strawberries. May is high season for California strawberries and the fields were exploding with beautiful, ripe fruit. The gentleman working the stand, Jack, asked what I do for a living. When I told him I work for Medicare, he […]

Arizona senior advocates fight Medicare voucher proposal

Senior advocates in the Grand Canyon State are speaking out against proposals in Congress to replace Medicare with a voucher system. AARP Arizona is part of a national campaign, launched this week, opposing Speaker Paul Ryan’s plan to provide seniors with a fixed monthly subsidy with which to buy health coverage rather than guaranteeing their […]

Cate Kortzeborn: Know your Medicare rights, how to appeal an action

As a person with Medicare, you have important rights. One of them is the right to appeal. An appeal is the action you can take if you disagree with a coverage or payment decision by Medicare or your Medicare health plan. For example, you can appeal if Medicare or your plan denies: •A request for […]

Medicare rep offers tips on how to find a nursing home

Are you looking for a nursing home for yourself or a loved one?

People go to nursing homes for different reasons. They may be sick or hurt and require ongoing nursing care. They may have had surgery and need time to recuperate. Or they may have chronic care needs or disabilities that make long-term nursing care a necessity.

Many communities have nursing homes. But how do you pick one that’s best for you or your family member in need?

The first step is to learn about the available facilities in your area. You can do that in a number of ways.

The true cost of price controls: No more cures

2015 is shaping up to be another banner year for medical progress. Regulators have already approved 29 new medicines, roughly on last year’s pace of 41 new drug approvals — the most since the Clinton administration.

But in future years, the list of medical breakthroughs could prove much shorter. In response to the high cost of certain medications, most notably Turing Pharmaceuticals’ admittedly outrageous 5,000 percent price hike on a generic AIDS drug — political leaders are proposing caps on drug prices.

Transparency bills in state capitals seek to force pharmaceutical companies to reveal their costs of production.

Congress is considering de facto caps in Medicare Part D, the federal prescription insurance program for seniors and the disabled.

And presidential candidates are floating a variety of price capping schemes, including Hillary Clinton’s proposal to cap out-of-pocket expenditures for individuals with chronic health problems.

Advocates of price controls hope that by artificially capping prices they will widen the availability of medications.

Unfortunately, they end up doing just the opposite.

Any discussion of drug prices must begin with the economics of research and development in the pharmaceutical industry. More than any other industry, getting a new pharmaceutical product to market is incredibly expensive.