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WELCOME TO OUR COMMUNITY

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If you did not receive an email with the NRLN President’s Forum message or an Action Alert posted on this home page, possibly you mistakenly “unsubscribed” on one of our emails or you have a new email address. You will no longer hear from us unless you “re-subscribe”. To "subscribe" or “re-subscribe”, click here.


breaking news

Bill Kadereit, pres
PRESIDENT'S FORUM

(click here for previous FORUM articles )

NRLN President’s Forum - Important Medicare Information

Seniors with traditional Medicare plans may have access to better quality home healthcare than Medicare Advantage plan participants, according to a study by researchers at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.

“Traditional Medicare beneficiaries are able to select and receive care from any Medicare-certified home health agency,” Margot Schwartz, one of the researchers, reported to Reuters Health by email. “The limited networks in Medicare Advantage may result in these beneficiaries receiving care from lower-quality home health agencies.”

Some higher-quality home health agencies may also opt not to participate in Medicare Advantage plans because of low reimbursement rates, said Momotazur Rahman, also at Brown University and the study’s senior author.

“Payment rates by Medicare Advantage plans to home health agencies are much lower compared to traditional Medicare payment rates,” Rahman said by email. “This may drive highly-rated home health agencies away from the Medicare Advantage patients.”

HOW YOU CAN HELP

  • SUBSCRIBE to receive periodic emails,
  • ACT on NRLN Action Alerts,
  • CONTRIBUTE to NRLN’s lobby effort, or
  • Make a tax-deductible DONATION to our American Retirees Education Foundation (AREF) research

Fraud Alert: Genetic Testing Scam

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about a fraud scheme involving genetic testing.

Genetic testing fraud occurs when Medicare is billed for a test or screening that was not medically necessary and/or was not ordered by a Medicare beneficiary's treating physician.

Scammers are offering Medicare beneficiaries "free" screenings or cheek swabs for genetic testing to obtain their Medicare information for identity theft or fraudulent billing purposes. Fraudsters are targeting beneficiaries through telemarketing calls, booths at public events, health fairs, and door-to-door visits.

Beneficiaries who agree to genetic testing or verify personal or Medicare information may receive a cheek swab, an in-person screening or a testing kit in the mail, even if it is not ordered by a physician or medically necessary.

If Medicare denies the claim, the beneficiary could be responsible for the entire cost of the test, which could be thousands of dollars.

Protect Yourself

  • If a genetic testing kit is mailed to you, don't accept it unless it was ordered by your physician. Refuse the delivery or return it to the sender. Keep a record of the sender's name and the date you returned the items.
  • Be suspicious of anyone who offers you "free" genetic testing and then requests your Medicare number. If your personal information is compromised, it may be used in other fraud schemes.
  • A physician that you know and trust should assess your condition and approve any requests for genetic testing.
  • Medicare beneficiaries should be cautious of unsolicited requests for their Medicare numbers. If anyone other than your physician's office requests your Medicare information, do not provide it.
  • If you suspect Medicare fraud, contact the HHS OIG Hotline. https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/report-fraud/

Bill Kadereit, President
National Retiree Legislative Network

 

report card

NRLN Provides New “Report Card” Feature on Members of Congress

Do your Senators or Representative support bills that help retirees? Check it out here!

 

ACTION ALERT

Tell Congress Don’t Give Taxpayer Subsidies to Insurers for Privatizing Medicare

Congress should not be giving taxpayer subsidies to private insurers for Medicare Advantage plans to move Medicare toward privatization. Go to https://www.nrln.org/SE.html#/ and click on the “Take Action” button to email the NRLN’s sample letter to your members of Congress.

Adobe® Reader® is required to view some documents. Please download free copy by clicking here.

 

NRLN ANNOUNCES TWO NEW Webpages

There are now 11 chapters and 1 region webpages representing various constituencies or retired company employee groups.

Click here to access the webpage for the Lucent / Nokia Retirees Chapter which is being formed because the Lucent Retirees Organization has announced it will dissolve in 2020.

