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Results for search "Insurance: Medicare".

Health News Results - 38

PrEP HIV Prevention Pills to Be Free for Insured Americans

Nearly all health insurers must cover the entire cost of HIV prevention treatments, the U.S. government says.

That includes the two approved pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) drugs Truvada and Descovy, all clinic visits and lab tests, NBC News reported.

The guidance, issued this week by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, along with the Department of Lab...

Many Hit Hard by Pandemic Now Swamped by Medical Debt

The coronavirus pandemic has left plenty of Americans saddled with medical bills they can't pay, a new survey reveals.

More than 50% of those who were infected with COVID-19 or who lost income due to the pandemic are now struggling with medical debt, according to researchers from The Commonwealth Fund, a nonprofit organization that advocates a high-performing health care system.

"T...

Medicare Mulls Coverage for Controversial Alzheimer's Drug

TUESDAY, July 13, 2021 (Healthday News) -- Medicare launched a formal process on Monday that will determine whether the agency will cover Aduhelm, the newly approved Alzheimer's drug whose high price tag and unproven benefits have prompted widespread controversy.

Medicare's announcement came the same day that leaders of two House committees that are investigating Aduhelm's approval asked ...

Is Medicare Overspending? Costco Prices Much Less for Generic Drugs

Can Costco beat Medicare Part D when it comes to prescription drug prices?

Apparently so, claims a new study that found that roughly half of generic medications were cheaper when purchased from the discount retailer than from the government program.

The researchers compared the prices paid by Medicare Part D plans (including patient out-of-pocket payments) for 184 generic prescript...

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Challenge to Affordable Care Act

The landmark Affordable Care Act, which has expanded health care coverage to tens of millions of Americans, has withstood a third challenge before the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a 7-2 decision, a majority of justices ruled on Thursday that plaintiffs involved in the case did not sustain any injury that gave them standing to sue, The New York Times reported.

The decision left un...

Medicare's Penalties for Poor-Quality Dialysis Centers Aren't Helping: Study

Dialysis centers hit with financial penalties for poor performance don't tend to improve afterward, calling into question a set of U.S. federal programs intended to improve health care nationwide, a new report says.

Dialysis centers face up to a 2% reduction in their annual Medicare reimbursements if they get a low score on a set of quality measures designed by the U.S. Centers for Medica...

Why a COVID Diagnosis Could Cost You Way More Money in 2021

COVID-19 could be a much more expensive experience for folks who fall ill this year, thanks to the return of deductibles and copays, new research suggests.

Most folks who became gravely ill with COVID last year didn't face crushing medical bills because nearly all insurance companies agreed to waive cost-sharing for coronavirus care during the height of the pandemic, explained Dr. Kao-Pin...

Average COVID Hospital Bill for U.S. Seniors Nearly $22,000

The cost of COVID-19 hospitalizations averaged nearly $22,000 for older Americans in 2020 - and much more for those who became critically ill, a new government study finds.

Researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at the cost of COVID-19 care to the Medicare program, which covers Americans aged 65 and up.

On average, the investigators found, the prog...

It's Still Tough to Find Prices on Most U.S. Hospital Websites

U.S. hospitals have been required to make their prices public since 2019, but 18 months into the rule more than half weren't doing it, a new study finds.

In 2018, the Trump administration issued a rule requiring hospitals to publish their "chargemasters" on their websites. A chargemaster is a rundown of a hospital's services, along with their list prices - something akin to the manufactur...

Job Losses Hit Americans Hard in Pandemic, Report Confirms

American families that suffered job losses during the pandemic are struggling to pay their bills and afford food, and many have turned to government help, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 7,700 adults who took part in an Urban Institute survey in December 2019 and from more than 7,700 who took part in a December 2020 survey.

Despite major nationwide job losse...

Why So Many New Cancer Diagnoses When Americans Turn 65?

A few years ago, Dr. Joseph Shrager, a professor of cardiothoracic surgery at Stanford University School of Medicine, noticed that lung cancer diagnoses were noticeably higher at age 65 than at slightly older or younger ages.

"There was no reason rates should differ much between the ages of 63 and 65," Shrager said.

He discussed this with his colleagues, who said they were seeing so...

Choice of Brand-Name Drug Over Generics Costs Medicare Nearly $2 Billion Annually

Wider use of prescription generic drugs could save Medicare nearly $2 billion a year, researchers say.

The new analysis of Medicare Part D prescription drug claims for 2017 used a random 20% of beneficiaries, 224 drugs with one or more generic substitutes and at least 1,000 claims.

Medicare Part D accounts for roughly one-third of all prescription drug spending in the United States....

