Medicare Open Enrollment: Now’s the time!

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

In my work with Medicare, one of the questions people ask me often is which plan is the best one. That’s not something I can answer, because picking a plan is an important and personal decision. Each person has a unique set of priorities. How do you weigh your options? Now’s the time to think about what matters to you, and pick the Medicare plan that meets your needs.
Source: medicare.gov

Video: Two Useful (but frustrating) Websites: MyMedicare.gov and Missouri Case.net

What’s This Presidential Election All About?

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Source: econintersect.com

Medicare confusing, but don’t put off enrolling

active adults bodybuilding Bright Eating Cathy Dyson Chris Margand Chuck Hashek Delise Dickard Dr. Delise Dickard Eddie’s World Eddie’s World column Ed Jones elder law Elizabeth McMaster Fit After 50 functional fitness Gone With the Wind happiness Inspired Aging Inspired Aging column Jennifer Motl Legal Ease Legal Ease column Live Well Medicaid Medicare mental health Neda McGuire New Horizons New Horizons column nutrition Orange County Phyllis Palestri power outages Rappahannock Area Agency on Aging salads self-help Senior Moments column Skydive Orange skydiving Steve Watkins storms therapist Valerie Hopson-Bell Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program Yoga
Source: fredericksburg.com

Daily Kos: Afternoon of a Freeloader

Azazello, yella dawg, jan4insight, Gooserock, sanglug, worldlotus, Kevskos, Otteray Scribe, Angela Quattrano, old wobbly, VetGrl, Joy of Fishes, stormicats, Involuntary Exile, ladypockt, Onomastic, paulitics, 73rd virgin, myboo, Steveningen, Eileen B, sparkysgal, Glen The Plumber, lillyspad, bluedust, justiceputnam, belinda ridgewood, mint julep, high uintas, susanWAstate, anodnhajo, oceanrain, jazzence, revsue, VictorLaszlo, willyr, swampyankee, litoralis, thomask, tofumagoo, nailbender, texasmom, annrose, uciguy30, IB JOHN, newpioneer, Wendy in FL, white blitz, dotsright, liberte, Kingsmeg, oldliberal, wasatch, kpardue, congenitalefty, begone, Calamity Jean, Southcoast Luna, 1BQ, exiledfromTN, pixxer, bws, splashy, mlharges, Youffraita, Sapere aude, On Puget Sound, BlueSue, bsmechanic, ChuckInReno, operculum, dotdash2u, Lying eyes, The Zipper, Diogenes2008, grannycarol, peachcreek, kurt, elginblt, edrie, WakeUpNeo, fumie, Assaf, kacemo, peagreen, radical simplicity, Ekaterin, AllisonInSeattle, CA ridebalanced, 88kathy, JVolvo, Hawaiian, JonBarleycorn, mofembot, zukesgirl64, boadicea, Horace Boothroyd III, chimene, Davui, GAS, outragedinSF, fhcec, Lorikeet, roseeriter, carpunder, vivadissent, tonyahky, riverlover, funluvn1, cany, JaxDem, Sturmvogel262, Larsstephens, real world chick, KenBee, Leo in NJ, greenchiledem, itzik shpitzik, SaraBeth, Chi, Emerson, Bridge Master, rapala, edie haskell, emmasnacker, DeminNewJ, dadadata, Statusquomustgo, Carol in San Antonio, wxorknot, matx, rat racer, theKgirls, blue jersey mom, Thursday Next, stevenwag, Melanie in IA, global citizen, DuzT, msdobie, murrayewv, Ed in Montana, Margd, JoesGarage, Bexley Lane, Nance, coppercelt, Dhavo, gulfgal98, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, jnhobbs, kathny, Smoh, mookins, OooSillyMe, Bach50b3, glorificus, eeff, afox, rl en france, BlueMississippi, jrooth, Aunt Pat, teknohed, Papuska, hlsmlane, FultonDem, FlyingToaster, emidesu, NJpeach, asterkitty, Loonesta, American in Kathmandu, FindingMyVoice, carolanne, Guadalupe59, cv lurking gf, cka, zerelda, Zwoof, BitterEnvy, Debs2, Tea and Strumpets, Coastside Scout, flowerfarmer, wayoutinthestix, juliesie, bubbajim, tapestry, emelyn, Cronesense, MNGlasnant, SteelerGrrl, Yasuragi, pat of butter in a sea of grits, leftywright, GeorgeXVIII, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, TexH, Only Needs a Beat, Pixietrixter, Sybil Liberty, triplepoint, IDrankWhat, Catskill Julie, tin woodswoman, lineatus, maybeeso in michigan, codairem, Yellow Canary, Icicle68, Meteor Blades, 2dot, maggiemae, where4art, jadt65, Its a New Day, gfv6800, badscience, artisan, davidseth, batchick, jaybeck, spooks51, GrannyOPhilly, TiaRachel, princesspat, dance you monster, mikidee, FloridaSNMOM, Simple, NapaJulie, blue armadillo, Sixty Something, greycat, htowngenie, Chun Yang, shesaid, SaintC, Johnny Nucleo, Ice Blue, The Hindsight Times, Gorette, One Pissed Off Liberal, DBunn, multilee, mamamedusa, Deejay Lyn, seefleur, Anjana, Catherine R, sidnora, 42, HappyinNM, davehouck, dewley notid, Tinfoil Hat, helpImdrowning, northsylvania, JoanMar, sfarkash, Mrs M, jhop7, cocinero
Source: dailykos.com

Medicare Home Health: Medicare Supplement Insurance

For all others, the standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $115.40 in 2011, which is a 4.4% increase over the 2010 premium. The Medicare Part B premium is increasing in 2011 due to possible increases in Part B costs. If your income is above $85,000 (single) or $170,000 (married couple), then your Medicare Part B premium may be higher than $115.40 per month. For additional details, see our FAQ titled: “2011 Part B Premium Amounts for Persons with Higher Income Levels”.
Source: blogspot.com

How Do I Decide What Medicare Stand

To make it easier to understand, I do assessments for my clients using Medicare.gov to see which drug plan will cover all their drugs most cost effectively, comparing their current carrier to other plans being offered in 2013.  Sometimes it may show that my client should stay on their current plan and perhaps change to mail order; other times, because of the difference in cost as well as the specific formulary and tier levels for each plan, it may indicate the need to change their drug plan.
Source: personalmedicareadvisor.com

Daily Kos: IMHO, Obama needs to win reelection and then GET OUT OF DC for the lame duck!

