Medicare

The Pulse
11:39 am
Fri November 21, 2014

At The Crossroads: How Will Medicare Grapple With Hep C?

My recent story about the high cost of new hepatitis C treatments focused on the difficulty of deciding who gets these new drugs now and who has to wait. That's because, while new drugs like Sovaldi and Harvoni (both made by Gilead) promise to cure a lot of people, they're so expensive we simply couldn't afford to treat everyone who's infected right now.

Read more
The Pulse
4:00 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Coming Soon: Open Enrollment For Medicare Advantage, HealthSource RI

October 15 marks the start of open enrollment for anyone who wants to switch Medicare Advantage plans or join Medicare Part D, the prescription drug plan.

November 15 is when open enrollment begins for HealthSource RI, the second time around for Rhode Island's online health insurance marketplace for individuals, families, and small businesses.

Here's what we know so far about the options.

Read more
On Politics
3:38 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

Sens. Reed, Warren Durbin Urge Obama Take Executive Action On Corporate Overseas Tax Moves

Jack Reed is among a group of U.S. Senators pushing for reforms on taxing corporations that move operations overseas.
Credit RIPR FILE

U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I.,  has joined with fellow Democratic senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Dick Durbin of Illinois in urging President Obama to use an executive order to reduce or get rid of tax breaks for companies that move their headquarters overseas to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

In  letter to the president the three Democratic senators stated that while Congress considers a legislative solution there is a need for swift action by the president.

Read more
Health Care
9:17 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Rhode Island Set To Begin Health Insurance Claims Database

Rhode Island is beginning an all-payer claims database to better known how much residents are spending on healthcare, and on what.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

You may have gotten a letter in the mail recently from your health insurance company asking whether you wanted to opt out of something called an “all payer claims database.”

Read more
The Pulse
4:09 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

To Find Health Care Cost Savings, Follow The Money. Or Rather, The Data.

It's pretty basic: in order to save a little money, most people have to stick to a budget. But before you can sketch out that spending plan, you need to know where your money's been going and how much you've been spending on everything. Then you can look for places to trim and skimp.

So too goes the theory with health care spending. Or at least, that's the idea behind several new efforts:

Read more
Health Care
2:48 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Medicare Advantage Plan Members Can Opt Out If Plans Drop Doctors Without Cause

Seniors with Medicare Advantage have more flexibility to opt out of plans, thanks to new rules.
Credit Aaron Read / RIPR

New rules for Medicare Advantage plan members give seniors more flexibility to opt out of plans that drop their doctors from the network.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced that Medicare Advantage plan members will be able to switch plans if those plans drop doctors mid-year without cause. These are Medicare plans offered by private insurance companies and often operate like HMOs.

Read more
The Pulse
4:27 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Tools For Health Care Consumers: Quality, Cost, And Care

Thousands of Rhode Islanders have signed up for health insurance in recent weeks, some for the first time. I'm thinking that means some might not be so familiar with our health care system, or they might not know how to keep costs down with plans that carry higher deductibles or out-of-pocket costs.

So... here are a few tools to help you navigate, from finding the highest quality, to keeping costs down, to managing your own health. It's not an exhaustive list, but a start...if you're starting from scratch!

Read more
The Pulse
1:06 pm
Tue December 10, 2013

CT Docs Vs. United Healthcare: Will RI Docs Follow Suit?

Connecticut doctors sued United Healthcare for dropping them from their Medicare Advantage network. Will Rhode Island follow suit?

Probably not, says Steven DeToy with the Rhode Island Medical Society. He told me he thinks it's unlikely the doctors will have any luck in court because United had the right to drop doctors - it's in their contract. And if they did, it could get expensive and messy: doctors could be responsible for half the cost of mediation if it comes to that.

Read more
Health Care
3:37 pm
Fri December 6, 2013

Federal Judge in CT Blocks United From Dropping Docs

A federal judge in Connecticut is blocking United Healthcare’s move to drop hundreds of doctors from its Medicare Advantage network.

The Hartford Courant reports that the Fairfield and Hartford County Medical Associations convinced the court that removing the more than 2-thousand doctors in Connecticut from the health insurance network would be too damaging. And that the insurer plans to appeal the decision.

Read more
Health Care
5:00 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

United's Medicare Move: More Limited Choice Ahead?

United Healthcare is dropping hundreds of doctors in Rhode Island

RIPR health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joined host Dave Fallon in the studio to talk about what United Healthcare's recent decision to drop several hundred doctors from its Medicare Advantage plan means for the 36,0000 or so Rhode Islanders in that plan. Following is a transcript of their conversation, and a link to listen.

Read more

Pages