During 2011, Regence failed to send accurate information about the cost-sharing changes for durable medical equipment and related supplies, including prosthetic devices, to its 88,667 Medicare Advantage members, according to Gerard J. Mulcahy, acting director of the Program Compliance and Oversight Group for CMS.
Video: Regence Medicare Advantage insurance – Compare to 180+ Comp
RegenceMedicare.com Compare Regence Medicare
About Regence Medicare: Regence Blue Shield (regencemedicare.com) is an independent licensee of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence Blue Sheild covers all counties of Oregon, Idaho and Utah as well as select counties in Washington State. Regence Blue Shield provides individual, family and group medical plans. The Regence Medicare division provides a variety of medicare plans for Seniors in the Pacific Northwest and Utah. Medicare Enrollment: Each year medicare insurance plans change what they cost and what they cover. The general open enrollment begins on October 15, 2011 and ends Dec 7th, 2011. During this time, people with Medicare can add, drop or change their prescription drug coverage. They can also select a medicare advantage or supplement plan for their 2011-2012 coverage. The general open medicare enrollment season ends Dec 7,2011 so be sure to get a medicare quote started today.
CMS Fines Regence $100000 for Medicare Violation
The original Medicare program has two parts: Part A (Hospital Insurance), and Part B (Medical Insurance). Only a few special cases exist where prescription drugs are covered by original Medicare, but as of January 2006, Medicare Part D provides more comprehensive drug coverage. Medicare Advantage plans, also known as Medicare Part C, are another way for beneficiaries to receive their Part A, B and D benefits. All Medicare benefits are subject to medical necessity. Part A: Hospital Insurance Part A covers inpatient hospital stays (at least overnight), including semiprivate room, food, tests, and doctor’s fees. Part A covers brief stays for convalescence in a skilled nursing facility if certain criteria are met: 1. A preceding hospital stay must be at least three days, three midnights, not counting the discharge date. 2. The nursing home stay must be for something diagnosed during the hospital stay or for the main cause of hospital stay. 3. If the patient is not receiving rehabilitation but has some other ailment that requires skilled nursing supervision then the nursing home stay would be covered. 4. The care being rendered by the nursing home must be skilled. Medicare part A does not pay for custodial, non-skilled, or long-term care activities, including activities of daily living (ADL) such as personal hygiene, cooking, cleaning, etc. The maximum length of stay that Medicare Part A will cover in a skilled nursing facility per ailment is 100 days. The first 20 days would be paid for in full by Medicare with the remaining 80 days requiring a co-payment (as of 2009, $133.50 per day). Many insurance companies have a provision for skilled nursing care in the policies they sell. If a beneficiary uses some portion of their Part A benefit and then goes at least 60 days without receiving facility-based skilled services, the 100-day clock is reset and the person qualifies for a new 100-day benefit period. Part B: Medical Insurance Part B medical insurance helps pay for some services and products not covered by Part A, generally on an outpatient basis. Part B is optional and may be deferred if the beneficiary or their spouse is still actively working. There is a lifetime penalty (10% per year) imposed for not enrolling in Part B unless actively working. Part B coverage includes physician and nursing services, x-rays, laboratory and diagnostic tests, influenza and pneumonia vaccinations, blood transfusions, renal dialysis, outpatient hospital procedures, limited ambulance transportation, immunosuppressive drugs for organ transplant recipients, chemotherapy, hormonal treatments such as Lupron, and other outpatient medical treatments administered in a doctor’s office. Medication administration is covered under Part B only if it is administered by the physician during an office visit. Part B also helps with durable medical equipment (DME), including canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and mobility scooters for those with mobility impairments. Prosthetic devices such as artificial limbs and breast prosthesis following mastectomy, as well as one pair of eyeglasses following cataract surgery, and oxygen for home use is also covered. Complex rules are used to manage the benefit, and advisories are periodically issued which describe coverage criteria. On the national level these advisories are issued by CMS, and are known as National Coverage Determinations (NCD). Local Coverage Determinations (LCD) only apply within the multi-state area managed by a specific regional Medicare Part B contractor, and Local Medical Review Policies (LMRP) were superseded by LCDs in 2003. Coverage information is also located in the CMS Internet-Only Manuals (IOM), the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), the