We basically have a chance to hit the reset button on this whole sordid mess.  No more months long extensions, no more tea bagger blackmail.  A GOOD grand bargain, one that is both magnificent in style and ambitious in scope, is one achieved from a position of strength, not weakness.  A GOOD grand bargain is something to be proud of, not settled for.  So please Mr Obama, get out of town.  Or hide in the situation room.  Hmm, Christmas and New Years in Hawaii. Mele Kalikimaka!!  Once the Bush tax cuts have expired and the sequestrations have kicked in, negotiations will take place at warp speed, because the pressure from constituents will be immense.  But this time they will proceed from a position of strength, not weakness.  The R’s in Congress know they own this mess and that it must be fixed quickly!  Good and deserving people will be made whole again because we all know that no agreement in DC ever happens without taking place RETROACTIVELY.
Source: dailykos.com

PODCAST: PhD's dance, Medicare gets a checkup

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Healthcare in America: Who's Paying Who? And Who's Getting What? (g1a2d0014c1) by watchingfrogsboilAnd finally, congratulations to Peter Liddicoat, a scientist at the University of Sydney and winner of this year’s “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest. Every year the journal Science invites people convey their arcane dissertation topics through interpretive dance. Liddicoat’s five minute performance involved a costumes cast of 28, all dramatizing the title of his thesis, “Evolution of nanostructural architecture in 7000 series aluminium alloys during strengthening by age-hardening and severe plastic deformation.” It’s really better as a dance.
Source: marketplace.org

Video: DNC Chair Gets Blitzed By Wolf On False Medicare Attacks

Medicare “Donut Hole” Gets a Little Smaller in 2013

The difference between Medicare Part D plans is that one plan may charge significantly more for specific drugs than another plan. This could also be true if you have a Medicare Advantage plan that includes drug coverage. That’s because they negotiate prices with manufacturers and middlemen.
Source: allsup.com

What Can You Do If Your Medicare Supplement Gets Too Expensive?

Medicare B has no cap on the co-insurance amount.  If your medical bills for the year are $100,000 you have to pay $20,000.  Medicare supplement insurance will pay that for you.  If you cancel your Medicare supplement insurance, you will have to use your retirement savings, Social Security or pension income to pay your medical bills.
Source: wordpress.com

Daily Kos: What I Keep Not Hearing About Medicare

skybluewater, a gilas girl, JekyllnHyde, Angie in WA State, Joe Bob, Sylv, Val, Chi, Odysseus, murphy, Powered Grace, Dave the Wave, Emerson, Heimyankel, liz, hyperstation, LynnS, jdld, eeff, Mnemosyne, saluda, elfling, Bryce in Seattle, RFK Lives, MarkInSanFran, musicsleuth, hubcap, Creosote, madhaus, geordie, RubDMC, maggiemae, alain2112, TNforkerry, 88kathy, sponson, BlackSheep1, Wee Mama, wonkydonkey, biscobosco, Xapulin, Geonomist, mrblifil, roses, larryrant, edie haskell, splashy, revsue, Lilyvt, ninothemindboggler, minorityusa, mwk, ManhattanMan, TexDem, draghnfly, chriscol, texasmom, 42, riverlover, bwintx, ybruti, vacantlook, Sybil Liberty, Gowrie Gal, nailbender, Skennet Boch, el dorado gal, qofdisks, democracy inaction, llywrch, Brooke In Seattle, Unforgiven, bleeding blue, Sun Tzu, GTPinNJ, ladybug53, skyounkin, Tool, SBandini, Pluto, turdraker, littlewren, mightymouse, kathny, lgmcp, RJDixon74135, martini, BalanceSeeker, Kingsmeg, vigilant meerkat, trentinca, blueoasis, DarkestHour, global citizen, philipmerrill, middleagedhousewife, bumbi, CA Nana, doingbusinessas, una, kurt, chgobob, jjellin, sea note, Aaa T Tudeattack, thatwhichisgood, AntKat, seabos84, One Pissed Off Liberal, peagreen, Deadicated Marxist, AdamSelene, leema, gloriana, puakev, threegoal, Allogenes, FishOutofWater, LillithMc, semioticjim, gustynpip, terabytes, bnasley, NoMoJoe, Fireshadow, I am a Patriot, pioneer111, uciguy30, leonard145b, fallina7, Assaf, South Park Democrat, vet, rmonroe, JDWolverton, MKinTN, TruthFreedomKindness, HappyinNM, wayoutinthestix, kjallen, Sixty Something, katiebug, Involuntary Exile, OutCarolineStreet, Calamity Jean, tofumagoo, petulans, JamieG from Md, lissablack, fayea, JBL55, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, prettygirlxoxoxo, Rhysling, rubyclaire, Glacial Erratic, greengemini, divineorder, Domestic Elf, Pariah Dog, jennylind, pvmuse, marzook, Question Authority, SpringFever, sfarkash, jfromga, joe from Lowell, Amber6541, TruthandTrust, eXtina, estreya, piers, Crabby Abbey, legalchic, TimmyB, ipaman, Monkey Man Hermit, rja, MsGrin, Its a New Day, tosimmonds, henrythefifth, jardin32, ardyess, southernmapper, Araguato, near mrs, Nicci August, KelleyRN2, fredmertz, marleycat, antonrobb, IllanoyGal, thomask, 1718bill, seattlebarb, tardis10, Grandma Susie, Sark Svemes, peregrine kate, pensivelady, chira2, poliwrangler, VTCC73, Vatexia, imlpdx, caryltoo, BlueDragon, Only Needs a Beat, Anti Em, stormicats, anodnhajo, cwsmoke, molecularlevel, Citizenpower, Jakkalbessie, wordfiddler, rexxnyc, FloridaSNMOM, FreeSpeaker, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, This old man, cherie clark, Mr Robert, tucanaz, parakeet, johnny wurster, dotdash2u, George3, Villanova Rhodes, databob, CalBearMom, WheninRome, madcitysailor, koseighty, Greenfinches, nuclear winter solstice, DamselleFly, ebailey, Geriw, Late Again, Grandpa Dave, Neapolitan, weck, alice kleeman, leeleedee, Constantly Amazed, Orcas George, BitterEnvy, Smoh, GrannyRedBird, duhban, petprogressive, OregonWetDog, janraefrank, pianogramma, Rich452
Source: dailykos.com

