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Hospice Patients Get a Break: Medicare Eases Drug Coverage Rules

Medicare  eased significantly on Friday its rules for insurance coverage of medications for many thousands of  hospice patients, responding to intense criticism from patient advocates and members of Congress. The new policy should eliminate 95% of the cases in which hospice patients need prior approval from an insurance company to get coverage for their drugs,…


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Medicare Delays Drugs for Hospice Patients

Medicare "observation"

Hospice patients by the thousands are facing delays in Medicare insurance coverage for their chronic ailments, often forcing families to pay for expensive drugs out of pocket. Patient advocacy groups and a majority of members of Congress have called for changes in a new Medicare policy requiring advance approval before drugs can be covered by…


When You Have to Tap the IRA


All the rules and the pundits tell you: don’t take money out of your IRA before you retire. This stash of cash, invested carefully, should grow steadily until you have entered retirement. And then you can withdraw the money on a steady but careful basis to pay for an enjoyable lifestyle. These rules need some…


Helping Seniors Pay for Glasses, Dental Work & Hearing Aids


Here is a big gap in your Medicare coverage-you have to pay for your own hearing aids and eyeglasses, and filling those cavities in your teeth. Medicare is an acute care system, focusing on treating people and curing their diseases, not taking care of all the routine things that come with age. For example, if…


Broccoli Plus Your Gut’s Bacteria: A Cancer Fighter


Chemicals in vegetables -including the ones your mother wanted you to eat but maybe you balked at them-could become powerful soldiers in the war against cancer. Special molecules found in broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts may be transformed by microbes in your gut into cancer fighting  compounds, according  Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the…


Red Wine, Chocolate Won’t Help Us Live Longer


Resveratrol was the great gift to lovers of red wine and chocolate. This powerful antioxidant “was eventually isolated from red wine, as well as cocoa, red grapes, and a variety of other berries and roots,” says Dr. Francis Collins, director of the federal National Institutes of Health, in a May 20 blog post. “After that,…

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