This week, we’re reading updates on 3rd quarter life insurance numbers, a summary on supplemental coverage sources for Medicare beneficiaries, details on 2017 National Health Expenditures, and pitfalls seniors struggle to avoid during Medicare enrollment.

The Good And Bad In Life Insurance 3Q Numbers | InsuranceNewsNet | December 5, 2018

There’s no doubt there was some good news and some bad news in the third-quarter life insurance sales numbers.

How good and how bad depend on the time frame comparison and methodology used. Diving deeper into those things explains why LIMRA and Wink both were correct with last week’s “universal life is up” and “universal life is down” reports, respectively.

Read the full review on here.

Sources of Supplemental Coverage Amoung Medicare Beneficiaries in 2016 | Kaiser Family Foundation | November 28, 2018

Today, 60 million people, including 51 million older adults and 9 million younger adults with disabilities, rely on Medicare for their health insurance coverage. Medicare beneficiaries can choose to get their Medicare benefits (Part A and Part B) through the traditional Medicare program, or they can enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, such as a Medicare HMO or PPO. In 2018, two-thirds of Medicare beneficiaries are in traditional Medicare, and one-third are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans.

Many traditional Medicare beneficiaries also rely on other sources of coverage to supplement their Medicare benefits. Supplemental insurance coverage typically covers some or all of Medicare Part A and Part B cost-sharing requirements and, in some instances, covers benefits Medicare does not. This data note explores sources of supplemental coverage among beneficiaries in traditional Medicare, based on data from the 2016 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey (the most recent year available).

Read the full summary on here.

CMS Office of the Actuary Releases 2017 National Health Expenditures | CMS | December 6, 2018

Overall national health spending grew at a rate of 3.9 percent in 2017, almost 1.0 percentage point slower than growth in 2016, according to a study conducted by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and published online today ahead of print by Health Affairs. Medicare spending grew at about the same rate in 2017 as in 2016, while Medicaid spending grew at a slower rate in 2017 than in 2016.

Read the full release on here.

Seniors struggle to avoid Medicare enrollment pitfalls | NBC News | December 5, 2018

Several of Jessica’s family members have advanced degrees, but when they all put their heads together they still couldn’t figure out how to compare Medicare plans for her ailing father.

“The Medicare book is like 100 pages,” said Jessica, who asked for her real name not to be used, to avoid endangering her father’s health insurance appeal. “An elderly person isn’t able to go through all that.”

Dec. 7 is the deadline for open enrollment for Medicare, the government health insurance program that is largely for covering seniors over 65. Starting in 2019, patients can switch between Medicare Advantage plans from Jan. 1 to March 31.

In recent months, the White House has been encouraging seniors to consider leaving the national health insurance program and sign up for the privately run Medicare Advantage.

Read the full article on here.