Medicare Insurance: The Benefits of Having It

The biggest question involving Medicare Colorado insurance deals with qualifying for the insurance. Almost everyone who is at least 65 years old and has lived in the country for a number of years may sign up to get Medicare health insurance. Sometimes people with certain disability conditions are permitted into the program even if they do not meet the age requirement. Certain people with qualifying medical conditions will also be allowed to get Medicare insurance. By giving even the least-fortunate people in our society the chance to get adequate health care, the overall quality of our country becomes that much more great.
Source: wordpress.com

The Brian Lehrer Show:

30 Issues: Getting Real On Medicare and Social Security

NABNYC is correct that the excess payroll taxes (and "interest") are no longer in the trust fund. It was borrowed over the years by the Treasury to pay for government expenses, and is owed back to the trust fund as part of our intragovernmental debt (which, along with debt held by the public, comprises our total debt). How does the government view the strength of its commitment? There are 4 levels of liabilities, ranging from Explicit Liabilities – the strongest commitment – to Implicit Promises – the weakest commitment. Future Social Security and Medicare benefits are Implicit Promises. They are not even considered as liabilities, for the program can be changed or even abolished, at any time by an act of Congress. Don Levit
Source: wnyc.org

Voters’ voices: Three Reagan Democrats talk Medicare and who they plan to vote for now

Lockhart, McNamara and Crowe don’t remember much about President Reagan and Medicare. The years they would need the program were, after all, still decades away. Reagan had warned in a 1961 recording for the American Medical Association that Medicare would usher in an age of totalitarianism: “And pretty soon your son won’t decide when he’s in school, where he will go or what he will do for a living. He will wait for the government to tell him where he will go to work and what he will do,” he warned, ominously.
Source: medcitynews.com

Kaiser Permanente Leads the Nation with Six 5

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

About Kaiser Permanente Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.
Source: kp.org

Video: Jed Weissberg, MD, Talks About Medicare Advantage Health Plans and the Special Enrollment Period

Why Medicare star ratings are important to you during Open Enrollment

More high-quality Medicare plan choices in 2013 According to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, more 4- and 5-star plans will be available in 2013 than ever before. In 2013: • People with Medicare will have access to 127 four- or five-star Medicare Advantage plans. In 2012, people with Medicare had access to only 106 four- or five-star plans, which served only 28 percent of enrollees. • People with Medicare will have access to 26 four- or five-star prescription drug plans, which currently serve 18 percent of enrollees. This is an improvement from 2012, in which only 13 plans with four or five stars serve just 9 percent of enrollees.
Source: themeddiva.com

As Open Season Begins, More Medicare Advantage Plans Get Top Ratings

Detroit Free Press: Medicare Changes: What You Need To Know This Year Beginning this year, [Michigan] beneficiaries of chronically poor-performing plans will be notified by mail that there might be better options elsewhere and those beneficiaries may switch to the highest-performing plans throughout 2013. Medicare for the first time will cover screenings for depression, obesity, sexually transmitted diseases and alcohol misuse. It also will cover behavioral therapy for cardiovascular disease. Under health care reform, Medicare discounts continue to deepen on drugs in the donut hole (Erb, 10/14). The Columbus Dispatch: Medicare Will Prod Users To From Low-Rated Advantage Plans The federal government said yesterday that it will become more aggressive about moving people off poorly performing Medicare plans and onto higher-scoring ones. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said they will mail letters to people enrolled in 26 poorly rated plans nationwide — plans that have received 2.5 or fewer stars on a 5-star scale for the past three years. The letters will encourage those people to enroll in plans that score better on the government measures of patient health outcomes and satisfaction (Sutherly, 10/13). 
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare Plans In California Get Top Ratings In The Nation For The Second Straight Year

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to   improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery   and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/newscenter.
Source: patch.com

Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare Plans Get Top Ratings in Nation for Second Straight Year

“Kaiser Permanente is a model for health care in this country and this Medicare 5-Star rating confirms the value we provide to patients,” said Robert Pearl, MD, executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group. “The combination of superb physicians and the most advanced information technology systems leads to excellence in quality and service. By providing coordinated medical care and greater ease of access, we are able to achieve outstanding outcomes both in prevention of disease and management of the most complex medical conditions. I applaud the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for helping shift the focus of our country from rewarding volume to recognizing superior outcomes. If the whole nation could match this 5-star performance, thousands of lives could be saved each year.”
Source: patch.com

