Changes to Medicare that advocates have been seeking may end up in the next federal coronavirus relief legislation, experts say.The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to unveil its version of the next stimulus package in late July as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to slow economic recovery and unemployment remains high.Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, indicated in public comments Monday that the theme of the next relief legislation would be "liability reform, kids in school, jobs and health care."Karen Ducey | Getty ImagesWhile specifics of the legislation are uncertain, consumer advocates hope to see provisions that would improve access to Medicare, which provides health care coverage to about 62.4 million beneficiaries — the majority of whom are age 65 or
Justin Sullivan | Getty ImagesFor many older folks, enrolling in Medicare leads to the conclusion that a supplemental plan — aka "Medigap" — is the best fit for their circumstances. However, that decision generally isn't the end of the process. Although Medigap policies are standardized in most places, regardless of which insurance company offers them, premiums differ from insurer to insurer and among locations. And, say experts, this makes it important to understand the differences you could come across when looking at your options.In general, you'd want to know "a carrier's premium rating system, its claims history and how good its customer service department is," said Elizabeth Gavino, founder of Lewin & Gavino and an independent broker and general agent for Medicare plans."I d
Paul Hennessy | NurPhoto | Getty ImagesFor Medicare beneficiaries who are eyeing a move to another state, be sure to consider what your coverage would look like once you get there.Whether you already were planning to relocate or the coronavirus pandemic has sparked the idea, it's important to know the various Medicare rules that apply to such moves, how costs may be different in your new state and how long you get to make changes. In many cases, the process of making the switch is fairly straightforward, experts say. In others, it may require some legwork and comparison shopping to see what makes the most sense coverage-wise and financially for you.The basics, brieflyRoughly 62.4 million people are enrolled in Medicare, the majority of whom are age 65 or older. Original (or basic) Med...
WASHINGTON -- When the Trump administration required nursing homes to report their COVID-19 cases, it also promised to make the data available to residents, families and the public in a user-friendly way. But some facilities that have had coronavirus cases and deaths turn up as having none on Medicare's COVID-19 nursing home website. Those data may be incomplete because the reporting requirements don't reach back to the start of the pandemic. Numbers don't necessarily portray the full picture. “The biggest thing that needs to be taken away ... is in its current form, it is really leaving consumers in the dark,” Sam Brooks, project manager for Consumer Voice, said of Medicare's data website. Consumer Voice is a national advocacy group for improved quality in long-term care.
Karen Ducey | Getty ImagesSo you've enrolled in Medicare and have determined that a supplement plan — aka, "Medigap" — is an appropriate add-on for you. There may be more decisions to make.While Medigap policies are standardized regardless of which insurance company sells them and where you live, the premiums can vary from insurer to insurer and among locations. And, experts say, this makes it important to understand the differences you may see when evaluating your options.You'd want to know "a carrier's premium rating system, its claims history and how good its customer service department is," said Elizabeth Gavino, founder of Lewin & Gavino in New York and an independent broker and general agent for Medicare plans.More from Personal Finance:Here's where to get your tax return do