2022 Medicare Premiums Post Big Increases

Medicare announced on November 12 that it would apply big rate hikes on Medicare premiums next year. The monthly Part B premium will rise by $21.60, or nearly 15 percent, to $170.10 from $148.50 this year. This increase is more than double the projected $10 boost included in the annual report from…

Part B Premiums Versus the COLA

Trustees for Social Security and Medicare released their massive annual reports yesterday on how they fared in 2020, their financial footings, and the outlook for the nation’s primary retirement and health-care programs. The short answer is that the financial soundness of both programs continues…

Will Health Care Be Coming to Your Home?

It usually requires only three reinforcing trends to fire up my punditry genes, but there are even more when it comes to the likelihood that older Americans will be able to age in place successfully, in large measure because their health care will be delivered to them at home. In no particular order,…

Medicare for All is No Easy Fix

I have shied away from weighing in on the flurry of health proposals being discussed as part of the Biden Administration’s big spending bill. So many proposals have been floated, and I can’t handicap their odds of enactment better than you. However, the resurgence of Medicare for All measures…

Medicare Drug Pricing Rules Under the Microscope

Here’s background to help you keep track of two ongoing processes – one by Medicare and one in the courts – that could lead to big changes in the way Medicare charges you for expensive drugs. You’ve likely heard of one but perhaps not the other. Under Medicare’s complicated rules for Part…

What Does Successful Aging Mean to You?

Until the end of my career or life, whichever comes first, my journalism beat is going to be Successful Aging. Since beginning my first reporting assignment more than 50 years ago at The Charlotte Observer (I was the textile reporter), this is the first time I’ve been able to pick my own assignment.   I…

Drug Prices and Unintended Consequences

Who isn’t angry about high drug prices? Complaints to pharmaceutical companies often produce tone-deaf defenses. And when a $56,000 annual price for the newly approved dementia drug aducanumab (the brand name is Aduhelm) was described by its maker last week as reasonable, rational thought became more…