CMS: More Highly Rated MA, Prescription Drug Plans Available in 2013

Monthly premiums for MA plans in 2013 are expected increase by 4.7%, or $1.47, on average, to $32.59 if beneficiaries keep their current plans, a CMS official said. If they decide to switch lower-cost plans at the same rate as they did last year, the official said the premium increase would average 1.8%, or 57 cents (
Source: californiahealthline.org

HHS Announces Star Quality Ratings for 2013: Better performance and more choice

On Friday (10/12/12) the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services released the 2013 quality ratings for Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug plans. These star ratings summarize how well the plans performed on well-established measures of quality such as access to care, responsiveness, and beneficiary satisfaction. Plans can earn up to 5 stars, from one star for poor performance to 5 stars for excellent performance. Star ratings are reviewed each year and the results are published by CMS in the fall.
Source: wordpress.com

ACHP Members Rated Among Top Medicare Plans in the Country

Today, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its annual Medicare Advantage Star Ratings, a program intended to provide Medicare beneficiaries with additional information about health plans in their area and make quality data more transparent. Twenty-five percent of Medicare enrollees are enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans, which are rated on more than 50 quality measures, derived from multiple sources of data: CMS administrative data on plan quality and member satisfaction; the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS®); the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®); and the Health Outcomes Survey (HOS).
Source: wordpress.com

Medicare Open Enrollment 2013… It’s Here!

According to the Columbus Dispatch, CMS officials reported that the department is being aggressive about moving seniors out of lower-rated MA plans and into higher-scoring ones. Specifically, CMS will mail letters to beneficiaries enrolled in 26 plans nationwide that have received low ratings. Additionally, the Medicare.gov website will no longer allow enrollment in those 26 plans.
Source: medicarewire.com

Medicare will prod users to switch from low

The announcement comes on the eve of Medicare open enrollment, which runs from Monday through Dec. 7. During that eight-week period, people can enroll in different Medicare Advantage and prescription-drug plans.When people turn 65 years old, they can sign up for traditional Medicare coverage or opt for those additional coverage plans that might better suit their health-care needs.
Source: telcoretirees.org

HEDIS and CMS Star Ratings – Optimizing Benefits

To encourage Medicare Advantage plans to provide quality care, the 2010 health reform law¹ authorized Medicare to pay plans bonuses beginning in 2012 if they receive 4 or 5 stars on the program’s 5-star quality rating system. Building on that provision, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services subsequently launched a demonstration that allowed more plans to receive bonuses and increased the size of the bonuses to encourage plans to maintain or improve their ratings. Health plans, of course, desire the highest possible rating to be more attractive to consumers and there are incentives to the star ratings. Additionally, health plans receiving 5 stars in 2012 will be able to enroll and market to Medicare beneficiaries throughout 2012. About one third of the bonus payments will be made to plans with 4 or more stars with the other two-thirds for plans with 3 or more stars. Without the proper intelligence (data), health plans are unlikely to effectively and efficiently evaluate their populations and the efficacy of member programs to improve upon their identified service quality scores. Enter health care technology solutions.
Source: zeomega.com

Medicare Is Altering: Like It Or Not!

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

San Diego, CA by Oggie DogOne of the large proposals out there was 100 % privatized Medicare proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan. He has actually now transformed his strategy to feature original Medicare as a possibility. Just what a lot of local do not realize is that privatized Medicare actually presents in the type of Medicare Advantage. In fact, 25 % of all Medicare beneficiaries are registered in to a Medicare Benefit strategy. These plans in the existing state make sense for a ton of named beneficiaries who are planning to control costs as well as use the savings that these strategies deliver.
Source: glutathioneworks.com

Video: EHR: Medicare and Medicaid Incentive Program Registration Webinar for Eligible Hospitals

Registration ends Thursday, Oct. 25 for RUSA’s online course Genealogy 101

Health Information: Nov. 12-Dec. 23, 2012 IACET CEU’s offered for this course. This six-week course will demystify and decode medical terminology and also cover the basics of evidence-based biomedical literature searching. Participants will learn how to systematically evaluate a health website and then look at some the best of best sites for medical, pharmaceutical and drug information. The course covers the business of healthcare: PPACA, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, HealthIT and HITECH, Meaningful Use, Physician and Hospital Rankings & Ratings and the Personal Health Record. Students will also participate in a discussion of health literacy issues and how to create partnerships with hospital and academic medical librarians through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Get more information or register now.
Source: ala.org

Getting Started in Medicare

 JABA’s health insurance counseling program, VICAP, has been hosting these workshops several times per year for quite a while now. This service is part of the statewide Virginia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (VICAP) administered by the Virginia Division for the Aging (VDA). All JABA VICAP specialists and volunteers receive regular training. They’re experts at helping people sort through confusing info, and, here’s the clincher, they are
Source: wordpress.com

Your Top 10 EHR, Meaningful Use Questions Answered

1. Computerized provider order entry (CPOE) 2. Drug-drug and drug-allergy interaction checks 3. Maintain an up-to-date problem list of current and active diagnoses 4. E-Prescribing (eRx)* 5. Maintain active medication list 6. Maintain active medication allergy list 7. Record demographics 8. Record and chart changes in vital signs 9. Record smoking status for patients 13 years or older 10. Report ambulatory clinical quality measures to CMS/States 11. Implement one clinical decision support rule 12. Provide patients with an electronic copy of their health information, upon request 13. Provide clinical summaries for patients for each office visit 14. Capability to exchange key clinical information among providers of care and patient-authorized entities electronically 15. Protect electronic health information *CMS does not currently have e-prescribing guidelines available; check their EHR Web site for updates.
Source: physicianspractice.com