Click here to access the Pacific / Mountain West Region webpage which is a source for information for grassroots advocates particularly in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho and Montana. Oregon, Utah and Washington Chapters have their own webpages.

 

NRLN members are saving big with the Free Health Savings Rx Card℠

The NRLN has arranged to offer you a Health Savings Rx Card™, at NO COST, that offers you and your family savings on prescription drugs, plus vision and hearing services and products.Click here to access the Rx Savings Card℠ website.

 

amazon smile AmazonSmile Program to Benefit the American Retirees Education Program (AREF)

The NRLN board created the American Retiree Education Foundation (AREF) in 2014 as a 501(c)(3) tax-deductible, nonprofit education foundation to expand the research and educational reach of the NRLN and to enable NRLN to sharpen its focus as an organization lobbying for the passage of federal legislation and regulations that benefit retirees.

For example, the white paper on Protecting Pension Assets which is used to educate members of Congress on the need for legislation to prevent pension plan sponsors from using plan assets for non-pension expenses was funded by AREF.. Access the white paper here.

You can help fund the AREF without costing you anything extra when you make a purchase online from Amazon through its AmazonSmile program. Click here to learn more about AmazonSmile.

 

IN THE NEWS...

The articles and opinion pieces below are for information and are not necessarily a reflection of the NRLN’s position on issues. The NRLN is nonpartisan and its positions on retirement issues are presented in its Legislative Agenda and white papers that can be accessed from the Legislative Agenda tab.

Judge Sides With Hospitals Over Medicare Payments For Clinic Visits
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 18, 2019

3 Facts Most People Get Wrong About Social Security
By Katie Brockman; The Motley Fool ~ Sep 15, 2019

Is The New Medicare Plan Finder Putting Seniors In Jeopardy?
From Diane Omdahl; Forbes ~ Sep 18, 2019

House To Probe Private Equity Firms’ Stakes In The Debate Over Surprise Medical Bills
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 17, 2019

U.S. Senators urge FTC to scrutinize multi-billion dollar pharma mergers
By Saumya Sibi Joseph; Reuters ~ Sep 17, 2019

Opinion: Primary Care Is Integral To Improving U.S. Healthcare, But Is Falling Further Behind
From Joshua Cohen; Forbes ~ Sep 16, 2019

How to Avoid Financial Deadlock—or Worse—After One Spouse Dies
By Cheryl Winokur Munk; Barron’s ~ Sep 15, 2019

Opinion: Study Finds Dementia Patients Need More Home-Based Medical Care
From Debbie Musser, NA; Forbes ~ Sep 16, 2019

Opinion: Obamacare Drives Hospital Consolidation, Raising Prices For Patients
From Sally Pipes; Forbes ~ Sep 16, 2019

Stakes Are High As Congress Aims To Tackle Array Of Health Issues Before End Of The Year
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 16, 2019

Opinion: Saving surprise medical billing legislation
From George A. Nation III; The Hill ~ Sep 16, 2019

HHS wants to give you your health data — do you want it?
By Mohana Ravindranath; Politico ~ Sep 16, 2019

Opinion: How to make your retirement savings last forever
From Mark Hulbert; MarketWatch ~ Sep 15, 2019

Opinion: The promise and peril of offshoring prescription drug pricing
From Andrew Mulcahy; The Hill ~ Sep 14, 2019

The New Medicare Plan Finder Doesn’t Make Finding Your Best Drug Coverage Easy
From Diane Omdahl; Forbes ~ Sep 14, 2019

The 'advancing American kidney health' initiative lives up to its name
From Kevin Longino & Tod Ibrahim; The Hill ~ Sep 13, 2019

Opinion: We Have The Road Map To The President’s Health Plan
From Grace-Marie Turner; Forbes ~ Sep 13, 2019

2 pension funds petition MPRA for benefit reductions
By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Sep 13, 2019

Why Do We Still Have U.S. Mail And How Much Longer Will We Have It?
From Blake Morgan; Forbes ~ Sep 13, 2019

