Private Medicare Plans Find Success Despite Democrats’ Warnings

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

NYT: Kofi Annan makes first visit to post-Hussein Iraq by @mjbAt MediBid, we restore market forces to medical care. Doctors get to set their own rates based on their training, experience, and outcomes, and patients get to shop for medical care across state lines and international borders. Many times with MediBid, you will find procedures that are more effective than procedures allowed, or covered by health plans. Transparency and competition are the only way to achieve reasonable costs. Many of our employer clients offering group health insurance through MediBid save $5,000 per employee per year. Those are substantial savings. Patients are saving an average of 48% vs. insurance discounted rates, or 80% vs. retail. Contact us for more information.
Source: medibid.com

Video: Medicare Prescription Drug Plans.wmv

Medicare Drug Plan Premiums Not Going Up

Medicare is health insurance for people 65 years of age or older and some disabled people under 65. Doctors, hospitals and clinics who treat Medicare recipients are reimbursed by the federal government for their services. Medicare is funded by a portion of payroll taxes paid by employers and workers, and by monthly premiums deducted from Social Security benefit checks. Typically, when you apply for Social Security retirement benefits, you also automatically apply for Medicare.
Source: about.com

Medicare 101 – The Basics You Need to Know!

Medicare Part D coverage is only available through Medicare private drug plans. Enrollment in Part D is optional for most people since the economics of this benefit will depend on your current drug coverage and drug needs. Start by checking the plan you currently have to see how it will coordinate with Medicare. There are situations where having Part D could cause you or your family members to lose other health care coverage. If your current drug coverage is as good as or better than Part D you can keep it without penalty. There is a penalty to enroll later if you do not have coverage and do not enroll when you are first eligible.
Source: rodgers-associates.com

New Look for Medicare.gov

Now you can get to the Medicare Part D Plan Finder by clicking on the yellow box labeled “Find Health and Drug Plans” to the left of the picture on the homepage.  This will take you to the familiar Plan Finder.  Once there, if you click on the video to help guide you through the Plan Finder, the first page will look like the older version of the website where you clicked on the blue words “Compare Drug and Health Plans” to get to the Plan Finder. 
Source: retirementeducationplus.com

Obama Crows About Private Medicare Provider Success while Bashing GOP Plans

abuse Advance Directives advantage plans affordable care act baby boomers budget compaign Congressional Budget Office Dan Morhaim donut hole election fraud gap coverage Health Care healthcare healthcare reform Health Care Reform health exchange individual mandate provision Living Wills medicaid medicare medicare advantage medicare benefits medicare budget medicare cuts medicare fraud medicare news medicare politics medicare refor medicare reform obama obamacare part d plans paul ryan Politics News private health insurance romney Sarah Palin seniors supreme couty tax breaks unitedhealth waste wealthy
Source: medicarewire.com

Medicare, Health Care Reform and 2013…

Five Star Ratings on Medicare Advantage Plans – To encourage Medicare Advantage plans to provide quality care, the ACA authorized Medicare to pay bonuses to Medicare Advantage plans, beginning in 2012, if they receive four or five stars on Medicare’s new five-star quality rating system. And, plans that received a 5 star rating would be able to enroll customers year-round; not just during Medicare’s annual enrollment period (AEP). (Source) The rating system measures how well plans: help customers stay healthy; perform on numerous customer satisfaction measures; price and safely administer drugs; and provide Medicare.gov updated plan information.
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

End Medicare As We Know It? Ryan's Plan Would Expand On a Medicare Idea That Seniors Know and Like.

And, as The New York Times made clear in an article over the weekend, these sections are working well enough that the administration has seen fit to brag about their successes. To some extent this is just political: Administrations want to be able to say that their programs work. but there are real successes here, especially relative to the traditional Medicare alternative. For example, The Times notes, the administration has pointed to a 10 percent increase in enrollment in Medicare Advantage, as well as a 7 percent decrease in average plan price. So average plan costs are decreasing, and more seniors are choosing to enroll in Medicare’s system of private plans. And as I noted last week, there’s new evidence to suggest that private insurers operating in the program provide equal benefits to traditional Medicare at lower cost.
Source: reason.com

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Is Here!

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Source: tanned.me

2013 Medicare Drug Plan Premiums Will Be Similar To This Year — On Average

“Some folks won’t have access to plans at this price,” said Joe Baker, president of the Medicare Rights Center, a consumer advocacy group. “The bigger issue is that seniors have too much choice, or too much non-meaningful choice.” Seniors, he said, “tend to go for lower premiums, which look more affordable, but they can be surprised when their drug isn’t in the formulary.”
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

State Roundup: Ohio Sets Plan For People On Both Medicaid And Medicare; Minn. Asks Feds For Money

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Budget vs Budget by boris.rasinCalifornia Healthline: Why Basic Health Plan Failed And Why COOPs May Succeed No one knows exactly what the Basic Health Program would have looked like in California — and now we’ll likely never know. The state Legislature recently shelved the idea by relegating SB 703, by Senate Health Committee Chair Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), to the “holding committee” in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. That effectively killed the bill. Meanwhile, another Assembly measure (AB 1846), by Assembly Member Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park), would establish a legal framework to set up Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (COOPs). That proposal, like BHP, is an option under the federal health reform law with a lot of questions surrounding it. Unlike BHP, the COOPs bill is a floor vote away from the governor’s desk and appears to have widespread support (Gorn, 8/27).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Medicare vs Medicaid

“What’s Happening with Medicare and Medicaid” Public Forum

Janet Witt, Grassroots Manager for the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, was invited to Manhattan by a joint effort from the North Central Flint Hills Area Agency on Aging, The Manhattan Alliance for Peace and Justice and the Manhattan Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Source: 1350kman.com

Massachusetts Health Stats: The 2012 Medicare Data Book Section 3: Where Medicaid and Medicare Meet

NOTE: I’m going all Medicare all the time until further notice. There’s nothing happening in Massachusetts anyways. The legislature passed its health-care price controls, screwed a few percent of the population, and headed off to their second or third homes in the Berkshires or on the Cape for the rest of the Northern Hemisphere summer. And then they are off to the Democratic convention. Look to the postings list to the left to see what’s new. The Obama Parade of Medicare Lies is never ending. (What would you expect of a guy who lied about his dying mother’s insurance situation to get elected?) Otherwise, whenever, Massachussetts Health Stats is an as-needed look at statistics about the Massachusetts healthcare delivery and insurance market and industry. On both Medicare and Massachusetts health care, this blog overcomes the attempts from those on both the left and right of the political spectrum to use statistics to impose needless changes on one of the best healthcare systems in the world.
Source: typepad.com