Bidding is Now Open for the Round 1 Recompete of the DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program @ CRE Interactive Public Docket on CMS Competitive Bidding Rule

All bidders must submit certain required hardcopy documents as specified in the Request for Bids (RFB) instructions. CMS urges all bidders to take advantage of the covered document review process. Under this process, we will notify suppliers that submit their hardcopy financial documents by the covered document review date (CDRD) of any missing financial documents. The CDRD for the Round 1 Recompete is November 14, 2012 – financial documents must be RECEIVED on or before November 14, 2012, to qualify for the covered document review process. This process only determines if there are any missing financial documents. It does not indicate if the documents are acceptable, accurate, or meet applicable requirements. Suppliers that submit financial documents by the CDRD will be notified of any missing financial documents within 90 days of the CDRD. Suppliers will be required to submit the missing financial document(s) within 10 business days of the notification.
Source: thecre.com

Daily Kos: Poll: Medicare Propels Obama Into the Lead in Florida

Biden’s father had been very well-off earlier in his life, but had suffered several business reverses by the time Biden was born, and for several years the family had to live with Biden’s maternal grandparents, the Finnegans. When the Scranton area went into economic decline during the 1950s, Biden’s father could not find enough work. In 1953, the Biden family moved to an apartment in Claymont, Delaware, where they lived for a few years before moving to a house in Wilmington, Delaware. Joe Biden Sr. then did better as a used car salesman, and the family’s circumstances were middle class. He took a stand against injustice at an early age. Biden attended the Archmere Academy in Claymont…During these years, he participated in an anti-segregation sit-in at a Wilmington theatre. People like to portray him as a bumbling avuncular man, but he’s had one hell of a career, too. When Biden took office on January 3, 1973, at age 30 (the minimum age to become a U.S. Senator), he became the sixth-youngest senator in U.S. history…
Source: dailykos.com

One stop shop for services provider

SERVICE: Soon Centrelink and Medicare services will be all under the one roof. Coming together were Department of Human Services staff (from left) customer service officers Gayle Grimes, Kathryn Gosling, service centre manager Bronwyn Baker, customer service officer Anette McKay and assessment services Linda Smith.
Source: com.au

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Akin's Medicare plan will harm seniors

On the other hand, Claire’s opponent, Todd Akin, has a different approach to Medicare.  He wants to end guaranteed Medicare for seniors, and instead  force seniors into the private insurance market with just a government voucher in hand. This would force grandparents across the state to deal directly with insurance companies, an outcome no sane person should endorse.
Source: columbiamissourian.com

Colorado’s Medicaid Cost Drivers

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Health policy discussions often focus on controlling the cost of the sophisticated medical care that is provided to relatively few people. Outside of this blog, relatively few people pay attention to the impact of routine costs like the cost of an extra physician visit for each of 150 million people. This is one reason why so many people are surprised by the fact that consumer directed health plans with proper incentive structures can lower health care expenditures by as much as 20 percent without compromising health or externally rationing care. It also explains why so many Medicare commentators have difficulty understanding how the Ryan Medicare reform plan might work.
Source: ncpa.org

Video: Medicaid Planning & Elder Law Services in Denver & Colorado Springs, CO

Peter Suderman Says Fewer Jobs Means Medicaid Growth on Cavuto

Reason’s Peter Suderman explains that despite mortality rates being the same, if not worse, for Medicaid recipients compared to the uninsured, the Affordable Care Act involves expanding the program further to cover 15 million people in the coming decade.
Source: reason.com

Should Colorado expand Medicaid per ObamaCare? No.

There is a better way:  Allow people on Medicaid the option of private insurance so they can get coverage through private competing plans. Florida has a successful model underway. These plans could provide much better access to physicians, coordinate care for patients with multiple health problems, and allow patients to be seen in doctors’ offices rather than in expensive hospital emergency rooms.Patients would have the dignity of private coverage, and safety-net hospitals will be able to keep their doors open so they can continue their mission of caring for the poorest and neediest in our society.
Source: patientpowernow.org

Daily Kos: Obama campaign running second ad on Medicaid

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don’t fit in any of these tags. Don’t worry if yours doesn’t.
Source: dailykos.com

Lubbock Counselor Sentenced For Fraudulent Medicaid Billing

According to court documents, from January 2004 through December 2009, Hollingsworth, an approved Medicaid provider, submitted a claim to Medicare for three hours of face-to-face counseling provided to a patient in Lubbock on Christmas Day 2009, when she was actually in Colorado.
Source: kfyo.com

Tennessee plan addresses churn in Medicaid coverage to save money and support preventative care

Under its proposal, Tennessee would ask the managed care companies that provide Medicaid coverage to also offer an insurance plan that covers 70 percent of health care costs. It would be offered through the health care exchange, required under the new federal law, and would be available only to families with at least one member covered by Medicaid. The network of doctors and hospitals available to the family under this plan would be identical to the network that serves Medicaid patients.
Source: medcitynews.com

Colorado Court of Appeals: Department of Medicaid Does Not as Victim for Purposes of Restitution Statute

Defendant argued that the Department does not qualify as a “victim” for purposes of the restitution statute. Under the vehicular assault statute, a victim is a human being. Because the Department has not been expressly identified by the legislature as a victim in the restitution statute, and the particular nature of the crime does not establish a right to restitution, the Department cannot qualify as a victim under the restitution statute. Accordingly, the case was remanded to the trial court with directions to modify the order so that it excludes the grant of $417,750 in restitution to the Department.
Source: cbaclelegalconnection.com

The Rural Voice: HCPF is Committed to Colorado’s Medicaid Accountable Care Organization