FDA warns of contaminant in popular heartburn medicine
By Nathaniel Weixel ; The Hill ~ Sep 13, 2019

Health groups backed dark money campaign to sink 'surprise' billing fix
By Rachel Roubein; Politico ~ Sep 13, 2019

Here's What We Know About How Drugs Are Priced — And What We Don't
Investor’s Business Daily ~ Sep 12, 2019

Opinion: 9 Things You Need To Know About Power Of Attorney
From Christine Fletcher; Forbes ~ Sep 12, 2019

Your Social Security checks could get bigger next year. Here’s how much
By Lorie Konish; CNBC ~ Sep 12, 2019

Proposed financial transaction taxes would hit U.S. pension funds – report
By Rob Kozlowski; Pensions & Investments ~ Sep 11, 2019

Investors’ Deep-Pocket Push To Defend Surprise Medical Bills
By Rachel Bluth & Emmarie Huetteman; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 11, 2019

How To Correct This Big Medicare Mistake
From Steve Vernon; Forbes ~ Sep 11, 2019

Opinion: How To Find A Good Estate Planner
By Elizabeth Alterman, NA; Forbes ~ Sep 11, 2019

Ahead of election year, more Americans lack health insurance, incomes stall
By Lindsay Dunsmuir & Howard Schneider; Reuters ~ Sep 10, 2019

Drug Prices Keep Rising Amid Political Pressure, But Not As Fast
By Leah Rosenbaum; Forbes ~ Sep 10, 2019

Opinion: Medicare Advantage Coverage Rules For PPOs Appear To Have Vanished From The New Plan Finder
From Diane Omdahl; Forbes ~ Sep 10, 2019

Opinion: Where There's A Will, There's Not Always An Estate Plan
From Jamie Hopkins; Forbes ~ Sep 10, 2019

Beyond Gun Control: Prescription Drug Prices, Surprise Medical Bills Are At Top Of Congress’ Health Agenda For Fall
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 09, 2019

Pelosi draft plan would allow negotiation on 250 drugs per year: summary
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Sep 09, 2019

Washington risks seeing bipartisan victories on healthcare slip out of reach this fall
By Kimberly Leonard; The Washington Examiner ~ Sep 09, 2019

What Medicare for All would mean for the 60 million people already on Medicare
By Tami Luhby; CNN ~ Sep 08, 2019

Opinion: Rising retiree bankruptcies? It's a myth
From Andrew Biggs; The Washington Examiner ~ Sep 06, 2019

Are insurance companies driving doctors out of the profession?
From Elizabeth O’Connor; The Hill ~ Sep 07, 2019

Senate to start work on funding bills with shutdown deadline looming
By Jordain Carney; The Hill ~ Sep 06, 2019

Groupons For Medical Treatment? Welcome To Today’s U.S. Health Care
By Lauren Weber; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 06, 2019

Democratic Support For Medicare For All In The House Just Crossed A Major Hurdle
By Andrew Kerr; The Daily Caller ~ Sep 06, 2019

Avoiding The Long-Term-Care Catastrophe
From William A. Haseltine; Forbes ~ Sep 06, 2019

Ernst calls for Congress to fix Social Security 'behind closed doors'
By Rachel Frazin ; The Hill ~ Sep 05, 2019

Analysis: How Your Beloved Hospital Helps To Drive Up Health Care Costs
By Elisabeth Rosenthal; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 05, 2019

The American Medical System Is One Giant Workaround
From Theresa Brown; The New York Times ~ Sep 05, 2019

Medicare Advantage home healthcare may not be best quality
By Lisa Rapaport; Reuters ~ Sep 05, 2019

Push on 'surprise' medical bills hits new roadblocks
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Sep 05, 2019

Trump Promises ‘Phenomenal’ Health Plan. What Might That Mean?
By Julie Appleby; Kaiser Health News ~ Sep 04, 2019

Opinion: Socialism won’t fix drug prices: Stacy Washington
From Stacy Washington; Post & Journal ~ Sep 04, 2019