Report: Romney/Ryan Plan Will Cost $60K More For Medicare

I think the problem stems from the notion that the gov’t provides health care support in two basic cases, when you’re old (Medicare) and when you’re out of money (Medicaid). The GOP has done a good job of making it sound like one is for sweet lil’ old “anglo-saxon” grandmas (as Mitt might say) and the other is for welfare queens and young bucks (as Reagan would have phrased it). The reality is that “old” and “out of money” need not be separate groups of people. In fact, many old people do indeed run out of money. And yes, as anti-intuitive as it sounds nursing home care is actually done by the “out of money” program, not the “old people” program. So, when you slash the “out of money” program, you’re going to end up hurting a lot of old people, specifically, old people who don’t have the financial resources to keep getting the care they need.
Source: crooksandliars.com

Daily Kos: House Democrats spell out Medicare, Medicaid impact of Romney/Ryan plan

I have a relative who is 91 and has been in a nursing home for 3 years.  She is totally out of it – dementia – and  we’re just waiting for the end.  Her husband (no children) has a small home and some savings; she used up all of her Medicare benefits more than 2 years ago and now the $5,700 nursing home fee is paid from their savings each month, and is not going to last forever. Her doctor visits are still covered and a physician sees her three times a week.  This means a doctor – whose last name is 23 letters long and for the life of me I am unable to understand a word he says – first talks with the head nurse and checks the charts of each of the 20 (mostly dementia) patients in the wing of  his visitation route and then proceeds down the hall. While I was visiting her one morning, he came to the doorway – not to her bed – said hello to me and asked (I think) how she was doing.  I said simply “no change” he said goodbye and left.  And he bills Medicare $270 a week, for her, for these three visits. – Multiply that by by the 20 patients in the wing and you get his weekly payout at $5,400, monthly, $21,600.  There are 5 other wings in this facility and those fees bring doctor costs up to $500,000 a month.  This is just one nursing home in one county, in one state, so you can just imagine the numbers extended out  – some nursing homes less, some more, but THIS is a big part if what is wrong with the system as it is being utilized now. I don’t have the an solution, but it would be impossible and morally wrong to take away late-life health care for the elderly, or healthcare for anyone , for that matter.  Other countries, the UK, Skandinavia, for example have more efficient systems and they seem to be working much better than ours.  I think we just need to re-vamp the system to eliminate the “money-suckers” who get rich off of it.
Source: dailykos.com

Fraud detection in Medicaid / Medicare

One industry example mentioned in the reports: In one brash scheme, immigrants set up a network of fraudulent medical-supply stores in the Southwest, hoping to cheat Medicaid and Medicare. The gang hired recruiters to bring them innocent patients eligible for Medicaid or Medicare. They then paid off local doctors to prescribe motorized wheelchairs worth $7,500 but instead gave them motor scooters worth just $1,500, pocketing the difference. Investigators shut down the scheme after noticing billings for wheelchairs in Arizona, Texas, and other states scaling into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Source: analyticbridge.com

CBO update: Medicare, Medicaid will spend less

Health insurance fraud results in enormous losses every year – up to $260 billion, by some estimates. And while technology advances have made it easier for payers to protect their bottom line – these advances are also aiding criminals. Learn more.
Source: fiercehealthcare.com

NewsDaily: Aetna to buy Coventry in Medicare, Medicaid expansion

“The election and SCOTUS were not critical to our strategic thinking,” he said in an interview, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision to uphold the “individual mandate” requiring that most Americans obtain health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax. “We think we had a very good opportunity to gain better access to government-based revenues at valuations that were very reasonable.”
Source: newsdaily.com

IG: Health care contractor benefited from sham veteran

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Barack Obama on Social Security (photo by Transplanted Mountaineer (Flickr) by Been ZorrinoTo ensure that it pays the lowest possible rate for health care services, VA uses a technique called claims re-pricing, in which a health services contractor compares VA allowable rates, based on fees charged by non-VA health care providers, to rates for providers in the contractor’s own network. “If the network rates are lower than the VA allowable rates, the contractor re-prices the claim and calculates the potential savings.” the IG wrote. The re-pricing contractor receives a percentage of the potential savings as a fee. Health Net has provided re-pricing services to the VA in California since 1999.
Source: nvsbc.com

Video: Health Net Medicare Part D Insurance – Compare to 180+ Comp

Coventry Signals Health Net, WellCare Takeovers: Real M&A

Demand for Medicare, the U.S. health plan for the elderlyand disabled, is on the rise with 8.6 million more Americansprojected to enroll by 2016 as the first wave of turns 65. At the same time, the Patient Protection andAffordable Care Act upheld by the in June will addmore patients to Medicaid, which provides coverage for the poor.Stifel Financial Corp. says the next takeover targets mayinclude WellCare, both a Medicare and Medicaid insurer, orHealth Net, which like Coventry offers commercial insurance inaddition to the U.S. government-sponsored plans.
Source: homeownerloanss.com

Views On Medicare: Rep. Kathy Hochul’s Campaign; Ryan’s Vision; Wyden’s Role

Bloomberg: Romney And Obama Are Both Medicare Double-Counters One of the Obama administration’s talking points in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been that the law extends the solvency of the Medicare trust fund. By slowing the growth of Medicare spending, the law postpones the date when the Medicare Trust Fund will be exhausted to 2024 from 2016. … Conservatives have typically responded that this claim involves double counting. … [B]ut as a matter of measuring fiscal sustainability, the conservative critics are right: You can’t spend money and say it’s being set aside to cover debts due in the future. … Romney’s claim that he will shore up the trust fund is especially puzzling, because under his plan the fund would be exhausted before any of his savings take effect. Unlike Obama’s double count, Romney’s count is consistent neither with sound fiscal practices nor with the law (Josh Barro, 8/24).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Face the Facts: Why Health Net Escaped Consequences of IG Investigation

POGO found other instances of government officials walking through the revolving door into Health Net. Thomas Carrato, president of Health Net Federal Services (the division of Health Net that administers TRICARE), previously served as Executive Director of TRICARE Management Activity. In 2006, Health Net Federal Services formed a TRICARE Advisory Committee composed of retired senior Defense Department officials and top brass, including Principal Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Charles L. Cragin. According to a press release, “members of the Advisory Committee will meet quarterly near the nation’s capitol [sic] to provide [Health Net Federal Services] with strategic guidance.”
Source: typepad.com