The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing released a position statement last month related to the Accountable Care Collaborative (Colorado’s version of an Accountable Care Organization for Medicaid clients, rather than Medicare). You can read the statement here, but to summarize, the Department states they remain committed to the ACC as the predominant program that will lead Colorado Medicaid into the future of better health care. The primary goals of the ACC Program are to improve the health of Medicaid clients and reduce costs. Tricia McGinnis of the Commonwealth Fund wrote a blog post about the emergence of Medicaid Accountable Care Organizations in states and the opportunity these programs have to better serve the most vulnerable low-income populations. Read the blog post here.
Source: blogspot.com

Eligibility Requirements for Medicaid in Colorado

In Colorado, Medicaid can cover families, children, pregnant women, persons who are blind, or persons with disabilities. It can also cover the elderly. To qualify for any of these programs, a person must be a resident of Colorado. When a person applies for Medicaid, the state will determine which of the many parts of the Medicaid program that the person is eligible for, and will enroll the person in that one.
Source: families.com

Earning $11,000 is too much

In a Thursday, July 26, 2012 photo, Sandra Pico, 52, holds medications she takes, at her home in North Miami Beach, Fla. Pico makes about $15,000 a year working about 20 hours a week as a home health aide, a bit too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough that she can afford private insurance. She thought she’d be getting health insurance after the Supreme Court upheld the health care law. Then she learned her own governor won’t agree to expand Medicaid under the law which would have given her coverage. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Source: gazette.com

Ask The Experts: Retirement

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Q. I am 68 years old, I am still working and I have FERS. I had to sign up for Medicare Part A when I reached 66 (my full retirement age under Social Security). It was presented as “mandatory” to sign up for Medicare Part A. When I went in to the Social Security office to get information, they told me that if I am still working and have health care coverage by the federal government, I do not have to sign up for Medicare Part B until after I am retired and I am collecting my retirement pension.
Source: federaltimes.com

Video: Medicare Part B_1.wmv

Medicare Part B Premium 2011 and 2012: Are Costs On The Rise?

Your Medicare Part B Premium is taken out of your social security check, usually on a monthly basis. If you can not afford to carry Medicare Part B agencies are available to assist you. They are: Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income, Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program, Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary (SLMB) Program or theQualifying Individual (QI) Program. You can still be accepted even if your income is above the qualifying income limits.
Source: seniorcorps.org

How much does Medicare Advantage cost?

Plans with $0 Monthly Premiums: Among the 43,306 plans available in 2013, 13,741 plans (32 percent) will be offered at a cost of $0 above what a Medicare beneficiary already pays for Medicare Part B. By comparison, 14,297 plans (33 percent) were available with a $0 monthly premium in 2012 and 13,821 plans (35%) were available in 2011.
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

How Much Does Medicare Advantage Cost?

eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, the nation’s leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. Through the company’s website, www.eHealthInsurance.com, consumers can get quotes from leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for and purchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation’s leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it the ideal model of a successful, high-functioning health insurance exchange. Through the company’s eHealthTechnology solution (www.eHealthTechnology.com), eHealth is also a leading provider of health insurance exchange technology. eHealthTechnology’s exchange platform provides a suite of hosted e-commerce solutions that enable health plan providers, resellers and government entities to market and distribute products online. eHealth, Inc. also provides powerful online and pharmacy-based tools to help seniors navigate Medicare health insurance options, choose the right plan and enroll in select plans online through its wholly-owned subsidiary, PlanPrescriber.com (www.planprescriber.com) and through its Medicare website www.eHealthMedicare.com.   
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

Medicare premiums for higher income people

What a lot of people might not understand about this until it affects them is that as you move from one MAGI income threshold to another, your premium can go up dramatically as the result of 1 dollar of income. It is not like the progressive income tax where you only pay the increased rate on those dollars that are above the next rate threshold. This is where tax planning can play an important role if you are near one of these thresholds. People who might be thinking of converting tax deferred savings into a Roth IRA or those who may have to take required minimum distributions may find themselves affected.
Source: quinnscommentary.com

Medicare 2012 Part B Premiums Will Be Lower Than Expected

San Francisco Chronicle: Medicare Premiums Will Rise Less Than Expected; Go Down For Some Medicare Part B premiums will go up only $3.50 a month next year for most seniors and will actually go down for high-income people and those who were new to Medicare in 2010 or 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced today. The standard Medicare Part B monthly premium will be $99.90 in 2012, a $15.50 decrease from this year’s standard premium of $115.40. However, very few people were paying that standard premium this year. About 75 percent of Medicare beneficiaries paid only $96.40 a month this year, so their premiums will increase by only $3.50. This group had been protected from premium increases by the so-called hold-harmless provision (Pender, 10/27).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

IRS says Medicare Part B premium deductible as SE health insurance

Tagged as: caltax.com, economics, Finance, Financial economics, health insurance, Healthcare in the United States, Healthcare reform in the United States, High-deductible health plan, Insurance, Internal Revenue Service, Labor, Lyndon B. Johnson, Medicare, medicare part B, SE health insurance, self-employed health insurance deduction, self-empoyed, Small Business, spidell, Tax, Taxation in the United States, TaxMama.com, Welfare state
Source: taxmama.com