Is The New Medicare Plan Finder A Barrier Against Open Enrollment Plan Review?
From Diane Omdahl; Forbes ~ Sep 04, 2019

Fraud Alert: Genetic Testing Scam
By U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Heidi Heitkamp: Protect pensions now for millions of Americans
From Heidi Heitkamp; CNBC ~ Sep 03, 2019

The war over Medicare Advantage audits heats up
By Bob Herman; Axios ~ Sep 03, 2019

Walmart Could Disrupt Health Care the Same Way It Did Retail, Analyst Says
By Josh Nathan-Kazis; Barron’s ~ Sep 03, 2019

Opinion: That Beloved Hospital? It’s Driving Up Health Care Costs
From Elisabeth Rosenthal; The New York Times ~ Sep 02, 2019

Protect Yourself From Healthcare Rip-Offs
From Kevin Loria; Consumer Reports ~ Sep 02, 2019

The surprising mistake that could kiss your Social Security benefits goodbye
By Maurie Backman, TMF; USA TODAY ~ Aug 31, 2019

Industry Voices—The Rx for improved patient billing experiences
By Florian Otto; FierceHealthcare ~ Aug 30, 2019

Opinion: The Caregiver Crisis Is Here!
From Robert Mauterstock; Forbes ~ Aug 30, 2019

Opinion: Here’s Why Congress Should End Tax Extenders
From Adam Millsap; Forbes ~ Aug 29, 2019

Opinion: Eldercare: How Does the United States Stack Up?
From Elizabeth Bauer; Forbes ~ Aug 28, 2019

Pharma Cash Rolls Into Congress To Defend An Embattled Industry
By Emmarie Huetteman, Jay Hancock & Elizabeth Lucas; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 27, 2019

FDA's new guidance on heart failure could change the way we treat patients and develop drugs
From Dr. Jay Edelberg; The Hill ~ Aug 27, 2019

Conservative group launches ad campaign against Democratic drug pricing plan
By Nathaniel Weixel; The Hill ~ Aug 26, 2019

An Early Look at Social Security's 2020 COLA
By Sean Williams; The Motley Fool ~ Aug 25, 2019

Home Care Driving Medicare Advantage Plan Growth
By Bailey Bryant; Home Health Care News ~ Aug 25, 2019

Opinion: Trump's Second-Term Plan For Social Security: Starve The Beast
From Teresa Ghilarducci; Forbes ~ Aug 23, 2019

'Skyrocketing' Drug Prices Push Many Off Medication, AARP Finds
By Katie Lannan; WGBH ~ Aug 23, 2019

A Social Security Strategy That's Not Closed Down Yet
From Bob Carlson; Forbes ~ Aug 23, 2019

Shopping Abroad For Cheaper Medication? Here’s What You Need To Know
By Bernard J. Wolfson; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 22, 2019

Opinion: PBMs: Driving Up Costs and Lowering Quality Care in America
From Gary Price, MD & Tim Norbeck; Forbes ~ Aug 22, 2019

Seniors deserve access to Health Savings Accounts
From Kevin McKechnie; The Hill ~ Aug 22, 2019

Opinion: 8 Reasons You May Need To Update Your Will
By Patrick O'Brien, NA; Forbes ~ Aug 22, 2019

Charles Schwab Scores in Legal Fight Over 401(k) Plans
By Daren Fonda; Barron’s ~ Aug 21, 2019

How To Find Low-Cost Care For What Medicare Doesn't Cover
From Edie Grossfield, NA; Forbes ~ Aug 20, 2019

ERISA case against Transamerica can continue, judge rules
By Robert Steyer; Pensions & Investments ~ Aug 21, 2019

Trump administration appeals drug price disclosure ruling
By Nathaniel Weixel ; The Hill ~ Aug 21, 2019

Opinion: Could next year be the beginning of the end of traditional employer-sponsored health insurance?
From Michael Kolber; The Hill ~ Aug 20, 2019

