The Senior Insider: Changes in Medicare for 2013

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

William D. Novelli by Center for American ProgressChanges in Medicare and Medicare Part D (prescription plans) are usually announced in October for the coming year. Once I receive this information I share it in my newsletter within days of the updates being released.
Source: blogspot.com

Video: Vice President Joe Biden on Medicare – Blacksburg, VA

“Medicare & You” goes paperless

and access all the same information found in your printed handbook. You can learn what’s new for the year, how Medicare works with your other insurance, get Medicare costs, and find out what Medicare covers. Even better, the handbook information on the web is updated regularly, so you can instantly find the most up-to-date Medicare information.
Source: medicare.gov

Are Medicare’s New Quality Incentives Large Enough To Change Hospital Behavior?

The program is part of a major shift for Medicare, which historically has paid hospitals and doctors based on the nature of services they provided to patients without taking into account how good a job they did. Medicare has already launched several trial programs that are intended to reward hospitals based on performance, but those are voluntary; the value-based purchasing program is the first one that will be applied to nearly all acute care hospitals regardless of whether they want to participate. It kicks in at the same time that 2,211 hospitals will also begin losing money because of high readmission rates, another program created in the health law. 
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

JAMA Forum: Outcome of 2012 Election Will Likely Affect Medicaid Far More Than Medicare

Given these arguments, you’d think that the differences between the 2 parties were about as large as you could imagine. The truth of the matter, however, is that there is much more light here than heat. The President’s latest budget holds the growth of Medicare spending to gross domestic product (GDP) plus 0.5%. Ironically, that’s the same exact number that Rep Ryan used in his budget. The difference between the 2 plans is only in the way those cuts are made. The Democrats want to depend on changes aimed at clinicians, like accountable care organizations and the Independent Payment Advisory Board. Republicans want to focus on consumer-level changes like premium support (a subsidy toward a health insurance plan) and competitive shopping. But if health care stays below GDP plus 0.5%, then neither really matters.
Source: jama.com

Are Medicare's new quality incentives large enough to change hospital behavior?

The program is part of a major shift for Medicare, which historically has paid hospitals and doctors based on the nature of services they provided to patients without taking into account how good a job they did. Medicare has already launched several trial programs that are intended to reward hospitals based on performance, but those are voluntary; the value-based purchasing program is the first one that will be applied to nearly all acute care hospitals regardless of whether they want to participate. It kicks in at the same time that 2,211 hospitals will also begin losing money because of high readmission rates, another program created in the health law. 
Source: minnpost.com