Social Security raise next year may be tiny

I get SS or disability. I would rather be working any day if I could. Its not free as all seem to think. I have $130.00 to come out before I get mine so I’m paying back in. If people don’t want the money and gripe about it then send it back in or just don’t sign up for it they won’t bug you about it. The last cola it went out when gas went up meds up, food, our insurance it was gone . Insurance keeps going up I don’t want Obamacare and that is a bad idea, I want to be able to choose who I can see and not who they tell me I have too. Dave you must be loaded and don’t need the money to live, Some people do. I didn’t plan on getting hurt. My husband didn’t plan on it either or end up with lung cancer but it happen. I’m glad its there. People who run there mouth and say people don’t deserve it. Then I will pray for you why? Because I never hope I ever get to the point that I don’t like people that much. We are far far from rich but just to get by each month and love each other is enough. No don’t get food stamps or medical card. We worked construction for years so thats why we can’t get it. but if you get welfare and don’t care not to work you get food stamps and a medical card good doctors the top of the line. Must be nice huh Good nigh be blessed with what you have and other people too. If you don’t want it sent it to me. For real I will gladly take it as a gift.
Source: nbcnews.com

Medicare Plan Finder for Health, Prescription Drug and Medigap plans

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

'The election of Obama would, at a stroke, refresh our country's spirit' by Renegade98The 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

Video: Shop and Compare Medicare Insurance Plans

Comparing Medicare prescription drug plans

Also, be aware that if you’re a low-income beneficiary and your annual income is under $16,755 or $22,695 for married couples living together, and your assets are below $13,070 or $26,120 for married couples, you may be eligible for the federal Low Income Subsidy known as “Extra Help” that pays Part D premiums, deductibles and copayments. For more information or to apply, call Social Security at 800-772-1213 or visit socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp.
Source: pomeradonews.com

GRAY MATTERS: Now is the time to compare Medicare plans

Beneficiaries can call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 anytime of day or night, including weekends, and ask for assistance to compare plans and to make a change if needed. The information is also available online at www.Medicare.gov and enrollment changes can be made online. The best time to call Medicare is in the evening or during a weekend to shorten wait times.
Source: times-standard.com

How much does Medicare Advantage cost?

Plans with $0 Monthly Premiums: Among the 43,306 plans available in 2013, 13,741 plans (32 percent) will be offered at a cost of $0 above what a Medicare beneficiary already pays for Medicare Part B. By comparison, 14,297 plans (33 percent) were available with a $0 monthly premium in 2012 and 13,821 plans (35%) were available in 2011.
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

Comparing Medicare Plans Side

About eHealth  eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, the nation’s leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. Through the company’s website, www.eHealthInsurance.com, consumers can get quotes from leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side-by-side, and apply for and purchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation’s leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it the ideal model of a successful, high-functioning health insurance exchange. Through eHealth’s technology solutions (www.eHealthTechnology.com), is also a leading provider of health insurance exchange technology. eHealth provides a suite of hosted e-commerce solutions that enable health plan providers, resellers and government entities to market and distribute products online. eHealth, Inc. also provides online tools to help seniors navigate Medicare health insurance options through PlanPrescriber.com (www.planprescriber.com) and eHealthMedicare (www.eHealthMedicare.com).
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

Annual Enrollment for Medicare Advantage (Part C) & Part D: October 15 – December 7 

Even beneficiaries who were satisfied with their 2012 plans need to review their plan options for 2013.  Part D and MA plans may have made changes to their coverage, provider networks and other plan features.[3] Plan information for 2013 will be available on the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov.[4]  For the computer-savvy, the Medicare Plan Finder is an excellent plan comparison tool, allowing users to enter all their drugs and drug dosages, compare up to three plans at a time, save their drug information for later use, and actually enroll in a plan on-line.  This is the best – if not only – way to truly compare the many plans available to choose from.  People who cannot use the Plan Finder themselves may contact 1-800-Medicare, or their State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), for assistance with evaluating, selecting, and enrolling in a Part D plan.
Source: medicareadvocacy.org

6 Steps You Must Take During Medicare Annual Enrollment

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
Source: webmd.com

A (Very Brief) Comparison of Romney and Obama on Medicare

So which do you like better? A plan that reduces reimbursement levels and relies on top-down control/encouragement to produce more cost-effective medical care? Or a plan that relies on competitive bidding to keep costs under control? The choice, for both liberals and conservatives, is not as simple as you might think. Conservatives need to acknowledge that, like it or not, cost controls have a proven track record and that Obamacare’s top-down programs really might help improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery. Liberals need to acknowledge that those top-down controls aren’t a sure thing and that competitive bidding might make a real difference.
Source: motherjones.com

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

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

Aetna Launches Medicare Mobile Field Enrollment Tool For iPad

Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced that it will launch a new Mobile Field Enrollment tool for iPad for its in-field Medicare sales agents and brokers. Licensed Aetna agents and brokers will now have access to a secure, efficient and easy-to-use alternative to paper applications. This tool will allow them to capture Medicare enrollment applications in an online or offline mode on the iPad, providing a straightforward, user-friendly experience for consumers enrolling in an Aetna Medicare plan.
Source: medcitynews.com

Question and Answer Regarding Part D Drug Plan Comparisons

:  When Part D was signed in to law by President Bush in 2005 many people were very confused about what drug plan would be best for them.  There are over 50 drug plans in each state and the prices vary in each state.  Each drug plan can decide from year to year what drugs they cover and if they cover them as brands or generics.  If you contacted your Insurance Agent or a Brokerage that was helping you with your Medicare Supplement, the Insurance Companies that carried the Part D plans would pay them a commission to help you.  This was an incentive for agents to assist you.
Source: mypartdusa.com

Why Private Medicare Plans Don't Cost Less

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Cassandra Q. Butts by Center for American ProgressMany contend that the government “overpays” for people enrolled in private plans, since traditional Medicare could have covered these patients for less money. But the reason it would have cost less is partly that the government has done a woeful job in figuring out how much to pay the private plans. The government compensates insurers based on the health of their enrollees at the start of the year. Plans with healthier patients receive less money than those with sicker ones to reflect the likelihood that healthier people will use less care. Healthier patients enroll in Medicare Advantage plans, so in, principle, plans should be reimbursed less by the government for enrolling these patients (the technical term for this process is “risk adjustment”). But for decades, the government has failed to determine who is healthy and who is sick with any precision, with the result that private plans receive larger payments to cover their patients’ costs than necessary. This botched payment system gives insurers an incentive to spend more time selecting the healthiest patients, and less time treating them more efficiently.
Source: nytimes.com

