• News Flash

  • Check here for weekly news updates that may be of interest.

    06/25/2020

    Important Message from Medicare:

    As communities around the country continue to re-open, you may have questions about when to resume in-person visits with your healthcare providers, and what to expect during a visit. Always check with your doctor to see what’s best for your healthcare needs.

    Here are some considerations for in-person visits:

    • Don’t put off necessary care, especially if it’s urgent or may lead to complications, such as heart attack or stroke.
    • Continue preventive care such as immunizations and cancer screenings.

    Providers and facilities will minimize exposure, so you may experience some changes during your visit.

    Visit Medicare.gov to learn more, and reach out to your healthcare provider if you have questions about when and how to seek treatment. Consider telehealth or virtual visits with your doctor if you’re at high risk for complications from COVID-19.

    If you must visit in-person, check out this information from the CDC to help you protect yourself and others.

    Sincerely,

    The Medicare Team

     

    01/23/2020

    The American College of Physicians (ACP) has announced its support for a health care system that would provide universal coverage.  The ACP is not as well-known as the American Medical Association, AMA, but its 141,000 members are supporting “sweeping government action to guarantee coverage for all, reduce costs and improve the basic well-being of Americans.”  Members of the ACP are internal medicine specialists who focus on adult patients ranging in age from workers covered by employer plans to Medicare recipients.

    The ACP has published a position paper in the Annals of internal Medicine. Its endorsement of either of two broad approaches being proposed—a single-payer system run by the government and covering everyone OR a public option, again run by the government, but offering comprehensive coverage that would compete with private insurance—characterized the current system as “ill and need[ing] a bold new prescription.”

    The group joins the large portion of the U.S. population that supports a transformation of the health care system; according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about half of U.S. adults are in favor of a national Medicare for All plan, with even more—two thirds—hoping for a public option.  The American Medical Association (AMA) meanwhile pulled out last year from the industry coalition opposing universal coverage.

     

    01/21/2020

    Long-term care insurance (LTCI) providers paid $11 billion in benefits to 310,000 claimants in 2019.

    The American Association for Long-term Care Insurance (AALTCI) is reporting those figures in a new batch of LTCI market data:

    1. The total amount of LTCI benefits paid was 6.8% higher in 2019 than in 2018.
    2. The number of claimants increased just 2.3%, to 310,000.
    3. The average amount of benefits paid per claimant increased 4.4%, to about $35,500.
    4. Between 2017 and 2018, the total amount of benefits paid increased 12%, the number of claimants increased 2.7%, and average benefits per claimant increased 8.6%.

    In related news, AALTCI is reporting that about 7.5 million Americans appear to have either stand-alone long-term care insurance or LTCI benefits linked to life insurance policies or annuity contracts.  The typical LTCI applicant is about 57, according to AALTCI.

    About 86 million U.S. residents are ages 57 and older. If all 7.5 million of the people with LTCI were in that 57-and-older age group, then the share of people in that age group with LTCI coverage would be about 8.7%.

    (Courtesy of American Association of Long-Term Care Insurers  AALTCi)