Upper Peninsula hospital makes Medicare fine list

Several downstate hospitals, many in the Detroit area, will be fined the maximum penalty of 1 percent of their base Medicare reimbursement, including Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit, St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, Beaumont Hospital in Troy, Port Huron Hospital, Garden City Hospital, and St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia.
Source: miningjournal.net

Health net Health Net Medicare Supplement numbers Medicare Buz

A choices federal government bodies condition this will require some concerted, coordinated campaign by means of legislators, legislation enforcers, neighborhood neighborhood remedy tips additionally non-public insurance policy firms and in addition employers In order to deal with Some persons In addition financial costs with substance abuse along with craving. some kind of Oklahoma separated Along with mental health insurance and components mistreatment agencies, with a seed starting full major gross annual price range along with 290 Million, statements It could need another 144 Mil for each year every single child aid a good enough a reaction to some problems This kind of confronts. specialists convey insurance policy providers ought accept company accounts ponying up much more point in time maintains inside inpatient remedy programs, an activity that could assist conserve them all resources Ultimately via helping the value along with favorable final final final results. Lawmakers are really contemplating adjusts which might improve oversight with the circulation with prescription medicines plus the diversion In addition to over-the-counter decongestants to be able to manufacture meth. source Corp. closed circuit
Source: co.cc

Center for American Progress

What’s more, private plans could “cherry pick” healthier seniors, driving up premiums for those who remain in traditional Medicare. And private plans would be able to undercut traditional Medicare in other ways, such as by offering free gym memberships or other perks. As a result more and more seniors would gradually shift to private plans over time. This gradual privatization of Medicare does not make sense because traditional Medicare costs less than comparable private coverage. But with fewer beneficiaries Medicare would have less leverage to contain the growth in health care costs.
Source: americanprogress.org

Medicare is welfare and so is social security

President Obama did not take $700 billion from Medicare, he reduced future  Medicare costs by $700 billion- costs that would have come from higher taxes or more debt. Medicare is a welfare system where current taxpayers fund the health care expenses of retired people. Each generation funds the health care of those who came before them – that’s how the system works. There is a Medicare trust fund, but it never has contained more than a couple of years of costs. We pay into the system because it is the right thing to do, but there are apparently a large number of selfish and ignorant older Americans out there now who believe that they have funded their own Medicare costs and want to break the chain – break the commitment to have the next generation get the same benefits. What the President’s health reform bill did, what Obamacare did, was to reduce medicare subsidy to insurance companies that Paul Ryan and other Republicans added to Medicare on the public’s credit card.  Obamacare also increased the ability of the government to stop Medicare fraud. One of the provisions of Obamacare that the Republicans want to repeal allows the government to stop payments to Medicare/Medicaid providers who are being prosecuted for fraud.  How about that – GOP administration of  Medicare  did not permit the government to suspend payments when fraud was suspected!  In any case,  Seniors who are tempted to voted Republican need to know two simple facts:
Source: thepeoplesview.net

Arizona Attorney General, Tom Horne

PHOENIX (Monday, July 30, 2012) — Attorney General Tom Horne today announced that 30-year old Tucson resident Megan Monroe Racz has been indicted by the State Grand Jury on charges related to insurance fraud involving senior citizens. All 37 of Racz’s alleged victims are aged 65 or older. “Insurance fraud, especially when it involves the most vulnerable in society is a terrible crime,” Horne said. “The state Department of Insurance is to be commended for its investigation of these alleged offenses, and my office will work very hard to vigorously prosecute this case.” The State alleges that Racz, acting in her capacity as an insurance agent, during the Medicare open enrollment period from November 2011 through December 2011 transferred the Health Net Medicare supplemental policies of 37 people, four who were deceased at the time, to United Health Care supplemental polices without the consent of the policyholders. These unauthorized transfers were brought to the attention of the Arizona Department of Insurance by United Health Care, Health Net, and policyholders, who were notified their Health Net Medicare supplemental policies were being cancelled or who received information about new United Health Care policies that they never requested. United Health Care and Health Net worked together to see that none of the policyholders’ Medicare coverage lapsed. The State alleges Racz received over $25,000.00 in commissions for transferring the Medicare supplemental policies. Racz was formally indicted on one count of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, a class 2 felony; one count of Theft, a class 2 felony; six counts of Aggravated Identity Theft, class 3 felonies; two counts of Identity Theft, class 4 felonies; and four counts of Forgery, class 4 felonies. These charges are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Beverly Rudnick. The case was investigated by the Arizona Department of Insurance Fraud Unit.
Source: azag.gov

GOP’s platform gets specific on privatizing Medicare : Delaware Liberal

“The first step is to move the two programs [Medicare and Medicaid] away from their current unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model to a fiscally sound defined-contribution model,” the draft platform reads. “While retaining the option of traditional Medicare in competition with private plans, we call for a transition to a premium-support model for Medicare, with an income-adjusted contribution toward a health plan of the enrollee’s choice. This model will include private health insurance plans that provide catastrophic protection, to ensure the continuation of doctor-patient relationships.”
Source: delawareliberal.net