Social Security Act, and the Federal Register. Part C: Medicare Advantage plans With the passage of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Medicare beneficiaries were given the option to receive their Medicare benefits through private health insurance plans, instead of through the original Medicare plan (Parts A and B). These programs were known as “Medicare+Choice” or “Part C” plans. Pursuant to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003, “Medicare+Choice” plans were made more attractive to Medicare beneficiaries by the addition of prescription drug coverage and became known as “Medicare Advantage” (MA) plans. Traditional or “fee-for-service” Medicare has a standard benefit package that covers medically necessary care members can receive from nearly any hospital or doctor in the country. For people who choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage health plan, Medicare pays the private health plan a capitated rate, or a set amount, every month for each member. Members typically also pay a monthly premium in addition to the Medicare Part B premium to cover items not covered by traditional Medicare (Parts A & B), such as prescription drugs, dental care, vision care and gym or health club memberships. In exchange for these extra benefits, enrollees may be limited in the providers they can receive services from without paying extra. Typically, the plans have a “network” of providers that patients can use. Going outside that network may require permission or extra fees. Medicare Advantage plans are required to offer coverage that meets or exceeds the standards set by the original Medicare program, but they do not have to cover every benefit in the same way. If a plan chooses to pay less than Medicare for some benefits, like skilled nursing facility care, the savings may be passed along to consumers by offering lower copayments for doctor visits. Medicare Advantage plans use a portion of the payments they receive from the government for each enrollee to offer supplemental benefits. Some plans limit their members’ annual out-of-pocket spending on medical care, providing insurance against catastrophic costs over $5,000, for example. Many plans offer dental coverage, vision coverage and other services not covered by Medicare Parts A or B, which makes them a good value for the health care dollar, if you want to use the provider included in the plan’s network or “panel” of providers. Because the 2003 payment formulas overpay plans by 12 percent or more compared to traditional Medicare, in 2006 enrollees in Medicare Advantage Private Fee-for-Service plans were offered a net extra benefit value (the value of the additional benefits minus any additional premium) of $55.92 a month more than the traditional Medicare benefit package; enrollees in other Medicare Advantage plans were offered a net extra benefit value of $71.22 a month more. However, Medicare Advantage members receive additional coverage and medical benefits not enjoyed by traditional Medicare members, and savings generated by Medicare Advantage plans may be passed on to beneficiaries to lower their overall health care costs. Other important distinctions between Medicare Advantage and traditional Medicare are that Medicare Advantage health plans encourage preventive care and wellness and closely coordinate patient care. Medicare Advantage Plans that also include Part D prescription drug benefits are known as a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plan or a MA-PD. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans grew from 5.4 million in 2005 to 8.2 million in 2007. Enrollment grew by an additional 800,000 during the first four months of 2008. This represents 19% of Medicare beneficiaries. A third of beneficiaries with Part D coverage are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage enrollment is higher in urban areas; the enrollment rate in urban counties is twice that in rural counties (22% vs. 10%). Almost all Medicare beneficiaries have access to at least two Medicare Advantage plans; most have access to three or more. Because of the 2003 law’s overpayments, the number of organizations offering Fee-for-Service plans has increased dramatically, from 11 in 2006 to almost 50 in 2008. Eight out of ten beneficiaries (82%) now have access to six or more Private Fee-for-Service plans. Each year many individuals disenroll from MA plans. A recent study noted that about 20 percent of enrollees report that “their most important reason for leaving was due to problems getting care.” There is some evidence that disabled beneficiaries “are more likely to experience multiple problems in managed care.” Some studies have reported that the older, poorer, and sicker persons have been less satisfied with the care they have received in MA plans. On the other hand, an analysis of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality data published by America’s Health Insurance Plans found that Medicare Advantage enrollees spent fewer days in the hospital than Fee-for-Service enrollees, were less likely to have “potentially avoidable” admissions, and