Medical Community

Care that encourages strong, well-informed and independent seniors.

What Medicare Beneficiaries Pay Out-Of-Pocket For Cancer

heidi Medicare Patient News, Reports & Statistics Comments Off on What Medicare Beneficiaries Pay Out-Of-Pocket For Cancer

If you are a Medicare beneficiary with a new cancer diagnosis, you can expect to incur some steep out-of-pocket (OOP) costs, according to a study published recently by JAMA Oncology. And those costs vary depending on the type – if any – of supplemental insurance you have. Hospitalizations were a primary driver of these high OOP costs.

For instance, patients with only Medicare, and no additional health coverage, paid on average $8,115 a year (that’s 23.7 percent of their incomes) on out-of-pocket costs after a diagnosis of cancer.

Beneficiaries in private Medicare plans, which is part of Medicare Advantage, had costs of almost $6,000 a year.

The lowest out-of-pocket costs went to Medicare beneficiaries who also had coverage through Medicaid ($2,116 a year) or the Veterans Health Administration ($2,367 a year).

Seniors with additional coverage through employers had costs of almost $5,500, while those with private “Medigap” policies, which cover copays and deductibles not picked up by Medicare, had expenses of $5,670.

Among the 10 percent of beneficiaries with cancer who incurred the highest OOP costs, hospitalization contributed to 41.6 percent of total OOP costs.

Check out the study findings here.


KHN: Alone And Aging: Creating A Safety Net For Isolated Seniors

heidi Elder Care Issues, Resources for Seniors Comments Off on KHN: Alone And Aging: Creating A Safety Net For Isolated Seniors
 The combination of increased longevity, the large and graying baby boom generation, the decline in marriage, the rise in divorce, increased childlessness and family mobility has upended the traditional caregiving support system.

The combination of increased longevity, the large and graying baby boom generation, the decline in marriage, the rise in divorce, increased childlessness and family mobility has upended the traditional caregiving support system.

Kaiser Health News: Alone And Aging: Creating A Safety Net For Isolated Seniors 
Sharon Jayson reports: “Phyllis Krantzman knows what she should do, but like many of her peers, the 71-year-old doesn’t know how to approach a casual acquaintance to ask who will take care of her when she needs it most. Krantzman, of Austin, Texas, is among a growing number of seniors who find themselves alone just when aging and end-of-life care becomes real.” (Jayson, 11/28)


KHN: You’re Not Just “Growing Old” If This Happens To You

heidi Elder Care Issues, Resources for Seniors Comments Off on KHN: You’re Not Just “Growing Old” If This Happens To You
Some medications can induce fatigue, as can infections, arthritis, an underactive thyroid, poor nutrition and alcohol use. Perhaps most important is ensuring that older adults remain physically active and don’t become sedentary.

Some medications can induce fatigue, as can infections, arthritis, an underactive thyroid, poor nutrition and alcohol use. Perhaps most important is ensuring that older adults remain physically active and don’t become sedentary.

Kaiser Health News: You’re Not Just ‘Growing Old’ If This Happens To You 

Judith Graham reports: “When Dr. Christopher Callahan examines older patients, he often hears a similar refrain. “I’m tired, doctor. It’s hard to get up and about. I’ve been feeling kind of down, but I know I’m getting old and I just have to live with it.” This fatalistic stance relies on widely-held but mistaken assumptions about what constitutes “normal aging.” (Graham, 12/8)