Angry Your Doctor Won't Tell You What That Test Costs? You Should Be!
From Peter Ubel; Forbes ~ Aug 20, 2019

Ending Surprise Medical Bills: The Very Good, The Good And The Ugly
From John C. Goodman; Forbes ~ Aug 20, 2019

Nabriva prices two pneumonia antibiotic versions at over $200 per day
By Saumya Joseph; Reuters ~ Aug 19, 2019

Brand-name drug prices rising at slower pace, lower amounts
By Linda A. Johnson & Nicky Forster; The Associated Press ~ Aug 19, 2019

One small drug, one giant leap for tuberculosis treatment
From Dr. Amesh A. Adalja; The Hill ~ Aug 17, 2019

Create your personal Medicare account
Via Greg Dill; Santa Monica Daily Press ~ Aug 17, 2019

Medicare must protect access to innovative treatments for seniors
From Kerri Houston Toloczko; The Hill ~ Aug 17, 2019

The price of a cup of coffee may be the answer to fixing Social Security
By Lorie Konish; CNBC ~ Aug 17, 2019

Family healthcare spending now equals the cost of a new Harley-Davidson, report says
By Maureen Groppe; USA TODAY ~ Aug 16, 2019

Canada plots response to U.S. import plan after meeting with stakeholders
By Robert King; FierceHealthcare ~ Aug 16, 2019

Getting A Parent With Dementia The Best Long-Term Care For The Money
From Jay Newton-Small, ; Forbes ~ Aug 16, 2019

Elderly Bankruptcy Is On The Rise -- Here's Why
From Teresa Ghilarducci; Forbes ~ Aug 16, 2019

‘Apparent Coordinated Obstruction:’ Lawmakers Renew Investigation Of Generic Drugmakers’ Pricing
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 15, 2019

Trump health chief: Officials actively 'working on' ObamaCare replacement plan
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Aug 15, 2019

New PBGC Multi-Employer Insolvency Projections: Eh, Not So New After All
From Elizabeth Bauer; Forbes ~ Aug 12, 2019

Trump health official: Controversial drug pricing move is 'top priority'
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Aug 15, 2019

FDA warns consumers about the dangerous and potentially life threating side effects of Miracle Mineral Solution
U.S. Food & Drug Administration ~ Aug 12, 2019

Trump Administration Hits Brakes On Law To Curb Unneeded Medicare CT Scans, MRIs
By Phil Galewitz; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 14, 2019

Breaking Down The Basics Of HSAs
From Jamie Hopkins; Forbes ~ Aug 14, 2019

America is facing a pension crisis. Retirees will pay the price if we don't act now
By John Boehner & Joe Crowley; CNN Business ~ Aug 14, 2019

Chief Adviser On Prescription Drug Pricing To Quit HHS
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 13, 2019

Opinion: Private sector vs. Medicare? It's basically the same thing
By Ted Doolittle; The Hill ~ Aug 13, 2019

More Patients Are Getting Hit With Surprise Medical Bills, And The Price Tags Are Going Up, Too
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 13, 2019

Opinion: The Most Overlooked Way Medicare Beneficiaries Can Save On Drug Costs
From Diane Omdahl; Forbes ~ Aug 13, 2019

Class-Action Lawsuit Seeks To Let Medicare Patients Appeal Gap in Nursing Home Coverage
By Susan Jaffe; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 12, 2019

Here's What "Cutting" Social Security Benefits Actually Means
By Sean Williams; The Motley Fool ~ Aug 11, 2019

Congress is considering big changes to the way you retire. Here’s what could make the cut
By Lorie Konish; CNBC ~ Aug 10, 2019

Opinion: Drug importation won't keep Big Pharma in check
From Margarida Jorge; The Hill ~ Aug 09, 2019

The Hidden Retirement Crisis: Older Americans' Debt
From Chris Farrell, NA; Forbes ~ Aug 09, 2019

Op-Ed: A smarter way to curb drug prices through imports
From Henry I. Miller & John J. Cohrssen; Los Angeles Times ~ Aug 05, 2019