If Protections Expire, COVID Patients Could Soon Face Big Medical Bills

Older Americans on a Medicare Advantage plan could face hospital bills of $1,000 or more if private insurers start charging out-of-pocket costs for lifesaving COVID-19 care, a new study warns.

Cost data show that Medicare Advantage patients pay an average $987 out-of-pocket when they are hospitalized with the seasonal flu, and about 3% pay more than $2,500, according to the report.

...

If Elected, Joe Biden Has Big Plans for Health Care

If Joe Biden becomes the next president, he would have clear and ambitious plans for the nation's health -- expanding the Affordable Care Act, empowering public health agencies to deal with COVID-19, and passing a stimulus bill that would support struggling doctors, hospitals and nursing homes.

The question is how much he'll be able to accomplish with a Senate that remains in the han...

It's Not Medical Outcomes That Drive Patients' Hospital Reviews

Rave online reviews about a hospital stay may not mean much about the actual medical care there, if a new study is any indication.

Researchers found that across U.S. hospitals, patient-satisfaction scores were more dependent on "hospitality" factors -- like friendly nurses, quiet rooms and good food -- than on hard measures of health care quality.

Fewer American Families Weighed Down by Medical Bills

The number of people struggling to pay their medical bills declined dramatically during the last decade, as the Affordable Care Act expanded health insurance coverage and financial protection for the sick.

The percentage of families who had problems paying medical expenses in the previous year declined from about 20% in 2011 to 14% in 2018, according to a new report from the U...

1 in 5 Insured Hit With Surprise Bills for Surgery

You scheduled your surgery and made sure both your doctor and hospital are in your insurer's approved network of providers. Everything went without a hitch -- until a whopper of a bill showed up in the mail for "out-of-network" care during your operation.

The average out-of-network surprise bill tops $2,000, a new study finds. And about 20% of patients who had surgery using a doc...

A Quarter of Middle-Aged Americans Worry They Can't Afford Health Care

A large fraction of Americans nearing retirement age are worried they can't afford health insurance now, much less when they quit working to enjoy the good life, a new survey shows.

One in every four people between 50 and 64 are not confident they'll be able to afford health insurance during the next year, and nearly half worry they won't be able to afford coverage once they retire, r...

Medicare Could Save Billions If Allowed to Negotiate Insulin Prices

If you don't need insulin, you probably haven't paid much attention to its skyrocketing cost, but new research shows that exorbitant drug pricing eventually affects everyone.

The study found that in 2017, Medicare spent nearly $8 billion on insulin. The researchers said that if Medicare were allowed to negotiate drug prices like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can, Medic...

Only 1 in 4 Older Cardiac Patients Get Rehab Therapy

Cardiac rehabilitation is known to help people recover after a heart attack or heart surgery, but a new study shows only one-quarter of eligible Medicare patients actually use it.

Which patients are most likely to pass on rehab? Women, those aged 85 and older, blacks, Hispanics and those who live in the Southeast and Appalachia, researchers found.

It gets worse: Of those who...

Medical Paperwork Costs U.S. $812 Billion a Year

Medical paperwork cost the United States $812 billion in 2017 and accounted for more than one-third of total spending for doctor visits, hospitals, long-term care and health insurance, according to a new study.

However, reducing medical paperwork expenses to the same levels as in Canada -- which has single-payer universal health care -- would have saved the nation more than $600 billi...

Out-of-Pocket Costs for Medicare Recipients Will Rise in New Year

Seniors on Medicare are going to take a hit to the pocketbook in 2020, with premiums and deductibles set to increase on coverage for medical services and prescription drugs.

The standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B will rise $9.10, to $144 a month, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced.

The annual deductible for Part B also will increase...

'Prehab' Before Surgery Helps Speed Seniors' Recovery

"Training" for surgery can improve seniors' outcomes and reduce insurance costs, a new study says.

It included 523 Medicare patients in Michigan, average age 70, who exercised, ate a healthy diet and practiced stress reduction techniques for at least one week before a major operation. It's a process the researchers called prehabilitation, or prehab for short.

These patients...

Heart Medicines Priced Out of Reach for Many Americans

Many working-age Americans struggle to pay for the heart medications that protect them from heart attack, stroke and heart disease, a new study reports.

About one in eight adults suffering from a high-risk heart problem say financial strain has caused them to skip taking their meds, delay filling a prescription, or take a lower dose than prescribed, the researchers said.

Tho...

Many on Medicare Still Face Crippling Medical Bills

Even with Medicare coverage, older Americans with serious health conditions are often burdened by medical bills, a new study finds.

In a survey, researchers found that more than half of seriously ill Medicare beneficiaries said they'd had major trouble paying medical bills. Prescription drugs were the biggest hardship, followed by hospital and ambulance bills.

For some, medi...

Is Your State One of the 'Most Obese' in America?