Aging and Parkinson’s and Me: The Medicare Debate: An Expert’s View

These days, it’s tough to find links from unbiased experts when you’re searching for political topics on Google. I thought I’d hit paydirt on one particular piece about Medicare reform, until I saw that two colorful — and controversial — celebrities had given the author their endorsements: C. Everett Koop, Reagan’s Surgeon General, and John McLaughlin, the bombastic host of his own TV talk show, The McLaughlin Group. Hmmmm. Nevertheless, the author of the promising link– Robert Laszewski — is regarded as a leading authority on health care reform. His analysis of the two parties’ Medicare proposals is thought-provoking and balanced. See what you think. But first, bear with me a moment. A Personal Note and Plea: I’ve been getting some good comments and e-mails after saying I’m so fed up with politics today that I may not vote this year, and that I’m not donating any money. Believe it or not, I recognize that I’ve spent a lifetime careening back and forth on issues from one side of the road to the other, and it can take me a long time (or never) to find that ever-elusive middle of the road. One reason I’m writing this blog is that I need others to offer occasional course corrections. So, please keep the critical comments coming! If you’re tiring of my political commentary, ALERT: I’ve got a couple more I want to put up (and see if they get shot down). I promise we’ll return to the real world next week. The Medicare Expert Bob Laszewski’s blog –Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review — struck me as clear and balanced. Speaking.com shows him among the top five speakers on health care reform. Here’s their blurb: Robert Laszewski is president of Health Policy and Strategy Associates and national advisor on health policy issues for Ernst & Young. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential independent consultants on health care reform. As an executive of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Laszewski participated as a member of the non-partisan Alliance for Health Reform chaired by Senator Jay Rockefeller. USA Today called him “one of the boldest advocates for reform.” In his current role, he is an advisor to an impressive list of organizations concerned about the changing marketplace environment for health care.I checked several of his speeches and op-ed pieces, and he seemed to present a balanced, expert perspective. And, heck, as a lifelong liberal, I’m trying to keep this blog balanced. In my earlier political post featuring columnist Stephen Pearlstein, I didn’t worry about his having worked for Senator Durkin (D-IL). So here we go. Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan vs. Obama Medicare Plans  Laszeweski’s blog post is worth reading in full, but here’s a summary. He first asks the question: Who’s telling the truth on Medicare?  His answer: “They both are and they both aren’t.” Then he addresses these questions: Will current seniors suffer under the Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan? Aware of senior voting power, both parties see similar futures for seniors. “If you are over age 70, there is virtually no chance there will be any significant changes in Medicare benefits in your lifetime,” Laszewski says. “Even if you are over 6o, the chances that there will be any major structural changes to Medicare benefits as long as you are around are quite small.” Can Medicare as we know it be preserved for the next generation? “Absolutely not,” is Laszewski’s quick answer. But here Laszewski gives Romney/Ryan better marks than he does Obama. On Romney/Ryan he says: I will tell you that Romney and Ryan have taken the more courageous political stand — they say Medicare can’t be preserved and big fixes have to happen. Now, that doesn’t mean necessarily they have the right policy answer, only that they are willing to face the problem.As for Obama: Obama and the Democrats are being disingenuous by trying to use the Romney-Ryan plan to scare voters without facing this tough issue in a direct way themselves.The Republicans have been harping since the 2010 elections on the $700 billion cuts in Medicare that Obama and the Democrats used to help pay for the Affordable Care Act, but doesn’t Ryan have the same Medicare cuts in his budget plan? Short answer: Yes. Laszewski provides a detailed review of the claims being made by both sides on this $700 billion and concludes: Both sides are making the same cuts and have really been playing games with this one.Republicans are using the success of the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan as evidence that the market can control health care costs. Is this evidence on their side? Short answer: “Not in any kind of clear cut way.” It’s clear that Medicare drug costs are coming in way below what the Congressional Budget Office predicted when the new drug benefit was added to Medicare in 2003. However, all drug costs are coming in lower than predicted. In 2003, drug costs were exploding. Since then, the greatly increased use of generic drugs and fewer new expensive drugs in the pipeline have helped reduce drug spending. Also Medicare Part D (the drug benefit) enrollment has cost less than originally projected. Romney and Ryan say their plan will include the traditional Medicare plan as one of the options. But critics say there is a good chance Medicare will end up with the sickest seniors, while rich people are able to buy the private plans, thereby destroying the Medicare program everyone has enjoyed. Is this true? Short answer: Probably not. Ryan has sponsored several different Medicare plans. Under the more detailed Wyden-Ryan Medicare Plan (which Ryan co-sponsored with Democratic Senator Wyden of Oregon), if one of the health insurance options attracts a disproportionate number of sick people, it gets more money to offset the resulting higher costs. This provision would protect Medicare or any other plan, Laszewski says, adding, “So, it is not clear to me how, if the traditional Medicare plan got sicker people, it would make it more expensive for consumers after these inter-plan adjustments.” The Romney/Ryan plan relies on the marketplace to control costs but there is no evidence that the market does a better job than government-run plans? “That is right,” Laszewski says, “but Romney and Ryan are calling for a different kind of health market.” While there’s no proof based on past practices that the market has controlled costs, we have never tried a market like the one Romney and Ryan propose. They are proposing a very different system where health plans have to bid their price in each market. They argue that competitive bidding will result in real competition in the market and, with seniors being given limited  support in the government’s vouchers, they will have a greater incentive to shop for plans that cost less. All of which, they argue, will result in controlling costs. Most health policy experts believe that we must fundamentally change the health care delivery system from the current fee-for-service system that largely pays for quantity, to one that pays for quality and cost control. The Democratic health care reform law has lots of pilot programs to test these new ideas. It is also likely, Laszewski says, that the new Medicare cost board enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act will end up requiring providers to get their payments through these new payment programs in order to control costs. The Republicans also embrace these same ideas for new programs that pay providers a fixed amount for health care. These new payment systems, he says, also would take better advantage of electronic payment management systems and administrative simplification. All of these ideas, generally accepted by Democrats and Republicans, have yet to be proven, he cautions. What do Obama and the Democrats propose as an alternative to Romney and Ryan? Laszewski faults the Democrats for taking “the safer political path” by letting the other guys make controversial proposals and saying little about how they see Medicare operating differently in ten years. But he says he is optimistic that the Medicare cost control board called for under the Obama Affordable Care Act “could do a lot of good toward pushing the Medicare program to more sustainable payment models.” That board begins its work in 2015 under the ACA, but not until 2020 for the largest category of costs — the hospitals. And, he adds, if the ACA board is successful in remaking Medicare, it will not be the “Medicare as we have known it” that the Democrats claim they can preserve. Republicans criticize the Medicare cost board for being a “non-elected bunch of bureaucrats.” But Laszewski says that our elected members of Congress — Republicans and Democratics — have not shown the political courage to make the tough decisions to reform Medicare. He says he also is optimistic that the system of competitive bidding and consumer choice envisioned in the Romney/Ryan Medicare plan “could push the Medicare system toward more sustainability.” Both parties’ reform plans “are untried solutions and controversial among the experts,” he cautions. Obama says that Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan will increase a senior’s health costs by $6,400 a year. Is this accurate? No. That estimate is based upon a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimate of an earlier version of Ryan’s plan, Laszewski says. In his latest plan, Ryan increased the rate at which the federal premium support (the “vouchers”) would grow as medical costs increase. He opened up the plan by allowing Medicare to be offered as one of the coverage choices. All seniors would be assured that they could afford at least the two least costly plans on the same basis as Medicare subsidizes them today. There is no way to tell which two plans they would be or whether traditional Medicare would be one of them. But these plans would have to offer at least the traditional Medicare benefits. The CBO has not yet provided estimates on the revised Ryan plan. But Obama and the Democrats should be doing comparisons using this plan, which is a big change from the 2011 Ryan plan. Bottom Line Question: Whose Medicare Plan Will Work? “My sense is that either could work,” Laszewski says. “It all depends how they are implemented.” Put a conservative and a liberal in the same room and give them all the facts about Medicare and health care spending, what has and hasn’t worked in government and in the market, and then ask them to come to a conclusion. The liberal would like the Democratic approach that relies on the government, and the conservative would come out on the side of consumer choice and markets. My Take on This  So after all that, we end up where we started.  But I was struck by one thing in reading Laszewski’s analysis. Both sides are proposing $700 billion cuts in Medicare.  Both have the same idea that Medicare needs to be shifted away from fee-for-service to a system that puts more emphasis on quality of service rather than quantity and on cost control.  Obama’s ACA uses insurance exchange programs for those not covered by Medicare and Romney/Ryan proposes them for Medicare reform If we had a normal functioning democracy, you’d think a compromise resolution of the issue should be easy. But we don’t have a normal function democracy.
Source: blogspot.com

Medicare Therapy Caps: Changes Effective October 1, 2012 and the Impact on Hospital Outpatients and OthersHall Render

.  Beginning October 1, 2012, requests for exceptions for medically necessary outpatient therapy services that exceed $3,700 per calendar year will be subject to a manual review process.  Providers will be phased into this manual review process by being placed in one of three phases.  Providers in Phase I will be subject to the process beginning October 1, 2012, providers in Phase II will be subject to the process beginning November 1, 2012 and providers in Phase III will be subject to the process beginning December 1, 2012.  The manual exception process does not apply to a provider until its designated phase has begun.  CMS will send a mailing to providers to inform them of which phase they have been placed into.  This manual review process will be in addition to the automatic exception process for the $1,880 cap already in place and will act as a second level of the exception process.
Source: hallrender.com

Changes in CMS Payment to Medicare Advantage Plans Could Alter Senior Healthcare Landscape Advises Clear Vision Information Systems

Klugman says that CMS recalibrates its payments every few years, and 2013 payment to Medicare Advantage plans will be based on 2008/2009 fee-for-service claims data. However, the next recalibration may be based on the new methodology of encounter data from Medicare Advantage plans; and “that is why it is so important for health plans and physician groups to start doing this correctly now,” she says. “This also provides a wonderful opportunity for Medicare Advantage plans to clearly outline to the industry and to CMS all of the extra services it provides to members and all of the additional value plans like these bring.”
Source: ulitzer.com

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

Workshop prepares for Medicare changes in 2013

Medicare coverage changes every year.  Everyone’s needs are different so beneficiaries have to stay on top of annual changes to make Medicare work best for them. A presentation of “All Things Medicare” will provide a comprehensive overview of the features offered by Medicare in 2013.  The presentation will look at changes to Part A (hospitalization), Part B (outpatient), Medicare supplements, Medicare Advantage plans and Part D (prescription drug) coverage.
Source: seniorscene.org

With Medicare Advantage, Arizona Residents Need To Choose Carefully

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

William D. Novelli by Center for American ProgressIf you are unsure about what is included in the different plans for medicare advantage Arizona offers, try to find out details about them on the web. You can often see exactly what type of coverage and medication costs are included in the medicare packages so that you will know what you are choosing before you commit to use that particular package. Picking a plan for medicare advantage Arizona residents can do well with can be a tough task, especially if you are new to medicare and are unsure about what is required to get the medical attention you need. Do as much research as possible to find out about medicare plans and consider your own financial costs so that it is easier for you to determine how much you can afford to pay for the type of medicare advantage Arizona has that is ideal for your health care.
Source: dairyherdservices.com

Video: The National Medicare Training Program: Medicare Advantage Plans. Part 1 of 2

Are You Ready for Medicare Open Enrollment 2012/2013?

