Breaking News

Changes to Medicare 2019

Medicare changes

The program’s 60 million members, primarily 65 and older, are expected to enjoy additional improvements beginning Jan. 1.
Medicare just keeps getting better with age, expressed AARP in September. Improvements are expected in 2019 for the 53-year-old federal health insurance program.
Medicare already receives a high satisfaction rate. Yet, the program’s 60 million members, primarily 65 and older, are expected to enjoy additional improvements beginning Jan. 1.
AARP identified six key enhancements:
1. A brand-name prescription coverage gap, referred to as the “doughnut hole,” scheduled to close in 2020 will close instead in 2019 due to a spending bill Congress passed in March. The gap for generic drugs will close in 2020.
2. The cap historically limiting coverage of such services as outpatient physical, speech or occupational therapy was repealed by Congress.
3. Information has been improved with flowcharts and checklists, including an enhanced online tool, to make it easier to understand, compare and choose a plan.
4. The goal is to move toward more telehealth programs, which enable patients to stay at home and
instead confer with a doctor or nurse via telephone or the internet. The first rollout of this program, beginning in 2019, offers telehealth services for people with end-stage renal disease or during treatment for a stroke.
5. Deemed “lifestyle support,” individuals enrolled in Medicare Advantage will have such options as coverage for meals delivered to the home, transportation to doctors’ offices, installation of home safety features such as a wheelchair ramp, and more.

Comment on a story! No sign-up needed, comments posted immediately.