Trending News Today: Penalties Waived for Late Medicare Enrollees

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

The CDC recently urged nursing homes and hospitals to take additional steps to sanitize their water systems, NPR reported. The report found that more than 500 cases of Legionnaires’ disease originated in a healthcare facility in 2015. Since the disease is caused by Legionella bacteria that can grow in water systems, the CDC suggests that there needs to be additional safeguards to prevent the bacteria from entering showers, sinks, bathtubs, medical equipment, and other places where patients may be exposed, according to the article.

Yesterday, Anthem announced they will be withdrawing from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces in Ohio next year. This latest withdrawal would leave 10,500 individuals without an insurance carrier, and GOP lawmakers have said this provides additional evidence that the markets are collapsing under the current health law, according to The New York Times. Anthem is participating in more than 12 ACA marketplaces, but has yet to decide if they will continue to sell plans in those states next year.

Thousands of eligible Americans each year miss the deadline to enroll in Medicare. This can occur if an individual believes they do not have to enroll because they have purchased insurance through ACA marketplaces. Previously, this would subject these individuals to enrollment penalties, but the rules have been temporarily changed to prevent the fees, according to Kaiser Health News. Those who missed the deadline can now request a waiver of the penalty. Medicare subsequently implemented a waiting period for individuals who do not wish to sign up when they become eligible.