We strive to keep you informed about the latest Medicare news. Each month, we recap the top information you need to know about recent developments in the Medicare industry. This month, we cover potential services to be covered under Medicare in the future, a new online tool from Medicare.gov and more!
Recently Released Estimates for Total Lifetime Health Care Costs
HealthView Services recently released their July 2019 report entitled, “Why Health Needs to Be Part of Retirement Planning.” In it, they announced that the estimate for total lifetime health care costs for a healthy 65-year-old couple retiring in 2019 are estimated to be $387,644. And 50-year-old couples (retiring at age 65) can expect to pay $405,341 in lifetime health care costs due to health care inflation.
Medicare to Cover Acupuncture in the Future?
In mid-July, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that it is proposing a treatment to be covered under Medicare for chronic lower back pain in clinical studies’ patients: acupuncture. Acupuncture is “a treatment in which practitioners stimulate specific points on the body, most often by inserting thin needles through the skin.”
Medicare plans to work with the National Institutes of Health to create studies to understand the effects acupuncture could have on these types of patients. If these studies are successful, we could see acupuncture as a covered treatment under Medicare.
One of the goals of this effort is to reduce the number of opioids being prescribed to individuals with lower back pain to hopefully reduce reliance on opioid prescriptions.
We will keep you posted as this story develops!
Easily Compare Nursing Homes with Medicare.gov’s Online Tool
Who knew finding the right nursing home for you or a loved one could be so easy? Check out Medicare.gov Nursing Home Compare tool to quickly compare options near you. Simply enter your zip code and see how local facilities are rated, based on the quality of care, and even compare up to 3 facilities of your choosing simultaneously.
It is extremely important to consider all your options and be informed when you are choosing a nursing home for yourself or a loved one. This e-resource helps narrow down the facilities that will give individuals the care and rehab they need.
Prescription Drug Prices to Be Included in Television Ads… Not So Fast
In our June Medicare Must-Knows blog, we shared that prescription prices would be included in TV commercials in the future, as per the current administration. However, we recently learned that hours before this rule would have gone into effect, a judge declared that the “Department of Health and Human Services does not have the regulatory power to make drug manufacturers include the cost of drugs in television commercials.”
So, we will not see these prices included in these ads anytime soon, at least, as we previously thought. We’ll let you know if anything changes.
We’d Love to Hear from You!
If you are not yet a client and have questions about how these topics may affect you as you approach Medicare eligibility, contact one of our advisors at 1-866-600-5638.