Only 3,600 of an estimated 16 million Medicare beneficiaries eligible for a two-year diabetes prevention program have actually signed up since Medicare started covering the program in 2018.
The $3.5 trillion budget plan would be the largest infusion into the American health care system since 2010, but its passage may be difficult.
Prescriptions for a controversial new drug for Alzheimer's could run $56 billion a year, putting a significant financial burden on Medicare, the health insurance for the elderly.
“Our focus is going to be on making sure regulations and policies are going to be focused on improving coverage,” said Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, who was sworn in on May 27.
Patients are not charged for the vaccine or the provider’s cost of administering it whether they have commercial insurance, Medicare, Medicaid or no insurance at all.
Many Americans face high out-of-pocket costs for life-saving drugs but those on Medicare are often worse off: There's no cap on coinsurance costs once they hit $6,550 in drug spending.
Dropping Medicare eligibility age to 60 from 65 would deprive hospitals of billions of dollars in revenue they now get from commercial insurance plans.
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Many others are being penalized as part of federal Medicare programs that cut pay to hospitals for frequent readmission of sick patients and hospital-acquired infections.