A Quick Look Under the Hood of Medicare Supplement Plans

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

MORE DIRTY TRICKS FROM YOUR SOCIALIST/MARXIST   PRESIDENT AND HIS NASTY LITTLE ADMINISTRATION HACKS by SS&SSSo what is a Medicare supplement plan? It’s a good question and if you’re turning 65 or newly introduced to Medicare from leaving a company sponsored insurance, then it’s a legitimate one. It’s important since you’re making a decision that may need to carry out for decades into the future so a good, solid understanding on what a Medicare supplement insurance plan is critical. Let’s take a look at what they are, how work, and how to choose one that’s right for you. First, obviously from the name ‘Medicare supplement plan”, you might guess that they’re intimately tied to Medicare and you would be correct. In fact, you can’t have a supplement plan unless you have both Medicare Part A AND Medicare Part B. Some people don’t realize that Part B (the physician part of Medicare to be simplistic) is required in order to even apply for a Medicare supplement plan. Part A is usually enrolled automatically or requires no payment while you must “opt in” for Part B and typically, there is a monthly premium that is paid or deducted from your Social Security check. You want to make sure to have this in place, ideally a few months prior to when you become eligible which for most people, is the 1st of the month in which they turn 65 or following coming off of group coverage. There are other triggers but these are the two main ones. So now, we know these plans require Medicare so to speak but what do they do with it? Medicare is a government sponsored health plan primarily for those over age 65 (pre-65 disabled are also eligible) and as rich as it is, there are some holes. The biggest holes are two deductibles (one for Part A hospital and one for Part B), a 20% coinsurance that you need to meet after deductibles, and outpatient medication costs. So that’s traditional Medicare. What are the Medicare supplement plans? They are insurance plans provided by private companies that fill in some or all these gaps depending on which one you select. Medicare is handled separately with the newly created Part D benefit which is also provided by private companies. Medicare supplement plans are private and many different carriers will offer them but the benefits are standardized which is really important. It makes it so much easier to choose than for the pre-65 market where there dozens of completely different plans across multiple carriers. An F Medicare supplement plan is an F plan, regardless of the carrier which brings some order to market. Knowing that, how do you go about choosing the right Medicare supplement plan for you? The standardization helps a great deal. If the benefits are the same than there are three factors in choosing a Medicare supplement plan. First, which letter plan (which determines which benefits you will have), and second, which carrier. We’ve written extensively on the first front with the winner being the F Medicare supplement plan by far. As to the second concern, it’s a question of monthly premium and carrier strength. How much does the Medicare supplement plan cost right now and how likely can the carrier keep those premiums stable going forward (relative to other carriers). This is a little trickier although most of the big carriers are typically within a few dollars of monthly premium for a given plan which makes sense. The easiest approach on this is to avoid carriers that are much higher or much lower than the average and we can help you quote multiple carriers to determine this average. If they’re much lower for a given Medicare supplement plan, you’re going to pay one way or the other since they’re all dealing with the same benefits and risk. If they’re much higher, well…that doesn’t make sense either. Hopefully, this is a good introduction to the world of Medicare supplement plans but feel free to ask us questions about your particular situation. Dennis Jarvis is a licensed insurance agent concentrating on medicare supplement insurance.

Medicare Part D Coverage Gap

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

SCOTUS Obamacare Decision Makes Individual Mandate A Fact & Universal Healthcare Coverage A Fiction by watchingfrogsboilGary Phillips is a licensed insurance agent based in western North Carolina. He specializes in the senior market and is knowledgeable in multiple insurance lines including Medicare, Medigap, Long-Term Care, Part D Prescription Drugs, Part C Medicare Advantage, Health, Life and Final Expense insurance. He also enjoys writing and helping others. www.bizpartner.homestead.com
Source: seniorliving.net

Video: Medigap Insurance

Medicare Supplemental Insurance Indiana

To get part D and the supplement, you need an insurance agent. Both of these newer policies are part of the privatization instituted for Medicare, and private insurance companies disburse the monies from Medicare. Your insurance agent can give you more details about the policies. Talk to him, and let him figure out how much you would pay for plans B, C, and D. Or, you can contact Group Insurance, where a licensed agent can give you the information you need to get the best health insurance policy you can afford.
Source: group-insurance.net

Weekly update from Ron Mastrogiovanni

Here are our couple’s health insurance choices at age 65. They may purchase traditional Medicare services including Medicare A (hospital insurance), Medicare B (insurance covering doctor visits and tests), Medicare D (prescription drug insurance), and Medigap insurance (fees for services not covered by Medicare A and B). The second alternative is to purchase a Medicare Advantage Plan. A Medicare Advantage plan is a health insurance plan offered by private companies and funded by Medicare. At a minimum, they are the equivalent of Medicare A and B, and many plans offer the same level of coverage as Medicare A
Source: hvsfinancial.com

Using Medigap As A Medicare Supplement

You must currently be enrolled in Part A and Part B of government coverage to buy a Medigap policy. If you want to go back to government insurance when you have an Advantage Plan, you need to apply for a policy before the end of your coverage period. Currently a Medigap policy having the letters E, H, I, and J are no longer being sold. However, individuals can keep these plans as long as the monthly payments continue to be made.
Source: cardealersinsurance.net

Medigap Plans the Needful Accessory With Medicare Original
by

William Jones Richards

Since their standardization in 1992 there had been twelve Medigap plans named A through L. These plans are a good deal of help not just only to provide the necessary coverage for the gap left by the Original Medicare but besides that these plans also provide several profitable options and some of them are even capable to cut short the premium rates. And therefore it becomes essential to make the choice of the Medicare supplement plan wisely so that you can get the best returns. In this respect it should be kept in mind that the Medigap policies can only be sold along with the original Medicare only. Even if you are having a Medicare supplement plan and you switch over to any other plan, say for example the Medicare Advantage plan, you shall not be able to use the benefits of the Medigap policies any farther unless you switch back to the Medicare Original plan. In fact this is the main criteria needed to get enrolled for the Medigap policies.
Source: topmedicareinsurance.com

Medicare Part D: Disappearing Donut Hole?

Many states have 20-30 Part D drug plans to choose from, so you can quickly get overwhelmed if you try to compare them on your own. Fortunately, there are other resources available to you to help you choose a suitable plan. You can compare your options on the Medicare.gov website or, if you have a Medicare supplement or Medicare Advantage plan, your insurance agent should be able to help you with this. Be sure to research your options every year; insurance companies sometimes change their plans, and just because you’ve found the best drug plan for you this year doesn’t mean it will be the best plan for you next year.
Source: mondaysorchids.com

Texas Medicare Supplement Quotes

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

The easiest, most reliable way to ensure the quotes you are receiving are accurate and current is to go directly to the source. Stay with major carriers and visit their websites for quality information. After all, who better than the company themselves to quote you a price? With Blue Cross Blue Cross Shield of Texas, it’s possible to get an accurate quote, compare plans to one another and customize your own coverage. The site is informative, easy to navigate and a valuable source for finding the most reliable Medicare Supplement plan at a price you can afford. .
Source: texasmedicarehealth.com

Video: Medicare Supplements in Texas: What to Look For When Choosing a Plan

TRICARE SUPPLEMENTAL INSURANCE

Charles Peeler has been providing Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Medicare Supplement plans since 1993. For more information or to acquire an instant quote visit his Texas Medicare Supplement site today!  
Source: tricaresupplementalinsurance.com

Finding Texas Medicare Supplement

Having Medicare is a great convenience for elderly and disabled individuals to get coverage for hospital and medical services. It is very important that these demographics have the best possible service to address their health requirements to ensure high quality of life. However, Medicare can only do so much on its own and so if you are concerned about the added expenses that the policy will not be able to cover, there is Texas medicare supplement. This is simply an insurance policy that can fill the gaps or the areas that the Medicare cannot cover. As such, it is very important to have Texas medicare supplement in order to effectively cover the necessary financial responsibilities and services that your regular Medicare could not handle for you.
Source: quotes-center.com

Is A Medicare Supplement Plan A Must Have For Every Senior?