had fewer re-admissions. These comparisons adjusted for age, sex and health status using the risk score used in the Medicare Advantage risk adjustment mechanism. In December 2009 the Kaiser Family Foundation published a report that rated Medicare Advantage organizations on a five star scale. The ratings were based on data from CMS, the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS), Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) data, and the Health Outcomes Survey (HOS). New plans did not receive ratings, because data were not available. Almost six out of ten (59%) of MA plans did receive ratings, and these plans represented 85% of the enrollment for 2009. The average rating was 3.29 stars. Twenty-three percent of enrollees were in a plan with four or more stars; 20% were in a plan with fewer than three stars. Twenty percent of African-American and 32 percent of Hispanic Medicare Beneficiaries were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans in 2006. Almost half (48%) of Medicare Advantage enrollees had incomes below $20,000, including 71% of minority enrollees. Others have reported that minority enrollment is not particularly above average. Another study has raised questions about the quality of care received by minorities in MA plans. The Government Accountability Office reported that in 2006, the plans earned profits of 6.6 percent, had overhead (sales, etc.) of 10.1 percent, and provided 83.3 percent of the revenue dollar in medical benefits. These administrative costs are far higher than traditional fee-for-service Medicare.  Part D: Prescription Drug plans Main articles: Medicare Part D and Medicare Part D coverage gap Medicare Part D went into effect on January 1, 2006. Anyone with Part A or B is eligible for Part D. It was made possible by the passage of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act. In order to receive this benefit, a person with Medicare must enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) or Medicare Advantage plan with prescription drug coverage (MA-PD). These plans are approved and regulated by the Medicare program, but are actually designed and administered by private health insurance companies. Unlike Original Medicare (Part A and B), Part D coverage is not standardized. Plans choose which drugs (or even classes of drugs) they wish to cover, at what level (or tier) they wish to cover it, and are free to choose not to cover some drugs at all. The exception to this is drugs that Medicare specifically excludes from coverage, including but not limited to benzodiazepines, cough suppressant and barbiturates. Plans that cover excluded drugs are not allowed to pass those costs on to Medicare, and plans are required to repay CMS if they are found to have billed Medicare in these cases. It should be noted again for beneficiaries who are dual-eligible (Medicare and Medicaid eligible) Medicaid may pay for drugs not covered by part D of Medicare, such as benzodiazepines, and other restricted controlled substances.
Actuary (Compliance) Job In Meridian, ID, United States On ActuarialCrossing
Job Profile POSITION PURPOSE: To ensure Blue Cross of Idaho (BCI) is in compliance with Federal and State rating and underwriting laws and regulations. Maintain relationships with the regulators; respond to regulator inquiries concerning rates and underwriting. Provide regulatory insight to guide business decisions. Does not include Medicare Advantage rates. Qualifications: Required Experience: • Five years health insurance actuarial experience (including three years experience working with State and Federal regulators) Required Education: • Bachelor degree in Actuarial Science, Mathematics, Statistics, Economics or related field • Completed college level mathematics and statistics courses must include calculus, statistics and/or numerical analysis Required License/Certification: • Associate, Society of Actuaries (ASA) • Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA) Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs): Knowledge of: • Health insurance company operation • Rate calculation methodologies Skills: • Microsoft Word – Intermediate • Microsoft Excel – Intermediate • Verbal and written communication Ability to: • Read and interpret laws and regulations and determine how they apply to insurance business practices • Diplomatically demonstrate compliance to regulators • Clearly and concisely communicate highly technical issues, both orally and in written format • Query health insurance data proficiently in at least one computer language PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS: • Fellowship, Society of Actuaries (FSA) or commitment to completion of courses necessary to obtain FSA designation Come work for a leading Health Insurance carrier in Idaho. To learn more about the requirements for this position, to search other employment opportunities and to apply online please visit our Web site at **** We offer excellent benefits and competitive salaries, including incentive programs, 401(k), paid holidays, and much more! EEO/AA/D/V Salary $80,522 – $100,653 Job URL Sign up now!
