“In just the last two months, the total amount that Puerto Rico Medicare beneficiaries have saved on prescription drugs has increased by about $15 million, and now totals $111,427,280. In addition, according to a report released this week by HHS, the average person with original, fee-for-service Medicare will save a total of $5,000 from 2010 to 2022 as a result of the ACA. Medicare beneficiaries with high prescription drug costs will save much more — about $18,000 — over the same time period,” said Pierluisi.
Video: Avoiding the coverage gap on Medicare Part D
Medicare Part D Coverage Gap
Gary 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
What Sort Of Medicare Gap Coverage Will I Need In Retirement?
All health insurance companies offering Medicare gap coverage or Medigap policies in your state need to offer Plan A. Medigap polices will range from Plan A through Plan N. However, Plans E, H, I and J, are no longer offered for sale. Plan C and Plan F also must be offered if any other plan is being sold. A policy for Medicare gap coverage will be standard to easily compare among other available plans. Your Medigap policy does not cover the costs of long-term care, dental care or vision.
Medicare coverage gap associated with reductions in antidepressant use in study
According to study results, being in the gap was associated with comparable reductions in the use of antidepressants, heart failure medications and antidiabetics. Relative to a comparison group that had full coverage in the gap because of Medicare coverage or low-income subsidies, the no-coverage group reduced their monthly antidepressant prescriptions by 12.1 percent and reduced their use of heart failure drugs by 12.9 percent and oral antidiabetics by 13.4 percent. Beneficiaries with generic drug coverage in the gap reduced their monthly antidepressant prescriptions by 6.9 percent, a reduction attributable to reduced use of brand-name antidepressants, researchers note.
Maximizing Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage
Medicare beneficiaries take an average of 29 prescriptions per year, spending approximately $1,300 on medications annually. Individuals with chronic conditions such as heart failure often pay more than double that amount. 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.
How the Candidates Compare on Medicare
An infographic at Whitehouse.gov notes that the Affordable Care Act increases federal sentencing guidelines for health care fraud offenses by 20% to 50% for major fraud crimes. It also points out that the Obama administration’s efforts on fighting Medicare fraud has returned $10.7 billion dollars to the Medicare Trust Fund since 2009.
Donkeys and Elephants on Medicare
In the interest of fair reporting, which we seldom seem to get these days, the following chart illustrates the positions of the two major political parties on the subject of Medicare. You may draw your own conclusions or opinions, I just wanted you to have an unbiased account of where the two political parties stand on the issue that will affect every single person when they become age 65. Social Security is another major government obligation that is having funding difficulties but has not been addressed in detail by either political party. When the Social Security program is nearer collapse, our government, that is both sides, will do something about it. (Oops, there goes my fair reporting. I am blaming politicians as a whole though!)
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.
Consider Getting a Medigap Policy From United Healthcare
When looking at united healthcare medicare supplements phoenix az, it may be a good idea for senior citizens to get choose their Medigap policy sooner rather than later. During the first time enrollment for Medicare, there is no medical underwriting for entering any of these policies. However, insurance companies can deny coverage due to poor health after the initial enrollment in Medicare. That means senior citizens in poor health will never get another chance to enroll in a Medigap policy. Those who are in good health may be able to get a Medigap policy at a later time. But this is a risky way to go. If the senior wants to move to a less generous Medigap policy, that is not a problem. Only a move to a more generous Medigap policy requires medical underwriting. That is why seniors should think about getting Medicare supplement insurance from companies such as United Healthcare upon initial enrollment in traditional Medicare to cover the gaps in coverage.