Every senior is at risk of contracting a serious medical condition that could cause them to declare bankruptcy. For example, Medicare inpatient hospital care is covered, but from day 61-150 there is a $289 co-pay per day. With a Humana Medicare Supplement Plan there would not be any co-payment after day 7. Medicare generally pays 80 percent of other medical costs and some medical costs are not covered at all. This is why seniors need additional health insurance with medicare.
Source: seniorcorps.org

Medicare Supplement Plans In Texas

I want my representatives to start representing. Members of Congress get a much better retirement plan than you and I do. They can even collect after being convicted of a crime while still in office and they take a lot more days off than our employers would allow for us little people. So I think we should begin holding our representatives to a higher standard or at least one equal to what is expected of us by our employers. The system for paying all of our elected representatives should be changed to a salary plus bonus plan. The bonus would only be paid when a representative leaves office or is re-elected. When we go to the ballots there should be a new question on every ballot in every state which would determine whether or not our representatives collected their bonus; Did Mr. /Ms (Insert name here) represent your interests to the best of his/her ability? If the majority feels that the representative did their best then the bonus is paid as soon as the current term expires. However, if the people feel that they were not properly represented then there is no bonus. I think that a system like this would force our elected officials to keep in touch and understand how we are feeling about the issues. Oh Yeah, from now on when someone running for office says that they are going to change this or change that, I for one want to see the plan. If someone says they can do better than the current elected officials we should have the right to know how they intend to do it before we vote for them.
Source: oregonmedicarepros.com

Texas Medicare Supplement

For people who are looking for a Texas Medicare supplement, it can be much more comforting to walk into an agency, sit down and talk to someone who knows what they are dealing with. After all, they will be able to hold your hand and walk you through all of the details so that you don’t have to go it alone. Why, then, are so many people choosing to shop online for their supplemental insurance needs? The answer is simple: with the internet, people can shop on their own time and learn about Medicare supplements at their own pace. When you shop online for Texas Medicare supplement insurance, you will have access to the same plans, the same rates, and the same coverage that you would get by working with an agent locally. However, no matter where you live in the state, you can find all the information that you want to know about Medicare supplements, including the 10 standardized plans, Medicare Advantage plans, and private insurance options that you have to fill in the gaps. You can also learn everything that you want to know and contact an agent when you’re ready or if you have questions. You can even apply for quotes online, allowing you to have an even easier time buying the right Texas Medicare supplement. Buying insurance online, including Medicare supplements, is a great way to save time, money, and effort when you are shopping for insurance.
Source: ezinemark.com

Texas Medicare supplement plan

Fortunately, if you are looking for quality dental insurance price, can it for themselves and their families afford no need to further the choice looks better as now you have the Blue Cross already made to Medicare buy insurance, you are ready to buy, to find the best interest rates in Texas around.
Source: usspeedpost.com

Tricare Help – I’m on Medicare disability and TFL; do I have to buy Part B?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

15 percent age appeal catastrophic cap child born out of wedlock claims continued care cost share death DEERS dental dependent disabled divorce doctor doctors FEHBP handbook health care reform hospital ID card marriage maternity care Medicare military treatment facilities other health insurance outside the U.S. parents Part A Part B pharmacy pre-existing condition pregnancy reserves secondary insurance social security spouse supplements surgery Tricare For Life Tricare Prime Tricare Standard Tricare Young Adult Program VA widow
Source: militarytimes.com

Video: Continued Medicare Eligibility and Work Incentives

Homelessness Resource Center

Conclusions: Greateruse of primary care and specialty care visits by disability-eligibleveterans is most likely related to greater health needs not captured bythe patient characteristics we employed and eligibility for VA care atno cost. Outpatient care patterns of disability-eligible veterans mayforeshadow care patterns of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraqwars, who are entering the system in growing numbers. This studyprovides an important baseline for future research assessingutilizations among returning veterans who use both VA and Medicaresystems. Establishing effective care coordination protocols between VAand Medicare providers can help ensure efficient use of taxpayerresources and high quality care for disabled veterans. (Authors)
Source: samhsa.gov

Social Security Disability & Medicare Eligibility

If you have health insurance coverage already, you need to figure out how Medicare works with your health insurance. Many health insurance policies state that Medicare is to provide the primary coverage. Thus, your present health insurance may pay only for what Medicare does not cover. You need to check with your health insurance company when you get your Medicare card.
Source: disabilitydenials.com

Views On Medicare: Rep. Kathy Hochul’s Campaign; Ryan’s Vision; Wyden’s Role

Bloomberg: Romney And Obama Are Both Medicare Double-Counters One of the Obama administration’s talking points in favor of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been that the law extends the solvency of the Medicare trust fund. By slowing the growth of Medicare spending, the law postpones the date when the Medicare Trust Fund will be exhausted to 2024 from 2016. … Conservatives have typically responded that this claim involves double counting. … [B]ut as a matter of measuring fiscal sustainability, the conservative critics are right: You can’t spend money and say it’s being set aside to cover debts due in the future. … Romney’s claim that he will shore up the trust fund is especially puzzling, because under his plan the fund would be exhausted before any of his savings take effect. Unlike Obama’s double count, Romney’s count is consistent neither with sound fiscal practices nor with the law (Josh Barro, 8/24).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Health Plan Change May Come for Those Eligible for Both Medicare/Medicaid