7 Reasons Social Security Is in Big Trouble
By Sean Williams; The Motley Fool ~ Aug 09, 2019

Graham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020
By Jessie Hellmann; The Hill ~ Aug 08, 2019

Senate bill aims to protect taxpayers from costly drugs
By Andrew Siddons; Roll Call ~ Aug 08, 2019

Opinion: Senate's Prescription Drug Pricing Bill's Limited Impact On Drug Prices
From Joshua Cohen; Forbes ~ Aug 07, 2019

Shift to value-based payment will require new staffing mix for primary care, analysis finds
By Joanne Finnegan; FierceHealthcare ~ Aug 08, 2019

Medicare to cover expensive cancer cell therapies
By Deena Beasley; Reuters ~ Aug 07, 2019

Price Transparency - Again: Eating the Elephant In Little Bites
From Jeff Gorke; Forbes ~ Aug 07, 2019

Opinion: IRS Introduces New Tax Withholding Estimator To Help Taxpayers Avoid Surprises In 2020
From Kelly Phillips Erb; Forbes ~ Aug 06, 2019

Companies are racing to dump their pension plans
By Jennifer A. Kingson; Axios ~ Aug 07, 2019

FDA says some data used to approve world's most expensive drug was faulty
By Peter Sullivan; The Hill ~ Aug 06, 2019

Why don't we pay congressional salary based on results?
By Former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.); The Hill ~ Aug 06, 2019

PBGC projects improving single-employer program, insolvency for multiemployer one
By Hazel Bradford; Pensions & Investments ~ Aug 06, 2019

Financial Relief Available For Dementia Victims, Families Say Experts
From Ted Knutson; Forbes ~ Aug 06, 2019

Beware: Fake IRS Letters Are Making The Rounds This Summer
From Kelly Phillips Erb; Forbes ~ Aug 06, 2019

American Kidney Fund Steered Financial Aid To Patients Of Its Two Biggest Corporate Donors, Lawsuit Claims
Via KHN Morning Briefing; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 05, 2019

Association created for global study of pensions
By Robert Steyer; Pensions & Investments ~ Aug 05, 2019

Drugmakers Master Rolling Out Their Own Generics To Stifle Competition
By Jay Hancock & Sydney Lupkin; Kaiser Health News ~ Aug 05, 2019

Opinion: The Democrats missed a big opportunity during the debates
By Alessandra Malito; MarketWatch ~ Aug 04, 2019

Working Americans Doubt Durability of Retirement Income, Growing Body of Research Finds
By Nick Fortuna; Barron’s ~ Aug 04, 2019

Trump administration considers September unveiling of healthcare plan: WSJ
By Katanga Johnson; Reuters ~ Aug 03, 2019

The biggest bull market ever — yet disaster looms for millions of retirees
By Paul Brandus; MarketWatch ~ Aug 03, 2019

Cutting Interest Rates Hurts Retirees the Most
From Jamie Hopkins; Forbes ~ Aug 03, 2019

These pension plans are at risk of going broke. Now lawmakers need to agree on a fix
By Lorie Konish; CNBC ~ Aug 02, 2019

Opinion: Recent breaches reaffirm it's time to modernize the Social Security Number
From Steve Grobman & James Lewis; The Hill ~ Aug 02, 2019

Opinion: Republicans' rendezvous with reality — their plan is to cut Social Security
From Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.); The Hill ~ Aug 02, 2019

Congress approves Trump-backed two-year spending, debt limit deal
By Richard Cowan; Reuters ~ Aug 01, 2019

The Social Security 2100 Act is critical for millennials and small business owners
From Alex Lawson & Kymone Freeman; The Hill ~ Aug 01, 2019

Opinion: Everyone’s Social Security Number Has Been Compromised. Here’s How To Protect Yourself.
From Suzanne Rowan Kelleher; Forbes ~ Aug 01, 2019

Beware, the IRS is eyeing your inherited money
By Bill Bischoff; MarketWatch ~ Aug 01, 2019