Each year, when Medicare Open Enrollment comes around, it is the time to double-check your Medicare and prescription drug plans for the following year. In 2012, Medicare Enrollment for the 2013 season is from October 15th to December 7, 2012. Even if you your current Medicare advantage plan and your drug prescription benefits are working for you, it’s a good idea to check your plan every year. The only way to save on your health care costs is to regularly compare your current plan to other Medicare advantage plans available to you, either offered by your provider or by other health insurance companies.
Source: typepad.com

What Is Medicare Advantage Insurance?

What is Medicare Advantage insurance? Now that you can answer that basic question, let’s explore Medicare Advantage further so you can see how well it can go above traditional Medicare. The types of additional benefits offered may include vision care, health and wellness programs, hearing and dental. The dental benefit cannot be underestimated as traditional Medicare only covers dental services when they are deemed essential to the maintenance of your health or critical to the success of a non-dental operation. However, things such as prescription drug coverage, routine dental checks, fillings, cleaning or basic preventative maintenance are not covered under traditional Medicare. Some Medicare Advantage plans do offer that benefit. In fact, some Medicare Advantage plans offer coverage which competes directly with the combined coverage of traditional Medicare plus a Medicare Supplemental Insurance policy.
Source: seniorcorps.org

Maximizing Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage

Medicare beneficiaries take an average of 29 prescriptions per year, spending approximately $1,300 on medications annually.[1] Individuals with chronic conditions such as heart failure often pay more than double that amount.[2]   Fortunately, there is a voluntary program called Medicare Part D that helps beneficiaries pay for their prescription drugs. Beneficiaries can access prescription drug coverage either from a stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan or from a Medicare Advantage plan that bundles coverage of medical, hospital and prescription drug benefits in one plan.   Enrolling in Part D prescription drug coverage is one way beneficiaries can help manage their prescription drug costs, but they should be aware that all Part D plans include a coverage gap, which is often called the “donut hole.” In the coverage gap, beneficiaries’ out-of-pocket costs on their prescription drugs increase significantly.   Summer is the time of year when many beneficiaries enter the coverage gap, making this an opportune time for beneficiaries with Medicare Part D to remind themselves of the following tips that may help them save money on their prescription drugs and make the most of their benefits.    1. Get Help with Managing Multiple Medications Beneficiaries who have a chronic condition that requires them to take multiple medications every day should consider enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Chronic Special Needs Plan. These specialized Medicare Advantage plans combine Medicare coverage with additional support services, some of which are designed to help ensure that members are able to afford their medications and understand how to take them as directed. Many Special Needs Plans also offer personalized pharmacist counseling and drug formularies designed for Medicare beneficiaries with complex health care needs.    2. Understand How the “Donut Hole” Works All Part D plans include a coverage gap. After spending $2,930 in out-of-pocket costs on their drug coverage, beneficiaries will reach the coverage gap. Currently, beneficiaries in the gap pay 50 percent of the cost of their brand-name prescriptions and 86 percent of the cost of generic drugs. In an effort to prepare for the increased expenses while in the gap, beneficiaries should monitor their plan’s Evidence of Coverage statement to get a clear sense of their drug expenditures and see how close they are to reaching the gap.   3. Apply for “Extra Help” with Drug Costs  For beneficiaries with limited income and resources, Extra Help is a federal program that provides an average of $4,000 of additional assistance with prescription costs. According to the Social Security Administration, many beneficiaries who qualify for this program don’t know they are eligible. Medicare beneficiaries must apply for this program, and the amount of assistance is based on annual income and assets. For more information about the Extra Help program, contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.   4. Take advantage of cost-savings on prescription drugs. Beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage should check their plan details to see if they could save money on their prescriptions, such as by using mail-order pharmacy benefits, switching to generic or lower-tier drugs, or taking advantage of special programs available with some plans.   5. Explore “PAP” Programs Several pharmaceutical manufacturers sponsor Patient Assistance Programs (PAPs) that may reduce prescription drug expenses. Some companies offer financial assistance or free products, but all manufacturers have their own rules and grant assistance on a case-by-case basis. For more information, contact the Partnership for Prescription Assistance program at 1-888-477-2669.   For more information about Medicare Part D, contact 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Arkansas State Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) provides free counseling and support to help beneficiaries understand their Medicare coverage options, including prescription drug coverage. To contact the SHIP office in Arkansas, call 1-800-224-6330.    Ray Morris is the community outreach manager for Care Improvement Plus in Arkansas. Care Improvement Plus is a UnitedHealthcare Medicare Solution providing specialized Medicare Advantage coverage for underserved and chronically ill beneficiaries throughout Arkansas.  
Source: thecitywire.com

Choosing Between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage

Original Medicare is made up of two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A is a hospital insurance plan that helps to cover the costs associated with home health care, inpatient hospital care, hospice and nursing home care. Part A typically does not carry a premium, as the cost is covered by workers’ Medicare taxes. Medicare Part B is a medical insurance plan that covers part of the cost of outpatient care, certain doctors’ visits, approved medical supplies and preventative care. Just as with other health insurance policies, recipients pay a monthly premium for coverage.
Source: reversemortgagecalculator.com

Annual Enrollment Period for Illinois Medicare

Illinois Annual enrollment period for Medicare is right around the corner, making it the right time to start considering your health care choices. If you are currently enrolled in a Medicare plan, now is the time to begin comparing your coverage with other available options to see if there is a better choice for you. Annual enrollment is the one time of year when you can add to or make changes to your Medicare health or prescription drug coverage for 2013. It’s extremely important you are familiar with these dates to ensure if you make changes, your new coverage begins by January 1
Source: ssiinsure.com

The Best Home Health Care: Five Things To Consider When Integrating Your Home Health Care With Medicare