Changes being made to Medicare Annual Election Period for 2012
People who want to change their plan or simply want to get more information should contact the individual health plans, a licensed insurance agent or a SHIBA volunteer. SHIBA volunteers are impartial volunteers who offer assistance to Medicare beneficiaries and can be contacted through the Campbell Senior Center or the Willamalane Adult Activity Center.
The Red Electric: Regence returns my call
ecounted my experiences with Regence MedAdvantage customer support . Because I wasn’t satisfied, I decided to track down one of three Regence executives I happened to be seated with at a recent Community Health Partnership honors banquet. I phoned and left a message for one to call back. All three did, on a pre-arranged conference call. I was impressed. We talked for about a half hour about the surprising jump in the premium from $45/mo. to $75/mo. You may recall that the customer service representative told me that premiums for the non-profit are based on claims from the previous year. Last year was not a good year, insurance-wise. My executive trio told me that there’s some discretion in setting premiums, and they readily admitted that the hike for next year is hard to swallow, but necessary. I joined the program early this year when, at reaching 65, I became eligible for Medicare. If I had joined in 2005, the year the Medicare Advantage programs began, I would have a different perspective on next year’s increase. Amanda, my customer service rep, told me that premiums could drop, but, because she had only been on the job a year and a half, she didn’t have a clue whether they ever had. Fat chance, I thought. I was wrong. My conferees informed me that indeed the rates had dropped. My $45 premium was the low over four years. In 2005, the premium was $79, in 2006 it was $72. It turns out that 2006 was a very good year, as Frank Sinatra used to say, so management decided to pass the savings on in 2007, hence my $45 premium, which I took to be the norm. So my advice to this august group was to level out the peaks and valleys of the premiums to avoid the appearance of a bait and switch. In the highly competitive health insurance industry, low rates are a selling point. That $45 snared me. “We don’t like to whipsaw our members,” said Mike Becker, Regence vice president of public policy and community affairs. “Leveling out the premiums is exactly what we’ve been talking about,” chimed in Alison Nicholson, manager for individual sales. Good, I replied. I had a few other ideas, which I won’t bore you with and which you probably won’t be interested in, at least until you turn 65. Suffice to say, I feel better about Regence Blue Cross — for now.
State Roundup: ‘Ambitious’ Baltimore HIV Initiative
California Watch: State Can’t Take $1B From First 5, Judge Rules California’s attempt to divert $1 billion from First 5 commissions to state health services is illegal, a Fresno County judge ruled last week. Lawmakers and Gov. Jerry Brown had sought First 5 funds in March to help close what was then a $26 billion budget shortfall. … Prop. 10 placed a 50-cent tax on tobacco products and has generated about $7.3 billion to date. The revenue is divided among one state and 58 county commissions, which support early childhood development programs (Lin, 11/29).
Kathie Bracy’s Blog: Is the STRS Medicare Advantage program really an ‘Advantage’? Susan doesn’t think so!
A key player in this CORE group, Dr. Dennis Leone, initiated the investigation (2002-2004) against STRS that led to the dismissal of the Executive Director and the conviction of six Board members for ethics violations. Eventually elected to the Board, Dr. Leone was the only member to vote against the forced ‘move’ discussed in my paper. On the CORE website, click on ‘history’ to see the results of this group‟s vigilance and perseverance. To protect your pension and quality health care, follow this group and help them create a direct line to educators.