medicare

Katie Hiler / KBIA

If you’ve ever lived in - or even visited - a small town, you know they can be pretty quaint. And Milan, Mo, population 1,881, is no exception.

Milan’s local hospital, Sullivan Country Memorial, has been around since 1953. Joe McCarty, a local resident and now patient in Sullivan’s long-term care unit, has lived in Milan almost his entire life – he’s turning 100 this year. Joe made his living as a cartoonist and up until just a few months ago he worked for the local newspaper.

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images_of_money / flickr

The Missouri Department of Insurance is offering free help to seniors who want to review their coverage or enroll in Medicare.

Open enrollment for the federal health insurance program for anyone aged 65 and over runs Oct. 15 through Dec. 7.

Those who want to review their current plan, change their drug coverage or enroll can meet in person or talk on the phone with the state's Community Leaders Assisting the Insured of Missouri program.

Rural Assistance Center

    

Rural hospitals play a vital role in delivering quick emergent care to people in some of the more isolated areas of the country. These institutions provide 24/7 emergency services to rural communities where the next closest hospital could be 35 miles away or more. But because they often serve so few people, it’s hard for them to be financially successful. So the federal government set up the critical access hospital program, whereby hospitals meeting certain criteria would receive Medicare refunds at 101 percent of reasonable costs.  

Since the program began in 1997, 1,331 hospitals have been given critical access hospital status, 35 of which are in Missouri. But policy makers are beginning to question whether that’s too many for the government to handle financially.

Scott Harvey / KSMU

As state lawmakers convened in Jefferson City Wednesday for the first day of the 2014 session, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called for the reauthorization of the Missouri Rx program during a stop in Springfield.

Roebot / Flickr

  Tuesday is the first day of the Medicare open enrollment period that extends to December 7.

University of Missouri Health Care

University of Missouri Health Care will lay off or cut the hours and pay for 35 employees and eliminate 90 unfilled jobs in the coming year.

MU Health Care spokesperson Mary Jenkins told The Columbia Daily Tribune the job losses are due to cuts in federal health care payments from Medicare and the failure of legislators to expand Medicaid eligibility.

She says many of the 90 jobs that will be eliminated have been unfilled for most of the past year.

File / KBIA

The Missouri Department of Social Services has announced it will scale back on its participation in a contract to move welfare recipients onto federal disability.

401kcalculator.org

Barring a congressional miracle,  Medicare payments to health care providers throughout the country will see a 2 percent reduction come Friday. That amount might not sound like much, but rural hospitals and their surrounding communities are the ones that would feel most of the pinch.

Pediatric Ambulance
MU Healthcare

A federal Medicare regulator has dropped its inquiry into deficiencies at the University of Missouri Health System after the university pledged to make changes.

Audio postcard: carolers lobby with song

Dec 12, 2012
Jon Ingram / KBIA

Grass Roots Organizing and the Community, Faith, and Labor Groups of Mid-Missouri added a political twist to holiday caroling in Columbia Monday. Together they caroled outside the headquarters of several Missouri politicians urging them to protect Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security as well as raise taxes for the wealthy. Listen to this audio postcard to hear the carolers lobbying with song.

Fourth Congressional District Democrat candidate Teresa Hensley hosted a forum on Medicare for seniors in Columbia Wednesday. She focused primarily on her disapproval of Republican Vice President Candidate Paul Ryan’s Medicare budget, and the health care reform act. Hensley says privatizing Medicare is unrealistic for seniors.

“What we’re talking about is giving a senior a voucher for them to go find their own health care, to talk to their own insurance companies to find their own health insurance,” Hensley says.

j.stephenconn / Flickr

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling, upholding the federal health law, has provided more clarity to the region and country. 

MU Health System gets $13.3M in federal money

Jun 18, 2012
KBIA file photo

The University of Missouri Health System will receive $13.3 million from the federal government to enhance primary care for elderly patients.

medicare.gov

For seniors and people with disabilities, now's the time to sign up for or review Medicare coverage. This year, Medicare's open enrollment period ends a lot earlier than usual. 

Rural Hospitals Face Medicare Cuts

Oct 3, 2011
Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Two weeks ago, President Obama told the nation, “Washington has to live within its means.” As Democrats and Republicans continue to scour the federal budget for over a trillion dollars in possible cuts, one group very likely to be affected is rural hospitals in the Midwest and across the nation.

Most Missourians Still Oppose Health Care Law

Sep 13, 2011

Americans now know less about the main provisions of Obama’s health care reform law than they did at the end of last year. That’s according to the latest monthly poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Here in Missouri, a majority continues to oppose the law.