Low-income seniors and disabled adults on Medicare who also receive Medicaid services should be vigilant in checking their health plans in the coming months. This advice comes from the Senior Citizens League (TSCL), one of the nation’s largest nonpartisan seniors groups. Tests are underway in up to 26 states to move as many as 3 million “dual eligibles” — people who receive both Medicare and Medicaid — into managed-care health plans. The object is to improve healthcare and lower government spending. “But the time is coming when the states and federal government will be under urgent pressure to cut Medicaid and Medicare costs,” says TSCL Chairman, Larry Hyland. “TSCL is concerned that if states and the federal government don’t design and implement the changes the right way, beneficiaries’ may lose access to medically necessary care and quality.” Low-income seniors and disabled adults who qualify for benefits under both Medicare and Medicaid frequently have multiple chronic health problems, and more than half have cognitive or mental impairments. More than half of dual eligibles also have annual incomes of less than $10,000, and are more likely to receive nursing home care. Concerns have been raised that health plans may not have adequate capacity to handle enrollment of large numbers of dual eligibles en masse in 2013. In addition, the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPac) has said that only a limited number of health plans have any experience managing benefits for this complex population. “That combination elevates the risk of disruptions to care, and unexpected, uncovered costs — two problems that could plague seniors shifted to new managed-care plans,” Hyland says. Most states are expected to “passively enroll” beneficiaries into the plans requiring beneficiaries to take the initiative to opt out. “It is too early to know what type of choices those wishing to opt out will have,” Hyland notes. “Without a strong notification and education process, many of the affected dual eligibles may not be aware, or understand, that they have new health coverage, ” he says. “A new health plan can mean a change of doctor if their former providers don’t participate,” Hyland explains. TSCL believes that beneficiaries need to maintain the freedom to choose their plan, their providers, and how they get their care. “We urge CMS and states to ensure a thorough beneficiary education process and have provisions that allow care with existing providers, especially during the transition,” Hyland says. With about 1 million supporters, The Senior Citizens League is one of the nation’s largest nonpartisan seniors groups. Located just outside Washington, D.C., its mission is to promote and assist members and supporters, to educate and alert senior citizens about their rights and freedoms as U.S. Citizens, and to protect and defend the benefits senior citizens have earned and paid for. The Senior Citizens League is a proud affiliate of The Retired Enlisted Association. Alexandria, VA (PRWEB) August 11, 2012
Source: whatdisability.com

Medicare Idaho Eligibility

Those, who are 65 years or older, need to pay a monthly premium stated during the enrollment process. This will be compensated in case the Medicare taxes have not been paid for more than 10 years or more. The disability benefits received also makes one eligible for the Medicare but they can continue to receive the SSDI payment benefits as well. In case they stop receiving the SSDI benefits, the Medicare eligibility is also lost. Then there will have to be a wait period for 2 years in order to apply and receive the government medical health insurance benefits. Dual eligibility is also a way for receiving benefits from both Medicaid and Medicare. There are low income groups who are also eligible for Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries where Medicaid will pay the Part B premium on their behalf.
Source: medicareidaho.com

Longitudinal Patterns of Medicaid and Medicare Coverage Among Disability Cash Benefit Awardees

This article explores the role of the Social Security Disability Insurance (DI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cash benefit programs in providing access to public health insurance coverage among working-aged people with disabilities, using a sample of administrative records spanning 84 months. We find that complex longitudinal interactions between DI and SSI eligibility determine access to and timing of Medicare and Medicaid coverage. SSI plays an important role in providing a pathway to Medicaid coverage for many low-income individuals during the 29-month combined DI and Medicare waiting periods, when Medicare coverage is not available. After Medicare eligibility kicks in, public health insurance coverage is virtually complete among awardees with some DI involvement. Medicaid coverage continues at or above 90 percent after 2 years for SSI-only awardees. Many people who exit SSI retain their Medicaid coverage, but the gap in coverage between stayers and those who leave SSI increases over time.
Source: nyu.edu

GOP winning national Medicare debate two weeks after Romney picked lightning rod Ryan

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Congressman Brad Sherman, California’s 27th District (D) by cliff1066™Romney is out-polling President Barack Obama on Medicare among seniors by margins of 48 percent to 44 percent in Florida and 49 percent to 43 percent in Ohio, according to the New York Times/CBS/Quinnipiac poll. In Wisconsin, Obama is barely ahead of Romney among seniors on Medicare, with a 49-to-46 percent lead.
Source: capoliticalreview.com

Video: California Medicare Advantage

Obama, Romney Focus on Health Care as Key Issue for 2012 Election

Romney also addressed specific women’s’ health issues in an effort to rebut Obama’s argument that he is “out-of-touch” and would seek to block access to contraceptives or preventive care if elected, according to “Hill Tube.” Romney said that he “recognize[s] that different people have reached different conclusions” on abortion, but noted that “[i]n regards to contraceptives, of course Republicans and myself in particular recognize that people should have a right to use contraceptives” (“Hill Tube,” The Hill, 8/26).
Source: californiahealthline.org

Inpatient v. Observation: A Medicare Change That Actually Matters

Why this matters: Taken together, the changes led to a huge surge in observation stays. In a June study in Health Affairs, Brown University researchers reported a 25% increase in observation stays from 2007 to 2009. (According to Kaiser Health News’ Susan Jaffe, California’s use of observation status rose 32% across that period.) Half of those stays lasted more than 24 hours, and one in seven lasted more than 48 hours.
Source: californiahealthline.org

Aetna To Buy Coventry for $5.7B, Expand Work in Medicare, Medicaid

The Hartford, Conn.-based company said the deal would help it push further into government-financed programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Specifically, it will expand Aetna’s Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug business.
Source: californiahealthline.org

State Roundup: Ohio Sets Plan For People On Both Medicaid And Medicare; Minn. Asks Feds For Money

California Healthline: Why Basic Health Plan Failed And Why COOPs May Succeed No one knows exactly what the Basic Health Program would have looked like in California — and now we’ll likely never know. The state Legislature recently shelved the idea by relegating SB 703, by Senate Health Committee Chair Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), to the “holding committee” in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. That effectively killed the bill. Meanwhile, another Assembly measure (AB 1846), by Assembly Member Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park), would establish a legal framework to set up Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (COOPs). That proposal, like BHP, is an option under the federal health reform law with a lot of questions surrounding it. Unlike BHP, the COOPs bill is a floor vote away from the governor’s desk and appears to have widespread support (Gorn, 8/27).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Prescription ‘donut hole’ closing for many on Medicare

1. Fuel competition by lifting the interstate restrictions on health insurance. 2. Relax regulations that prevent “start ups” from entering the medical industry and make it nearly impossible to for small businesses to survive and compete. 3. Enact “Tort Reform” so your Doctor doesn’t have to charge $50.00 for a band-aid to offset legal costs. 4. Offer Taxpayer Funded medical treatment for Illegal Immigrants ONCE! …immediately followed by mandatory, permanent deportation. NO”ifs and or buts!” You snuck in, you got sick, we made you better, GO HOME! Or…
Source: watchsonomacounty.com

Dave Fluker’s California Health Insurance Blog: California Medicare Supplement MLR (Medical Loss Ratio) Requirement (Current)