Medicare can be perplexing, all the more so when you combine complex health issues and the need for medical aids such as oxygen or hospital beds. While the insurance maze can be difficult to traverse, an estimated 47.5 million people received this program in 2010, which is more than a sixth of the nation’s population. Here is a brief overview and some answers to some commonly asked questions regarding Medicare and home health care. 1. Who qualifies? Medicare is a national health insurance program provided by the U.S. government for those who are: – 65 and older – Under 65 with certain disabilities – Diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), a form of permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant 2. What types of services does Medicare cover? Medicare has four different coverage sections: Part A, B, C, and D. “Original Medicare” consists of Part A & B, while Part C is known as “Medicare Advantage Plan”. These four parts are summarized briefly: – Medicare Part A: Hospital Insurance * Part A covers care while in hospital as well as health care in skilled nursing facilities, home health care, and hospice. – Medicare Part B: Medical Insurance * Part B covers doctor’s visits as well as visits to other health care providers. Additionally, Part B covers hospital outpatient care, durable medical equipment (like intravenous infusion devices), and home health care services. Part B also covers specific types of preventative services, such as getting certain vaccinations. – Medicare Part C: Medicare Advantage * Part C combines health plan options you purchase from other private insurance companies approved by Medicare. Part C also integrates Medicare Prescription drug coverage (Part D) and can be tailored to include extra benefits at an extra cost. – Medicare Part D: Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage * Part D covers the prescription of Medicare-approved prescription drugs and can lower the cost of other medications. Similar to Part C, Medicare-approved private insurance companies also run Part D. 3. Why do I need to choose between Medicare plans? The choice of “Original Medicare” (Parts A & B) entails payment of monthly premiums for part B and may necessitate additional coverage to pay deductibles and coinsurance to see physicians, hospitals, and other providers who accept Medicare. If you require Prescription drug coverage, you must pay a monthly premium to join the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). The “Medicare Advantage Plan” (Part C, which covers Part A & B), also requires the payment of monthly premiums in addition to the Part B premium & a copayment for in-plan doctors, hospitals. If prescription medications are not covered by your supplemental coverage, you have the option of joining the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). As with prescription medications, you can purchase supplemental coverage to cover services not covered by Medicare. The “Original Medicare” plan allows for the option of buying Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap), while the “Medicare Advantage Plan” does not. It is prudent to always check if you can take advantage of other additional coverage through your employer or union, military, or Veteran’s benefits. 4. Is home health care covered by Medicare? The Medicare website states, “Medicare only covers home health care on a limited basis as ordered by your doctor”. As reviewed earlier, Parts A & B are the Medicare options which cover the home health care services specified by Medicare. Coverage of home health care by Medicare in New Mexico stipulates you must meet the following criteria: – You are currently receiving regular services from a physician. This physician must also maintain a care plan unique to you, which is reviewed regularly. – Your physician must certify a “need” for specific medical services such as requirements for intravenous medication therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, or speech-language pathology services. – The home health care agency providing you services must be Medicare-certified (for more details see below). – Your physician must certify your health status as homebound, which is indicated by the following: * Your health condition limits you from leaving the house. * You are unable travel from home without help (i.e. transportation assistance such as aids or individuals). * Leaving your home takes considerable effort and may be detrimental to your health condition. 5. My home health company does not take Medicare, why is this? The Medicare-approval process is lengthy and costly, so while it may appear that many companies may not take Medicare, they may actually be in the process of becoming Medicare certified. Furthermore, the Medicare criteria for individual qualifying to receive home health care are very strict; the reality is that many people who may apply for coverage by Medicare for their approved home health company services will not actually receive coverage. Currently, Medicare pays only about half of all health care costs to seniors. Medicare very often denies payment due to not meeting criteria, so it is essential to be aware if you meet these criteria prior to restricting yourself exclusively to Medicare-approved home health care companies.
Source: blogspot.com

How Medicare Advantage Works

I pose that the main reason this result occurs is “upcoding” by MA plans. Medicare bases MA beneficiary health status on the diagnosis codes submitted by MA plans. FFS providers typically have less of an incentive to extensively document all of a beneficiary’s health conditions…MA plans, on the other hand, receive more money the more diagnosis codes they document. Thus, when FFS beneficiaries switch to MA plans, their risk scores increase even if their true health status changes little or not at all.
Source: healthworkscollective.com

“Medicare & You” goes paperless

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Benefit Security Card .. HALF of the U.S live in households that receive government benefits (26 May 2012) ...item 2..Brevard man gets 4 years in Social Security fraud case (Jun 1, 2012 ) ... by marsmet481and access all the same information found in your printed handbook. You can learn what’s new for the year, how Medicare works with your other insurance, get Medicare costs, and find out what Medicare covers. Even better, the handbook information on the web is updated regularly, so you can instantly find the most up-to-date Medicare information.
Source: medicare.gov

Video: Patty and Richard say, “Apply online for Medicare” (20 seconds) – Social Security

Nation needs clearer Medicare information

Area residents can get involved in National Medicare Education Week in a variety of ways. Visit NMEW.com or MedicareMadeClear.com for educational resources and information about free educational events in Charlotte. Explore Medicare.gov or call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048), 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for more information about the Medicare program. You can also visit your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) office for one-on-one counseling.
Source: heraldonline.com

ORLANDO, Fla.: Obama hits Romney with new Medicare study

On the Medicare front, Obama aides believe they successfully forced Romney to temporarily drop his emphasis on the sluggish economy last month by raising the Medicare issue in the wake of Romney’s selection of Ryan as his running mate. Romney and Ryan countered by arguing that Obama planned to cut hundreds of billions of dollars in Medicare spending over 10 years to pay for his health care plan.
Source: heraldonline.com

Can I Use A Canadian Pharmacy With Medicare Portion D?

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Source: drillkey.com

National Medicare Education Week: Online Health Care Resources Free Educational Event in Fort Smith

Care Improvement Plus is hosting a hands-on educational event in Fort Smith, AR as part of National Medicare Education Week (Sept. 15 – 22, 2012). The event is designed to help baby boomers, Medicare beneficiaries, their families and caregivers learn more about Medicare, social media, and how to find the Medicare coverage that’s best for them. Attendees can also participate in hands-on breakout sessions to learn how to use online resources to understand Medicare and manage their health care needs. There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. To RSVP, call 1-866-673-3545 TTY 711.  More information is available at NMEW.com.
Source: thecitywire.com

Why You Should Register at www.myaarpmedicare.com

If you are currently using AARP insurance, you do have to seriously consider joining www.myaarpmedicare.com for the free account that you are entitled to. The information that you get when you log in is quite important. You will basically get to know absolutely everything about the AARP healthcare plan that you are subscribed to and there are various tools available to make your life a lot easier. For most people the biggest advantage of joining is offered by the fact that they can save a lot of time. Instead of talking to people on the phone and wasting time in order to learn what you want about AARP, you can do the same more efficiently by having an online account on www.myaarpmedicare.com.
Source: myhomeaccountonline.com

ABOUT MEDICARE: Picking the right hospital for you

Nursing Home Compare shows the results of health inspections and provides information on staffing, including the number of nurses, physical therapists, and nursing assistants at each facility. It also has a variety of measures that describe the quality of care in skilled nursing homes, such as the frequency of pressure sores and urinary incontinence.
Source: times-standard.com

Can I Use A Canadian Pharmacy With Medicare Component D?

