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Medicare turns 49 in July

MWhen: July 30

What: The projected growth of the U.S. population presents a range of challenges, including the health of the growing percentage of senior citizens. Medicare, a backbone of their support system, turns 49 this July.

Background: President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law on July 30, 1965, ensuring that people over 65 would have access to health insurance. Since then, the law has been altered and expanded, most recently by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Medicare was enacted with the goal of increasing the quality and affordability of health insurance.

Story Pitch: Any companies or groups that provide health care for seniors and people with disabilities should be sure to pitch around this event. Pharmaceutical and insurance companies in particular are a crucial part of Medicare, so they can address how they are adapting to the Affordable Care Act and to concerns over rising costs and funding for Medicare. Investment groups and financial advisers can also pitch around this day by focusing on how planning for retirement expenses and living conditions is crucial to maintaining and affording good health. Groups that aid and represent people with disabilities will also want to take this day to address specific issues of cost and coverage for disabled persons, especially the issue of doctors declining to accept Medicare.

Story Hook: A recent ruling by the Medicare Departmental Appeals Board allows for sex reassignment surgery to be covered by Medicare. What other considerations and changes are facing Medicare and U.S. health care? Keep the following in mind when making your pitch:

  • What are proposed methods for handling fraud and expanding costs in Medicare?
  • What have been the circumstances surrounding past expansions of Medicare?
  • How does the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act affect Medicare?
  • How do government health plans like Medicaid and COBRA interact with Medicare?

Tips: Provide contact information for doctors and patients who regularly engage with Medicare and who have had a range of experiences with it.

Resources:

American Association for Retired Persons
(888) 687-2277
www.aarp.org

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
(410) 786-3000
www.cms.gov

HealthCare.gov
(877) 696-6775
www.healthcare.gov

The American Association of People with Disabilities
(202) 457-0046
www.aapd.com

–Researched, compiled & written by Nicholas Testa
Event Dates from CHASE’S Calendar of Events

 

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