The Loneliness Epidemic: Helping Seniors Stay Connected

         In recent years, researchers have been finding potential links between feelings of loneliness and adverse health outcomes. Feeling lonely may put you at greater risk of premature death, serious health problems, and higher suicide rates. For many, the COVID-19 pandemic made social isolation even more difficult to avoid. In 2023, the United States Surgeon General, […]

Medicare Won’t Cover Rapid At-Home Covid Tests

Americans’ ability to quickly and easily test for Covid-19 is one of the most important tools for stopping the infection’s spread.  This is why the Biden administration recently announced it is requiring private insurers to cover the cost of up to eight rapid at-home Covid tests a month purchased at retail stores and pharmacies.  But […]

Nursing Homes Grapple with Whether to Force Staff to Get Vaccinated

As COVID-19 cases start to rise again due to the highly contagious Delta variant, nursing homes are considering requiring staff members to be vaccinated. Only 59 percent of nursing home staff are partially or fully vaccinated nationwide, and the percentages are much lower in some states. While 81 percent of nursing home residents are fully […]

Biden Administration Eases Recommended Restrictions on Nursing Home Visits

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued new guidance on whether families can visit loved ones in nursing homes. The guidance allows indoor visitation even when the resident has not been vaccinated.  The coronavirus pandemic has hit long-term care facilities particularly hard, with more than 170,000 residents and employees dying of COVID-19. Most […]

Medicare Beneficiaries May Be Eligible for an Extra 100 days of Skilled Nursing Coverage Due to Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been particularly devastating for nursing homes and their residents.  Aside from the tragically disproportionate loss of life, care for surviving residents has been delayed or interrupted due to infection, facility lockdowns, or other health system disruptions.  In such cases, Medicare beneficiaries who qualify for skilled nursing facility (SNF) coverage may be eligible […]

How Your Stimulus Check Affects Medicaid Eligibility

The pending approval of a second round of stimulus payments under the Senate’s HEALS Act provides a good reminder of how the first wave of payments was calculated. The coronavirus relief bill includes a direct payment to most Americans, but this has Medicaid recipients wondering how the payment will affect them. Because the payment is […]