Under the PPACA (Obamacare), individual & family health plans (IFP) as well as small group health plans (2-50 employees) in California must meet a Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) of 80% or above. This means that 80% of each dollar earned in premium must be spent on direct medical care and cannot be used for sales, marketing or administrative expenses. Large group health plans in California (51+ employees) must meet a slightly higher MLR under PPACA of 85%. PPACA did not impact the Medicare Supplement market and, as such, Medicare Supplement health plans for seniors and those under age 65 on Medicare are not subject to PPACA-mandated Medical Loss Ratios. However, California Health & Safety Code Section 1358.14 does specify the Medical Loss Ratios (MLR) for California Medicare Supplement Plans. Individual Medicare Supplement Plans must meet an MLR of at least 65% and group (employer-sponsored) Medicare Supplement Plans must meet an MLR of at least 75%. When a carrier falls below the current California mandated MLR on Medicare Supplements, they must issue a rebate to members effected by the overcharge. See my earlier Blog regarding Anthem Blue Cross: Anthem Blue Cross Issues MLR Refunds Currently there is no provision in California to raise the MLR on Medicare Supplement Plans. I have heard rumors, but nothing of substance. Should any potential changes in the MLR requirements for California Medicare Supplements become available, I will post a blog on it.
Source: blogspot.com

Ryan’s “premium support” proposal for Medicare: Myths and facts

2. Myth: Expanding private plans in Medicare will reduce Medicare’s costs.  Fact:  Private Medicare Advantage plans have raised Medicare costs.  Private insurers profit by selectively enrolling the healthy and shunning the sick, as documented in a New England Journal of Medicine article subtitled “The healthy go in and the sick go out.” Hence, they collect premiums paid by the Medicare program, and provide little care. As a result, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that Medicare Advantage plans cost Medicare 12 percent more per enrollee than the traditional program. New research from the National Bureau of Economic Research indicates that the true cost of private plans to Medicare may be much higher than the CBO estimate. Since Medicare launched a new risk adjustment scheme based on 70 diagnostic codes in 2004, overpayments to private plans have increased dramatically and accounted for $30 billion in excess spending, or 8 percent of total  Medicare spending, in 2006 alone. Since then the overpayments have likely risen as the proportion of Medicare recipients in private plans has jumped from 16 percent to 24 percent.
Source: pnhpcalifornia.org

Study: Rural areas will be hit hardest by Medicare analysis

The proposals’ fate is unclear, although they aren’t expected to become law anytime soon. Jan Emerson-Shea, spokeswoman for the California Hospital Association, said any adjustments in Medicare formulas will probably be a result of deficit-reduction politics in Washington as opposed to equity concerns. “It will largely be a budget-driven conversation,” she said.
Source: times-standard.com

State Roundup: Ohio Sets Plan For People On Both Medicaid And Medicare; Minn. Asks Feds For Money

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Sign: Hands Off Social Security Medicare Medicaid www.saynocuts.org by Fifth World ArtCalifornia Healthline: Why Basic Health Plan Failed And Why COOPs May Succeed No one knows exactly what the Basic Health Program would have looked like in California — and now we’ll likely never know. The state Legislature recently shelved the idea by relegating SB 703, by Senate Health Committee Chair Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina), to the “holding committee” in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations. That effectively killed the bill. Meanwhile, another Assembly measure (AB 1846), by Assembly Member Richard Gordon (D-Menlo Park), would establish a legal framework to set up Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (COOPs). That proposal, like BHP, is an option under the federal health reform law with a lot of questions surrounding it. Unlike BHP, the COOPs bill is a floor vote away from the governor’s desk and appears to have widespread support (Gorn, 8/27).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Medicare and Medicaid: What’s it all mean?

CBO update: Medicare, Medicaid will spend less

The main driver of remote healthcare is still improved access and quality of care. In this eBook you’ll learn how providers are pushing the boundaries or remote healthcare to use it in new ways that benefit not only the patient and improve care, but also to boost the organization’s bottom line. Learn more.
Source: fiercehealthcare.com

Center for American Progress Action Fund

The House Republican premium support plan would adjust the voucher for health status—redistributing payments from plans with healthier enrollees to plans with less healthy enrollees. This “risk adjustment” mechanism would certainly help, but current risk-adjustment methods are still far from perfect. Current methods tend to overpay plans with healthier enrollees and underpay plans with less healthy enrollees. As a result, premiums for traditional Medicare would likely rise and enrollment would likely decline over time. This outcome is even more likely because the House Republican premium support plan would not require private plans to provide a standard set of benefits—allowing them to design benefits that attract healthier beneficiaries.
Source: americanprogressaction.org

Daily Kos: House Democrats spell out Medicare, Medicaid impact of Romney/Ryan plan

I have a relative who is 91 and has been in a nursing home for 3 years.  She is totally out of it – dementia – and  we’re just waiting for the end.  Her husband (no children) has a small home and some savings; she used up all of her Medicare benefits more than 2 years ago and now the $5,700 nursing home fee is paid from their savings each month, and is not going to last forever. Her doctor visits are still covered and a physician sees her three times a week.  This means a doctor – whose last name is 23 letters long and for the life of me I am unable to understand a word he says – first talks with the head nurse and checks the charts of each of the 20 (mostly dementia) patients in the wing of  his visitation route and then proceeds down the hall. While I was visiting her one morning, he came to the doorway – not to her bed – said hello to me and asked (I think) how she was doing.  I said simply “no change” he said goodbye and left.  And he bills Medicare $270 a week, for her, for these three visits. – Multiply that by by the 20 patients in the wing and you get his weekly payout at $5,400, monthly, $21,600.  There are 5 other wings in this facility and those fees bring doctor costs up to $500,000 a month.  This is just one nursing home in one county, in one state, so you can just imagine the numbers extended out  – some nursing homes less, some more, but THIS is a big part if what is wrong with the system as it is being utilized now. I don’t have the an solution, but it would be impossible and morally wrong to take away late-life health care for the elderly, or healthcare for anyone , for that matter.  Other countries, the UK, Skandinavia, for example have more efficient systems and they seem to be working much better than ours.  I think we just need to re-vamp the system to eliminate the “money-suckers” who get rich off of it.
Source: dailykos.com

Massachusetts Health Stats: The 2012 Medicare Data Book Section 3: Where Medicaid and Medicare Meet

NOTE: I’m going all Medicare all the time until further notice. There’s nothing happening in Massachusetts anyways. The legislature passed its health-care price controls, screwed a few percent of the population, and headed off to their second or third homes in the Berkshires or on the Cape for the rest of the Northern Hemisphere summer. And then they are off to the Democratic convention. Look to the postings list to the left to see what’s new. The Obama Parade of Medicare Lies is never ending. (What would you expect of a guy who lied about his dying mother’s insurance situation to get elected?) Otherwise, whenever, Massachussetts Health Stats is an as-needed look at statistics about the Massachusetts healthcare delivery and insurance market and industry. On both Medicare and Massachusetts health care, this blog overcomes the attempts from those on both the left and right of the political spectrum to use statistics to impose needless changes on one of the best healthcare systems in the world.
Source: typepad.com

