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Plump red blood cells — tumbling amid infection-fighting white blood cells and purple platelets in this colorized, microscopic view — need adequate levels of iron to be able to carry and deliver oxygen around the body. Iron-deficiency anemia is sometimes remedied with IV iron infusions — and the bill can vary by thousands of dollars. Science Source hide caption

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Science Source

"As deductibles rise, patients have the right to know the price of health care services so they can shop around for the best deal," says Seema Verma, who heads the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and announced the Trump administration's plan this week. Kevin Wolf/AP hide caption

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Kevin Wolf/AP

President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday proposing to change how kidney disease is treated in the United States. It encourages in-home dialysis and more kidney donations. Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Trump Administration Announces Plans To Shake Up The Kidney Care Industry

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From 2012 through 2016, federal health inspectors cited 87% of U.S. hospices for deficiencies. And 20% had lapses serious enough to endanger patients, according to two new reports from the HHS Inspector General's Office. sturti/Getty Images hide caption

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HHS Inspector General Finds Serious Flaws In 20% Of U.S. Hospice Programs

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A proposed change in a formula for Medicare payments could help rural hospitals but would mean less money for hospitals in cities. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Over the past decade, hospitals have been rapidly building outpatient clinics or purchasing existing independent ones. It was a lucrative business strategy because such clinics could charge higher rates, on the premise that they were part of a hospital. Medicare's recent rule change puts a damper on all that. Hero Images/Getty Images hide caption

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Hero Images/Getty Images

Both Democrats and Republicans have introduced proposals that would impose a cap on out-of-pocket costs of prescription drugs for Medicare patients. But it's still unclear whether those moves will gain a foothold. Jeffrey Hamilton/Getty Images hide caption

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Jeffrey Hamilton/Getty Images

Drug prices in the United States support spending on research and development, said AbbVie CEO Richard Gonzalez (far left) in testimony by drug company executives before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP hide caption

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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

Leah Steimel (center) says she would consider buying insurance through a Medicaid-style plan that the New Mexico Legislature is considering. Her family includes (from left) her husband, Wellington Guzman; their daughter, Amelia; and sons Daniel and Jonathan. Courtesy of Leah Steimel hide caption

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Courtesy of Leah Steimel

Rep. John Dingell was seated next to President Barack Obama when he signed the Affordable Care Act into law at the White House on March 23, 2010. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., at an Oakland, Calif., campaign rally this week. Harris says she backs a single-payer health system, but she hasn't yet offered details on how she would finance that plan. Mason Trinca/Getty Images hide caption

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Mason Trinca/Getty Images

Terry Mote (right) visits the home of Stanley and Lorit Jamor in Enid, Okla. Stanley was born on Bikini atoll, and is a descendant of Chief Juda, who was told in 1946 by Commodore Ben H. Wyatt, of the U.S. Navy, to give up the island homeland "for the good of all mankind." Bikini was a main site for U.S. nuclear testing and is uninhabitable to this day because of radioactive contamination. Sarah Craig for NPR hide caption

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Sarah Craig for NPR

A Policy Knot Leaves Oklahomans From Marshall Islands Struggling To Get Health Care

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Philadelphia demonstrators protested earlier moves by Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act last February. If the ACA is indeed axed as unconstitutional, health policy analysts say, millions of people could lose health coverage, and many aspects of Medicare and Medicaid would change dramatically. Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images hide caption

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Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Medicare's new program will alter a year's worth of payments to 14,959 skilled nursing facilities across the U.S., based on how often in the past fiscal year their residents ended up back in hospitals within 30 days of leaving. BSIP/Getty Images hide caption

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BSIP/Getty Images

Shereese Hickson was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2012 and is unable to work. She supports herself and her son, Isaiah, on $770 a month. Shane Wynn for KHN hide caption

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Shane Wynn for KHN

Chronically Ill, Traumatically Billed: $123,019 For 2 Multiple Sclerosis Treatments

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Services like rides to the doctor or wheelchair ramps are among those that some Medicare Advantage plans will begin to offer next year. Razvan Chisu / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm hide caption

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Razvan Chisu / EyeEm/Getty Images/EyeEm

"Democrats call it 'Medicare-for-all' because it sounds good, but in reality, it actually ends Medicare in its current form," Speaker of the House Paul Ryan asserted in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 8. Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images hide caption

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Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump attends a signing ceremony for health care measures in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Wednesday, the same day USA Today published an opinion column on the topic by the president. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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Win McNamee/Getty Images

FACT CHECK: Trump's False Claims On 'Medicare-For-All'

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Marilyn Bartlett spent two years running Montana's employee health plan. She made better deals with hospitals and drug benefits managers and saved the plan from bankruptcy. Mike Albans for NPR hide caption

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Mike Albans for NPR

A Tough Negotiator Proves Employers Can Bargain Down Health Care Prices

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Sutter Health Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, in Oakland, Calif. is one of hundreds of hospitals serving poor patients that will get some reprieve from Medicare's readmissions penalties. Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images hide caption

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Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images