All this can be explained extremely easily by way of a video situated at URL: This video is quite brief, so even those without high-speed world wide web service can see the short video quickly and simply. As they say, a picture paints a thousand words and this straightforward video showing charts and levels of savings certainly does that! It is so simple and effortless to comprehend.
Source: welcometocoastcity.org

Medicare Beneficiaries Who Were Overcharged For Drugs Because Of CVS’ Incorrect Prices Will Receive Refunds

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Joe the Plumber - To Flush The System ...More scams aim to ensnare Brevard seniors - Their ingenuity is boundless, Archer said. (Jul 2, 2012) ... by marsmet524This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from more than 300 news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Medicine Dish: Medicare Part D and Program Updates

A Guide to Payroll Tax Liability

Combined Annual Wage Reporting (CAWR) is a Document Matching Program that compares the Employee Wage Information reported by the employer to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Social Security Administration (SSA). If the amounts reported to the IRS do not match those from SSA, you may receive a notice asking for the reason for the discrepancy. If you do not respond timely, IRS may compute the additional taxes and/or penalties due and send you a bill. If you receive a notice CP253 or Letter 99C regarding missing Form(s) W-2, refer to Combined Annual Wage Reporting Missing Form W-2 Inquiries. If you receive a notice CP251 or Letter 99C regarding underreported employment taxes refer to Combined Annual Wage Reporting Employment Tax Problem Inquiries
Source: vieracpa.com

Medicare Therapy Caps: Changes Effective October 1, 2012 and the Impact on Hospital Outpatients and OthersHall Render

.  Beginning October 1, 2012, requests for exceptions for medically necessary outpatient therapy services that exceed $3,700 per calendar year will be subject to a manual review process.  Providers will be phased into this manual review process by being placed in one of three phases.  Providers in Phase I will be subject to the process beginning October 1, 2012, providers in Phase II will be subject to the process beginning November 1, 2012 and providers in Phase III will be subject to the process beginning December 1, 2012.  The manual exception process does not apply to a provider until its designated phase has begun.  CMS will send a mailing to providers to inform them of which phase they have been placed into.  This manual review process will be in addition to the automatic exception process for the $1,880 cap already in place and will act as a second level of the exception process.
Source: hallrender.com

American Living Overseas Getting Social Security & Medicare Benefits

Living overseas has no effect on you getting your social security IF you are living in the right country.  If you decided to live in Cuba or North Korea in your retirement, you won’t be getting any of YOUR social security payments sent to you (edit.note:  “haven’t we punished Cuba enough yet?  Canadians are going there with no problems”).  But also if you decide to retire in Cambodia, Vietnam, or in the republics of the former Soviet Union (except for Armenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia) you also cannot get your social security check sent to you.  The social security police will hold your payments until you relocate to a place that agrees with them (Note:  there are some exceptions to this policy in these latter countries, usually by going to the embassy in those countries each month to get your check).
Source: americanexpatchiangmai.com

Have You Updated All of Your Addresses with Medicare The Consequences of Not Doing So Are Severe

Tag words:  Medicare, Medicare audits, Medicare site visits, termination of Medicare billing privileges, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), corrective action plan (CAP), request for reconsideration, Medicare administrative hearing, administrative law judge(ALJ), physicians, medical groups, medical practices, clinic, pharmacies, durable medical equipment (DME) suppliers, home health agencies, nursing homes and other healthcare providers, Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC), Zone Program Integrity Contractors (ZPIC), ZPIC site visit, ZPIC audit, fraud prevention, Medicare number revocation, Medicare termination, OIG special agents, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU), investigators, Medicare Provider Enrollment Chain and Ownership System (PECOS), National Plan & Provider Enumeration System (NPPES), NPI Registry
Source: thehealthlawfirm.com

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Preserving and Strengthening Medicare

That’s why, as part of the Affordable Care Act, we gave seniors deeper discounts on prescription drugs, and made sure preventive care like mammograms are free without a co-pay. We’ve extended the life of Medicare by almost a decade. And I’ve proposed reforms that will save Medicare money by getting rid of wasteful spending in the health care system and reining in insurance companies – reforms that won’t touch your guaranteed Medicare benefits. Not by a single dime.
Source: enewspf.com

Yes, Obamacare Cuts Medicare More Than President Romney Would

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

William D. Novelli by Center for American ProgressAnd the Romney campaign has explicitly stated that it will not preserve Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare. “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have always been fully committed to repealing Obamacare, ending President Obama’s $716 billion raid on Medicare, and tackling the serious fiscal challenges our country faces,” said Romney policy director Lanhee Chen in a Monday statement. “A Romney-Ryan Administration will restore the funding to Medicare, ensure that no changes are made to the program for those 55 or older, and implement the reforms that they have proposed to strengthen it for future generations.”
Source: civiccouncil.org

Video: Campaign’s Medicare scare tactics

The Most Suitable Medicare Supplement Insurance

However you could also check out the other companies that offer you a supplement medicare health insurance insurance as the deal you is certain to get maybe better. You could have made a mistake dealing with the first insurance because it would not cover you completely. End up being wise, and check, research your options, before trusting your current agent, check around to ascertain if the insurance you are buying these times is enough to cover your entire medical expenses.
Source: hot4shopping.com

Funding Mechanisms in Place for the Affordable Care Act

Finally, also effective Jan. 1, 2013, the PPACA imposes an additional Medicare tax of 0.9 percent and a new 3.8 percent tax on unearned investment income for single filers with income over $200,000 and joint filers with income in excess of $250,000. Most taxpayers currently pay 1.45 percent of their wages to support Medicare through the Medicare payroll tax. The new 0.9 percent increase will be imposed on wages in excess of the threshold amounts. The investment income tax targets dividends, interest, royalties, capital gains, annuities and rents for the same high-income taxpayers. These provisions are intended to raise by far the most revenue under the PPACA, at an estimated $210.2 billion over 10 years.
Source: prestinaegele.com

