Concerns raised as health insurers automatically move members of their marketplace or individual plans who are eligible for Medicare.
The decision runs counter to a Senate committee that voted to strip the $52 million appropriation for the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, which helps beneficiaries understand their Medicare coverage and helps them with billing issues.
The changes announced Tuesday seek to eliminate the backlog by 2021.
It’s not clear yet if the full Senate or House will concur in the plan to cut funding for the State Health Insurance Assistance Program, which operates in all states and gives beneficiaries free advice on enrollment in drug and insurance plans, appealing coverage decisions and applying for financial subsidies.
Although there is widespread agreement on the need to let people know if they haven’t been admitted, the language proposed by federal officials hasn’t satisfied everyone.
Investigators from the GAO call for HHS to improve oversight of the Medicare appeals process and streamline it to make sure repetitive claims are handled more efficiently.
A pilot project in which doctors provide primary care at home for very frail Medicare beneficiaries saved $25 million in 2014, and nine of the 14 practices participating earned bonuses totaling nearly $12 million.
In the past eight months, Medicare officials have quietly granted the special enrollment periods to more than 15,000 Medicare Advantage members in seven states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
Congress left it to states to determine whether private Medigap plans are sold to the more than 9 million disabled people younger than 65 who qualify for Medicare. The result: rules vary across the country.
Falls are the leading cause of injuries for adults older than 65, but they don’t have to happen. A number of new initiatives are designed to make seniors stronger and less likely to take a tumble.
The number of Medicare plans that cover medications with a subsidy provided for low-income beneficiaries is declining in 2016 by 20 percent.
Enrollment for private Medicare Advantage and Part D drug plans begins Oct. 15 and consumer advocates urge seniors to check out prices to find the best deals.
Many students avoid geriatrics because of the low pay and high complications, but six people over 90 offer a different perspective to help attract young doctors.
Medicare patients must be told when they’re in “observation” status but not admitted in a hospital, under legislation expected to be signed into law by the president.
The proposed rules, released in advance of the White House Conference on Aging, cover wide-ranging topics, from meals to roommate selection to staff training.
Across the country, hospitals are offering seniors social activities and other benefits to help them stay healthy and out of the hospital, while also encouraging them to come back to visit.
Seniors can opt to stay in their marketplace plans when they become eligible for Medicare, but most lose their access to subsidies and failing to move into Medicare promptly results in premium penalties.
Under Medicare’s hospice benefit, patients agree to forgo curative treatment, but they can continue to receive coverage for health problems not related to their terminal illness. Federal officials suspect some of those expenses should be covered by hospice.
New federal rules requiring current information apply to insurers selling plans on healthcare.gov and the private policies that are an alternative to Medicare.
Federal officials handle most of the requests in 2014 from beneficiaries seeking a hearing before a judge and cut into the heavy backlog. But cases from hospitals, doctors and other providers are still on hold.