NewsDaily: Aetna to buy Coventry in Medicare, Medicaid expansion

“The election and SCOTUS were not critical to our strategic thinking,” he said in an interview, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court’s June decision to uphold the “individual mandate” requiring that most Americans obtain health insurance by 2014 or pay a tax. “We think we had a very good opportunity to gain better access to government-based revenues at valuations that were very reasonable.”
Source: newsdaily.com

Economist’s View: CBPP: Medicare and Medicaid Spending Trends Don’t Justify Restructuring

With the per-enrollee spending growth in Medicare and Medicaid less than that in private insurance and close to the growth in GDP per capita, it’s hard to argue that spending on either program, on a per-enrollee basis, is “out of control.”. . . Policy options such as premium support and block grants that entail indexing growth rates to some measure of economic growth will have a hard time achieving lower per-enrollee spending growth than is currently projected. CBO estimates suggest that both approaches may achieve savings for the federal government, but such savings shift Medicare costs onto existing enrollees and, in the case of Medicaid, onto the states as well. . . . Rather than pursuing major restructuring of either program, then, we should continue adopting available strategies to contain costs within the programs’ current structure, especially since many of those implemented in the past decade seem to be working, and many on the horizon appear promising.
Source: typepad.com

Affordable Care Act bringing changes to Medicaid

For example, in 2011, California passed a budget that cut Medicaid payments to physicians, dentists, pharmacists and other health care providers by 10 percent. The reduction was designed to save the state $623 million. (In February 2012, a federal trial court prohibited California from implementing the 10 percent cut. That decision is likely to be appealed.) In Texas, the state is seeking to reduce Medicaid expenditures by 12 percent by, among other measures, cutting pay to hospitals by 8 percent and physicians by 2 percent. In Maine, the governor has proposed eliminating coverage for childless adults ages 19 and 20; reducing behavioral health crisis services; and placing limits on dispensing of branded drugs.
Source: practicelink.com

Low cognitive ability impairs enrollment in Medicare supplemental plans

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Self Portrait Day 37 by HopkinsiiBecause traditional Medicare leaves substantial gaps in coverage, many people obtain supplemental coverage to limit their exposure to out-of-pocket costs. However, some Medicare beneficiaries may not be well equipped to navigate the complex supplemental coverage landscape successfully because of their lower cognitive ability or numeracy—that is, the ability to work with numbers. We found that people in the lower third of the cognitive ability and numeracy distributions were at least eleven percentage points less likely than those in the upper third to enroll in a supplemental Medicare insurance plan. This result means that many Medicare beneficiaries do not have the financial protections and other benefits that would be available to them if they were enrolled in a supplemental insurance plan. Our findings suggest that policy makers may want to consider alternatives tailored to these high-need groups, such as enhanced education and enrollment programs, simpler sets of plan choices, or even some type of automatic enrollment with an option to decline coverage.
Source: pnhp.org

Video: Do I need to enroll in Medicare part B if I have VA benefits

What Happens to Your Medicare Benefits When You Move Abroad?

Luckily, plans that offer medical insurance abroad are tailored to permanent and part-time residents of international locations, offer some portability for retirees who wish to travel and are both affordable and flexible. These plans allow a retiree to not only select a limit and deductible that is reasonable for their budget but also to choose coverage options that go well beyond just providing medical treatment. Some plans allow benefits for repatriation of remains and emergency medical evacuation as well as providing the usual overage for prescriptions, hospital stays and more.
Source: nyig.com

Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans: SNP Enrollment Grows to 1.4 Million in 2012

ACA Affordable Care Act AHRQ ARRA CBO CER CMS Communications Comparative Effectiveness Research Compliance Drugs Dual Eligibles Employers FDA Fraud and Abuse GAO Health Health Care Spending Health Costs Health Coverage Health Insurance Health Plans Health Reform HIT HIX Hospitals Medicaid Medicare Medicare Advantage MedPAC MedTech Obamacare OIG Part D Payment Pharma Pharmacies Physicians Prevention Program Integrity Providers Quality Research Safety Waivers
Source: piperreport.com

Medicare, Health Care Reform and 2013…

Five Star Ratings on Medicare Advantage Plans – To encourage Medicare Advantage plans to provide quality care, the ACA authorized Medicare to pay bonuses to Medicare Advantage plans, beginning in 2012, if they receive four or five stars on Medicare’s new five-star quality rating system. And, plans that received a 5 star rating would be able to enroll customers year-round; not just during Medicare’s annual enrollment period (AEP). (Source) The rating system measures how well plans: help customers stay healthy; perform on numerous customer satisfaction measures; price and safely administer drugs; and provide Medicare.gov updated plan information.
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

Economist Nails Romney and Ryan for Distorting His Work

First, it confuses costs and payments. Medicare Advantage plans bid less than traditional Medicare, but they are paid more. The plans are officially supposed to use these higher payments to sweeten the pot—add additional benefits, reduce cost sharing, and the like—though some likely go for profit as well. This is why the Affordable Care Act reduced the amount that the government pays to managed care plans, over howls of protest from conservatives. Bidding less does no good for the program if the government then overpays relative to what was bid.
Source: freethoughtblogs.com

Medicare Open Enrollment: So What Is Medicare Part D Anyway?

Medicare Part D has a standard Medicare Part D drug benefit, but in reality plans and premiums vary widely. Health insurers must offer the standard benefit set out by law or a benefit package that is at least as comprehensive as the standard package. Although there is no standard drug formulary, there are minimal requirements that major classes of drugs necessary to treat common diseases are covered. Plans vary greatly as to the specific drugs covered and the co-pays/coinsurance for individual drugs. For more information on Medicare Part D benefits and the Donut Hole, see our article “Medicare Part D-The Donut Hole and Me”.
Source: myhealthcafe.com

Medicare Enrollment Periods

If you are not enrolled in Social Security at or before 65, you will need to actively enroll for Medicare coverage. The initial enrollment period is the three months prior to the month you turn 65, the month you turn 65 (your birthday month), and the three month following your birthday month. If you are eligible to receive Social Security payments and have elected to start receiving your Social Security payments at or before 65, you will be automatically enrolled for Medicare Parts A and B at 65, but you will still need to enroll in Medicare Part D to avoid late enrollment penalties and to have drug cost coverage.
Source: ga-cpa.com