Week before Obama visit, report finds Colorado Democrats cut Medicare by $6 billion for seniors in Colorado

“Seniors are among those in Colorado hit hardest by this recession,” Call concluded. “With many seniors living on fixed incomes, hundreds of thousands of Coloradans struggling to find work and a debt level that threatens to downgrade America’s credit rating again, we can’t afford another four years of Obama and the Democrats’ failed economic policies.”
Source: cologop.org

The Most Suitable Medicare Supplement Insurance

However you could also check out the other companies that offer you a supplement medicare health insurance insurance as the deal you is certain to get maybe better. You could have made a mistake dealing with the first insurance because it would not cover you completely. End up being wise, and check, research your options, before trusting your current agent, check around to ascertain if the insurance you are buying these times is enough to cover your entire medical expenses.
Source: seasonscaptured.com

Week before Obama visit, report finds Colorado Democrats cut Medicare by $6 billion for seniors in Colorado

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

CorettaScottKing_WinonaBartonBallentine2 by Mark Tribe“Seniors are among those in Colorado hit hardest by this recession,” Call concluded. “With many seniors living on fixed incomes, hundreds of thousands of Coloradans struggling to find work and a debt level that threatens to downgrade America’s credit rating again, we can’t afford another four years of Obama and the Democrats’ failed economic policies.”
Source: cologop.org

Video: Colonial Medical Supplies – Medicare approved DME.

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Is Here!

. Appear for enrollment events in the area. Over the next handful of months, you are going to be able to get aid with your drug plan alternatives at dozens of areas throughout your community, like schools, senior centers, clubs, faith-based organizations, and your pharmacy. Or you can speak with pals and loved ones or contact your local office on aging for help. For the telephone number, check out www.eldercare.gov on the Web. The Eldercare Locator can help you discover locations to go to get personalized assistance.
Source: topreviews123.com

Where Do I Go to Find Medicare Insurance Providers: How Do I Decide?

The short answer to this question is yes, but the market is changing. Many individuals will be begin by looking for links to a particular company that is a medicare insurance provider. The trend in the industry due to the Affordable Care Act is that larger healthcare insurance companies are evaluating smaller providers that specifically will add a significant medicare customer base to their current clientele. This allows more individuals to participate in larger resource pools and will allow the insurance companies to cover more people at a more competitive premium rate. Those interested in coverage from major providers can choose a provider based on affiliation with larger companies offering more long-term stability.
Source: seniorcorps.org

Obermueller to Hold Medicare, Social Security Round Table in Eagan

Obermueller is a former state legislator who represented the seat once held by Tim Pawlenty. He grew up working on his parents’ small dairy farm, and worked to put himself through college and law school. Obermueller lives in Eagan with his wife Sara, and their two teenage sons. He volunteers at St. Thomas Becket Catholic Church, as a youth basketball coach and is an active member of the Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Source: patch.com

FREE EDUCATIONAL SEMINAR SERIES: Personal Finances, Social Security, & Medicare

Life’s changes can have a major impact on your finances.  This workshop will cover financial strategies for life’s transitions—starting a family, divorcing, preparing for a comfortable retirement, caring for an aging parent. ______________________________________________
Source: patch.com

CMS Moves Forward With Initiative To Coordinate Medicare Primary Care

The Hill: Medicare Improved Project Linked To Health Law Takes Next Step Federal health officials are moving forward with a plan to reward health care providers that improve services for Medicare patients. The four-year project will be administered by the Medicare agency’s Innovation Center, a creation of the 2010 health care law that seeks to reduce costs and improve health care delivery. The center’s latest effort aims to foster well coordinated primary care within Medicare. The Medicare agency announced that it has selected the 500 medical practices that will participate. They will receive about $20 per beneficiary per month in exchange for providing new services (Viebeck, 8/22).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Rep. Henry Waxman Discusses Obamacare, Medicare, Medi

There was a lot of misinformation about death panels, which the Tea Party people and the Republican organization argued was part of this bill, and it’s not. There’s a lot of misconception because a lot of misinformation has been given about the legislation and people get nervous when there’s going to be something new and something big. They don’t like the idea of the whole bill, but if you ask people what they think of all the parts of the legislation, it’s wildly popular. People support the idea of giving heath care insurance availability to people with pre-existing conditions and stopping the insurance companies from discriminating. People support all of these different elements of the bill.
Source: patch.com

HHS partners with drug store chains to underscore Medicare benefits to seniors

At a CVS/pharmacy in Jacksonville, Fla., this morning, HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius discussed the new preventive services and received a free blood-pressure reading at the store’s MinuteClinic. "Our pharmacy partners are helping their customers make informed healthcare decisions," Sebelius said. "These partnerships will help people with Medicare learn more about new preventive services, such as mammograms, and the new annual wellness visit that [is] available at no charge for everyone with Medicare."
Source: drugstorenews.com

Louis Vuitton Outlet Medicare Reform

Recently available excessive old watches charges have seduced dubious character types just who make an effort to persuade unsophisticated traders to find metals found at unreasonable premiums or even to put up for sale these folks significantly less these bargained meant for. If watching photos in big ways,Louis Vuitton Purses Burberry Handbags smarter sequences search to some degree much more from obtuse sides. Pink Northern Energy levels, LLC (BNE) and also the LLC enterprise it built, BN Nationwide Route Holdings begun trying to find a web page to be able to commercialize an added cost effective and additionally small C02 processing technologies in the biodiesel industry.
Source: 2leep.in

Medicare Part D and Dual Eligibles: Prescription Drug Formularies and Drugs Used by Dual Eligibles

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Medicare drug plans may exclude drugs from formularies or may control drug use in an effort to contain costs, but they must meet certain criteria in doing so.  Each PDP and MA-PD drug formulary is reviewed by staff in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  Generally, Part D plan formularies must cover at least two drugs in every theraputic class.  Under CMS rules, Part D formularies must also include all or substantially all drugs in six protected classes: immunosuppressant (for prophylaxis of organ transplant rejection), antidepressant, antipsychotic, anticonvulsant, antiretroviral, and antineoplastic drugs.
Source: piperreport.com

Video: Medicare Part D (Formulary Conversion)

Court: You Can Appeal Medicare Decisions About Hospice Services

That’s a victory of sorts, because it makes it clear that beneficiaries have the right to challenge a hospice provider’s refusal to provide a service that a doctor deems necessary, Mr. Deford said. But it’s disappointing because it doesn’t ensure that people receive a notice of their right to appeal when they enter hospice care, or that any mechanism exists for expedited appeals – an important protection for people who are dying.
Source: nytimes.com

