Court says Medicare beneficiaries are stuck with government program


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The court points out that the plaintiffs can of course decline Medicare benefits and pay out of pocket. But they're looking for something more.

"Plaintiffs want something more than just the ability to decline Medicare payments," the court explains in its decision. "They seek a legal declaration that Medicare Part A benefits cannot be paid on their behalf — a declaration, in other words, that they are not legally entitled to Medicare Part A benefits."

The law, the court concluded, does not provide a mechanism for beneficiaries to opt out.

"If you are 65 or older and sign up for Social Security, you are automatically entitled to Medicare Part A benefits," Kavanaugh wrote. "You can decline those benefits. But you still remain entitled to them under the statute."


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