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The Kaiser Family Foundation recently released an issue brief that describes the income and assets of Medicare beneficiaries in 2014. It is essential to place proposals making changes to the Medicare program within the context of this data in order to understand the impact on beneficiaries. This is particularly true for proposals that shift costs … Read more

In November, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report entitled, "Improvements are Needed at the Administrative Law Judge Level of Medicare Appeals."  The report can be found at https://oig.hhs.gov/oei/reports/oei-02-10-00340.pdf.   In the report, the OIG interprets the overall percentage of fully favorable decisions awarded to appellants by Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) as evidence that … Read more

According to researchers from the Urban Institute, writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Medicare's purported dire financial condition isn’t actually all that dire.  Given the aging of our population, increases in enrollment have obviously contributed to spending growth. But, according to the Urban Institute, “in recent years "spending growth per enrollee slowed in … Read more

On October 27, 2011 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) released notices detailing the Medicare Part A and Part B premiums and Deductibles for calendar year 2012. Hospital Deductible: $1,156 per spell of illness Hospital Coinsurance: Days 0-60: $0 Days 61-90: $289 / day Days 91-150: $578 / day Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance … Read more

The Medicare Trustees issued their annual report on Medicare's financial status on Friday, May 13, 2011.  According to this year's report, the Hospital Insurance (HI) Trust Fund has sufficient reserves to pay out the full amount of Medicare Part A benefits until 2024. Should nothing else change, and the Trust Fund reserves be depleted in … Read more

"…Medicare has been a boon to the elderly and their children. Surveys show that beneficiaries are overwhelmingly satisfied with their care. Before Medicare, only 56 percent of the elderly had hospital insurance; the program has contributed to an increase in life expectancy and a sharp reduction in poverty among the elderly." Robert Pear, Walt Bogdanich, … Read more