Q1Medicare.com Releases Updated Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan Formulary Browser

Q1Medicare.com released an enhanced Medicare Part D Formulary Browser providing the Medicare community with one online tool for browsing all stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plan formularies. Users only need to select their state and a Medicare Part D plan to easily view drug plan highlights and formulary details. A PlanID search option is also available for users who want to find a plan’s formulary using only the plan’s Contract ID and Plan ID. The Formulary Browser includes formulary drug tier and tier description, preferred pharmacy and mail-order cost-sharing, and details on the drug usage management for each formulary drug. Saint Augustine, FL (PRWEB) July 29, 2011
Source: myuniversalhealthinsurance.com

CMS EHR incentive payments flirt with $7 billion

In August, the agency paid about $500 million in incentives, with about $325 million going to Medicare providers and $175 million to Medicaid providers, “which will bring us knocking on the door of $7 billion in incentive payments issued as of the end of last month,” said Robert Anthony, a specialist in CMS’ Office of eHealth Standards and Services. 
Source: lawscribes.com

Medicare Plan Finder for Health, Prescription Drug and Medigap plans

The page could not be loaded. The Medicare.gov Home page currently does not fully support browsers with "JavaScript" disabled. Please note that if you choose to continue without enabling "JavaScript" certain functionalities on this website may not be available.
Source: medicare.gov

Part D Formulary Is Key To Choosing The Right Plan

My dad had to move from Ky to GA so my sister and I could take care of him. Humana (his Part D) just terminted him for the month of Dec because he moved out of his service area. They mailed us a letter on 11/25/10(Thanksgiving) and it stated as of 11/30/10 he would no longer have Part D coverage. I spent almost all day last Friday talking to Humana and got no where. They did deduct his payment from his SS??? Any suggestions? Is there a plan that would cover him in GA and KY should he decide to move back and stay with my other sister???
Source: affordablemedicareplan.com

Medicare and Medicaid Costs (Utility Post)

The go-to source on Medicare Advantage is the official Medpac report (pdf), which currently finds MA plans costing on average 7 percent more than conventional Medicare. This is less than the premium a few years ago; apparently (pdf) because several changes in Medicare policy more or less incidentally put the squeeze on MA plans. So far those plans are still expanding, but time will tell.
Source: nytimes.com

Q1Medicare com Now Provides Comprehensive Medicare Part D Drug Pricing Information : e Yugoslavia

“Along with the basic retail price information, we decided to go one step further with our Medicare Part D estimated drug cost matrix and provide the Medicare community with an explanation of how the estimated drug cost is calculated,” notes Dr. Susan Johnson, Technical Director and co-founder of Q1Group LLC. “Many of the cost-sharing calculations are simple, especially for co-payments, but when dealing with the more expensive medications and straddle claims comes into play, many people find it difficult to understand how the pharmacy calculated their point-of-sale cost.”
Source: eyugoslavia.com

Sheriff warns of Medicare scammer

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Joe the Plumber - To Flush The System ...More scams aim to ensnare Brevard seniors - Their ingenuity is boundless, Archer said. (Jul 2, 2012) ... by marsmet524Barker said to be wary of online purchases, although most credit cards offer some type of identity theft protection. He added that if someone calls from a bank or a company asking for personal information, the person should call their bank or the company to verify the information before providing any of their own.
Source: northcoastnow.com

Video: Final Expense By Phone – The Truth

Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage Is Here!

Medicare prescription drug coverage is now offered to all men and women with Medicare. Everyone with Medicare can join a Medicare drug program to get this coverage, regardless of your income or what drugs you take. You owe it to oneself to look into it, even if you have coverage now. yaz lawsuit Medicare is here to help Because Medicare prescription drug coverage is brand new, its natural to have questions like: Exactly where can I get assist choosing a plan? And, exactly where can I get assist joining a plan? You can get answers from Medicare in several ways. Exactly where can I get support choosing a program? • Look for enrollment events in the location. More than the next few months, youll be able to get assist with your drug plan choices at dozens of areas throughout your community, like schools, senior centers, clubs, faith-based organizations, and your pharmacy. Or you can speak with friends and family or call your neighborhood workplace on aging for help. For the telephone number, check out www.eldercare.gov on the Web. The Eldercare Locator can help you find areas to go to get personalized help. • Use the Medicare Prescription Drug Strategy Finder. Go to www.medicare.gov to get a personalized side-by-side comparison of up to three plans at a time based on price, coverage and convenience. If you do not use the Internet, call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227) to get the same info. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. yasmin side effects Exactly where can I get aid joining a plan? yaz side effects • Visit Medicares Net site. You can join a drug strategy at www.medicare.gov on the Web using Medicares on the internet enrollment center. • Call the program. You can join over the phone by calling the plans toll-free of charge number. • Check out the plans Internet website. Pay a visit to the drug plan companys Web internet site. You may be able to join online (not all plans provide this choice).
Source: searchipnews.com

Woman gets prison in Medicare fraud plot

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – A woman who worked as a patient recruiter for several Louisiana medical equipment companies has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for her role in a Medicare fraud scheme.      U.S. District Judge James Brady in Baton Rouge also on Tuesday ordered 47-year-old Karen Rayburn to pay nearly $3.2 million in restitution.      Rayburn, of Baton Rouge, pleaded guilty in January to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.      Prosecutors say falsified prescriptions for leg braces, wheel chairs and other equipment that she obtained were used to submit fraudulent claims to the Medicare program.      The companies linked to the scheme allegedly submitted more than $21 million in bogus Medicare claims.      Eight other defendants have been sentenced for their roles in the plot. Three others await sentencing. (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Source: wafb.com

Police warn of Medicare phone scam

They say the caller says he or she represents YR Benefits and tells senior citizens that their Medicare card has expired then asks for a home address and bank account number in order to issue a new card.
Source: fox13now.com

Communicating with Medicare: Offfice, Phone, Mail, Internet?