The number of U.S. states with adult obesity rates above 35% reached an all-time high of nine in 2018, a new report says.

In 2018, the nine states with adult obesity rates above 35% were: Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia.

That's two more than the year before. As recently as 2012, no state topped 35...

For Medicare Patients, Costs of MS Drugs Rise Sevenfold Over 10 Years

Medicare patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) saw their medication costs soar by more than sevenfold over a decade, a new study finds.

It's no secret that the costs of MS drugs have skyrocketed in recent years. When the first so-called disease-modifying drugs were approved starting in the 1990s, they cost roughly $8,000 to $11,000 per year, according to the National Multiple Sclerosi...

Need Emergency Air Lift to Hospital? It Could Cost You $40,000

An air ambulance might be your only chance to survive a medical emergency -- but a new study reports it's going to cost you.

The median charge of an air ambulance trip was $39,000 in 2016, about 60% more than the $24,000 charged just four years earlier, researchers found.

That amount is "more than half of the household income for the average American family in 2016," sai...

Though  'Donut Hole' Is Shrinking, Medicare Drug Costs Are Rising: Study

Seniors' out-of-pocket costs for cancer drugs continue to rise steadily, with patients paying thousands of dollars each year despite efforts to close the Medicare Part D "donut hole," researchers said.

Prices for 13 anticancer drugs available through Medicare Part D in 2010 rose an average 8% over inflation every year over the past decade, said lead researcher Stacie Dusetzina. Sh...

Rising Rx Drug Costs Continue to Create Tough Choices for Seniors

A solid minority of senior citizens still struggles to afford their prescription medications, a new government report shows.

About 5% of adults 65 and older don't take their medication as prescribed to cut costs, according to survey data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

And nearly 1 in 5 seniors has asked a doctor to switch them to a cheaper medi...

Forested Counties Have Lower Medicare Costs, Study Finds

Getting back to nature may nurture your health, according to a new study that found U.S. counties with more forests and shrublands have lower Medicare costs.

The surprising conclusion comes from an analysis of health and environmental data from 3,086 of the 3,103 counties in the continental United States.

"We took the average of different types of land cover and the per cap...

Vets Who Get Opioids From VA, Medicare at Higher Overdose Risk

Many military veterans can get prescription opioid painkillers from both the VA and Medicare, putting them at nearly triple the risk for an overdose, new research warns.

The finding could have implications for a huge number of vets: Roughly eight in 10 VA-covered patients have additional private or public health insurance coverage. About 51 percent have Medicare, and about one-third ...

Single Dose of Keytruda May Help Put Melanoma Into Remission

For people with the deadly skin cancer melanoma, one dose of the drug Keytruda before surgery might stop the cancer in its tracks, according to a groundbreaking new study.

Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is a PD-1 inhibitor, an immunotherapy drug that triggers the body's immune response to attack cancer cells. According to results of this study, the drug's effects peak as early as seven days...

Insurers Making It Harder to Treat Opioid Addiction: Study

Insurance rules that limit access to the addiction treatment medication buprenorphine may be worsening the U.S. opioid epidemic, a new study suggests.

"Buprenorphine is a safe and effective treatment that decreases deaths due to opioids and stops heroin and other opioid use. People on buprenorphine are able to get their lives back together," said study co-author Dr. Todd Korthuis. He'...

Better Heart Care Saves U.S. Billions a Year, Study Finds

Efforts to keep seniors heart-healthy have saved tens of billions of dollars in U.S. health care costs in recent years, researchers say.

Between 2005 and 2012, health care spending among people 65 and older fell an average of nearly $3,000 per person a year, the new study found. That adds up to a total savings of $120 billion, with about half coming from Medicare.

And lower ...

MS Drug Costs Skyrocket After Medicare Rule Change: Study

Medicare rule changes could trigger a spike in out-of-pocket drug costs for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Due to rules that restrict access and require patients to cover more of the cost, those without low-income subsidies can expect to spend almost $6,900 a year out of pocket for MS medicines, researchers reported.

"It's a dysfunctional market that lacks the typica...

Hearing Aid Upkeep Often Out of Reach for the Poor

If you're poor, you'll likely have less success with your hearing aid, a new study finds.

A survey of more than 1,100 Medicare recipients with hearing aids found that 27 percent of low-income users still had a lot of trouble hearing. That compared with just 11 percent of the wealthiest users.

The reason, the study authors suggested, is that poorer seniors have insufficient a...

Many Middle-Aged Americans Worried About Health Insurance: Poll

Many middle-aged folks nearing retirement have serious concerns about their health insurance coverage, a new survey shows.

Nearly half of people aged 50 to 64 say they have little or no confidence they'll be able to afford health coverage once they retire, according to findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging.

More than 1 in 4 are not even confident they'll be able t...