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you’ll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it’s totally FREE!
Source: early-retirement.org

PCLS Senior Services Blog: Upcoming Library Programs

Would you like to learn more about Medicare, learn how to use your tablet, exercise with tai chi, or enjoy a great film? These are just a few of the upcoming Pasco library programs. The Friends of the Library sponsors our programs.  Here is a list of the upcoming library programs for Older Adults in Pasco County:
Source: blogspot.com

Does Medicare Call Your House?? Or is this Medicare Fraud?? » Toni Says

I have a problem and I need your help.  I am a 79 year old female who lives alone in Meyerland. Yesterday, a representative from Medicare called me asking all types of personal questions. I told them, I did not give personal information over the phone.  I’m concerned this could be a scam, but then if it was Medicare, I’m concerned I could have made a mistake.  Can you please advise me what I should do or where I could call to see if Medicare is trying to contact me?  Thanks in advance…Alice from Houston,TX
Source: tonisays.com

What Is The Best Method For Making A Medicare Supplement Plans Comparison?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

A list of physicians and healthcare professionals, by geographical location, can be found on the official Medicare website: https://questions.medicare.gov/find-a-doctor . This is an easy and convenient method to find participants in local areas. Every year there is an open season when individuals have the opportunity to make a Medicare supplement plans comparison to ensure both providers and services will continue. As with the original Medicare Parts A and B, the monthly fees for Medicare supplement plans are reviewed and adjusted on an annual basis. The Medicare monthly costs for Parts A, B, and D can be found at www.medicare.gov/costs/ . Supplemental insurance carriers will notify participants of any changes in annual fees or altered services during the November to December timeframe. Anyone who wants to change or drop a current insurance carrier can do so during the annual open season, January through March. Comparing costs today will lower individual expenses tomorrow.
Source: seniorcorps.org

Video: Medicare dental coverage Dallas

Dental Care Considered Optional by Many States

Community health centers have been sprouting up around the nation as a measure to improve access to care in areas of great Medicaid need.  Lynn Community Health Center was established just outside of Boston and since its opening, demand has continued to increase.  While President Obama’s Affordable Care Act does not address the oral health of adults, it does provide $11 million to expand community clinics and construct new ones.  Many hope that these funds will be used to develop more dental care programs at these community centers.  Alaska and Minnesota are the only two states who are currently utilizing dental therapists to address the severe shortage of dentists in rural areas.  Dental therapists are considered midlevel providers who have more training than hygienists but less than dentists, and perform common procedures such as filling cavities and pulling teeth.  Several dental associations have not condoned the use of these providers, citing safety concerns, but Gehshan believes other states will soon embrace the idea.  Once the ACA is fully implemented, more than 5 million children will become eligible for dental coverage and there simply aren’t enough dentists to treat them.  There doesn’t seem to be a simple solution for this massive problem, causing a growing epidemic of preventable oral disease in our country.  With numerous recent studies showing just how intertwined oral health and general wellness are, one would hope that states would stop looking at dental care as “optional” and start making it possible for all Americans to have access to this very necessary and critical area of care.
Source: miamidentalsedationspa.com

Sharp Cuts in Dental Coverage for Adults on Medicaid

The federal health care law generally prohibits states from tightening eligibility for Medicaid before 2014, when a vast expansion of the program to cover people with incomes up to 133 percent of the federal poverty line is supposed to take effect. But states are still allowed to cut optional benefits, like vision, dental and drug coverage. Whether to seek broader cuts is part of a contentious debate between Mr. Obama and Mitt Romney over the future of Medicaid and Medicare, the government health care program for older Americans.
Source: pnhpcalifornia.org

The business behind dental treatment for America’s poorest kids

Kool Smiles does far more crowns than average on children age 8 and under on Medicaid, according to an analysis of 2010 Medicaid data in two states done by CPI and FRONTLINE. In Texas, a child under the age of 9 at Kool Smiles has nearly a 50-50 chance of getting a crown as a restoration to treat problems like cavities, our analysis found. That compares to a one in three chance on average at other providers. And in Virginia, a child 8 or under on Medicaid going to Kool Smiles is twice as likely on average to get crowns than at other dental offices.
Source: publicintegrity.org

Senior Benefit Services, Inc.

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

MORE DIRTY TRICKS FROM YOUR SOCIALIST/MARXIST   PRESIDENT AND HIS NASTY LITTLE ADMINISTRATION HACKS by SS&SSEffective October 1, 2012 on in force business only for United World 2010 Modernized Medicare Supplement plans (Policies effective on or after June 1, 2010) in Alabama and South Dakota and November 1, 2012 in Montana, the rate adjustments will affect plans  A, B, F, G, and M.
Source: srbenefit.com

Video: Texas Medicare Supplements 2010: How to Choose a Plan.wmv

The Most Suitable Medicare Supplement Insurance

Medical emergencies can come whenever you want and you should be prepared. The life of your family members is precious and it is your responsibility to protect these, to take care of them also to ensure that you have all the time at hand when it comes to a hospital stay or paying various other hefty medical charges. The lives we all lead today are generally highly stressful, and you never know when you might need to call upon a doctor to help remedy you.
Source: theloneparrot.com

Medicare Supplement Plans 2010

There are a lot of different plans available, and they are labeled A through N. Each and every program gives a different benefit package deal and has a different premium. Some of the plans offer increased monthly premiums but reduced out of pocket bills, even though other folks have reduced monthly payments but the charges that come out of pocket are increased. Part A is the most basic policy, and all North Carolina Medigap organizations are required to offer it. Part B is supplied in most states by the Federal Government, and it supplies coverage for services that are medically necessary and individuals that are preventative measures. From there, the plans get more and more in depth, up to plans M and N, which were the most just lately introduced. They came about by way of the Medicare Enhancements for Individuals and Providers Act in June 2010.
Source: oregonmedicarepros.com

Medicare Supplement Plans M And N Have Lower Premiums

Either Plan M or N are good options if you would like to purchase a supplement but are on a budget. If you have disposable income in reserve and you feel because of your good health that a inpatient stay is less likely, you may be able to save some money with Plan M.
Source: affordablemedicareplan.com

Senior Benefit Services, Inc.

Effective March 01, 2012, on New Business and April 1, 2012 on Inforced Business United of Omaha 2010 Modernized Medicare Supplement (policies effective on or after June 1, 2010) in New Jersey will be having a Rate Increase on Plans A, C, F, G, and M.
Source: srbenefit.com

American Airlines to freeze pension plans as of Nov. 1

·            Retirement Benefits: On November 1, the Defined Benefit pension plans and the pilot B Plan will be frozen; within the next few days, plan participants will receive a letter giving official notice of the plan freeze in accordance with federal regulations. Remember, you retain all benefits earned up to the date of the freeze, and will be eligible to draw your pension at retirement in accordance with the plan, but will not accrue additional benefits after October 31. Starting on November 1, the company will instead contribute to eligible employees’ $uper$aver accounts, matching dollar-for-dollar up to 5.5 percent of your eligible earnings. Additional information is available on the Jetnet Restructuring Resource Center. Similar to other employee groups, pilot pension benefits will continue status quo through October 31; as we don’t yet have a consensual agreement with the APA, replacement plan details will be determined at a later date.
Source: dallasnews.com