Video: Best Medicare Advantage Plan | Medicare Advantage

Issa Seeks Documents On Medicare Advantage Pilot Project, Hatch Asks Questions About Federal Health Exchanges

Modern Healthcare: Issa Plans Subpoena of Medicare Advantage Pilot Project Documents The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee will subpoena documents from HHS relating to the department’s $8 billion Medicare Advantage pilot program after the department failed to produce documents requested nearly five months ago to the committee’s satisfaction. The move to a compulsory order followed repeated requests for HHS to voluntarily produce documents detailing its internal deliberations on a pilot program launched in 2010 that provides bonus payments to most Medicare Advantage plans, according to a letter dated Friday (PDF)from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the panel’s chairman (Daly, 10/20).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Medicare open enrollment: Will Obamacare end Medicare Advantage?

Should you be worried that Medicare Advantage plans will economize by reducing your benefits? “The plans are required to provide all Medicare benefits, so there’s no way they can cut them,” Gold explains. That includes the free preventive services added to Medicare by the Affordable Care Act. And Advantage plans that include a drug benefit are closing the doughnut hole just the same as stand-alone Part D drug plans. The only area where plans can even consider cutting back are for optional services such as dental and vision benefits, but the plan finder on Medicare.gov still features plenty of plans that have these bonus features.
Source: consumerreports.org

Medicare changes: What you need to know this year — Health — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

The site will still be viewable but certain elements might display incorrectly. In order to enjoy all the features of our site, we recommended you upgrade to a newer, more secure browser. Read more ». If you don’t have administrator privileges for your computer, you can still take action. Google has developed a free plugin for Internet Explorer called Google Chrome Frame. You can install it on any computer, even if you can’t install applications, and it will ensure your computer stays secure and that you can still visit our website. Enable Google Chrome Frame now »
Source: bangordailynews.com

How Much Does Medicare Advantage Cost?

eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, the nation’s leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. Through the company’s website, www.eHealthInsurance.com, consumers can get quotes from leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for and purchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation’s leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it the ideal model of a successful, high-functioning health insurance exchange. Through the company’s eHealthTechnology solution (www.eHealthTechnology.com), eHealth is also a leading provider of health insurance exchange technology. eHealthTechnology’s exchange platform provides a suite of hosted e-commerce solutions that enable health plan providers, resellers and government entities to market and distribute products online. eHealth, Inc. also provides powerful online and pharmacy-based tools to help seniors navigate Medicare health insurance options, choose the right plan and enroll in select plans online through its wholly-owned subsidiary, PlanPrescriber.com (www.planprescriber.com) and through its Medicare website www.eHealthMedicare.com.   
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

How much does Medicare Advantage cost?

Plans with $0 Monthly Premiums: Among the 43,306 plans available in 2013, 13,741 plans (32 percent) will be offered at a cost of $0 above what a Medicare beneficiary already pays for Medicare Part B. By comparison, 14,297 plans (33 percent) were available with a $0 monthly premium in 2012 and 13,821 plans (35%) were available in 2011.
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

Fact Check on Medicare Advantage

  Medicare Advantage plans also protect beneficiaries from catastrophic health care costs.  In 2012, all Medicare Advantage plans offer an out-of-pocket maximum limit for beneficiary costs, and about 78 percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees are in plans that have annual out-of-pocket maximums of $5,000 or less.  These out-of-pocket maximums – which are not offered by the Medicare FFS program – help protect Medicare beneficiaries from catastrophic health care expenses that otherwise might pose a serious threat to their financial security.  Medicare Advantage plans also help reduce out-of-pocket costs for enrollees by reducing premiums for Part B and Part D, and by limiting cost-sharing for Medicare-covered services, including primary care physician visits and inpatient hospital stays.
Source: ahipcoverage.com

McMahon ad promotes Medicare inaccuracy

The Kaiser Family Foundation found that while Medicare Advantage was offered by President George W. Bush as a way to save money over the fee-for-service traditional Medicare, the plans actually cost some 14 percent more for each patient. The subsidies will be reduced over time starting this year to 2 percent, but quality plans will be rewarded with bonuses and by 2014, all of them will be required to spend at least 85 percent on direct care and not overhead.
Source: nhregister.com

Medicare Advantage Bonus Payment System Is Effective, Reports Find

However, the Avalere analysis found that the average rating for an MA plan with drug coverage in 2013 increased to 3.66 stars on a five-star scale, up from 3.44 stars in 2012 and 3.18 stars in 2011 (Bloomberg Businessweek, 10/16). The report also found that from 2012 to 2013, 28% of MA plans and 49% of stand-alone Medicare prescription drug plans gained at least a half a star (Viebeck, “Healthwatch,” The Hill, 10/16).
Source: californiahealthline.org

Navigating Medicare's Open Enrollment Period

Medicare beneficiaries who are happy with their plans do not need to do anything, if they don’t want to change. But it is still a good idea to check options, Ms. Metcalf advises, to make sure a version of Medicare is the best one in terms of cost and coverage. If, for instance, you have the original version of Medicare and pay extra for prescription drug coverage (so-called Part D coverage), you may want to make sure important medications you need are still covered under your plan, to avoid having to pay more for them.
Source: nytimes.com

2013 Medicare Advantage Plans — Best Rated Florida Plans from AARP UnitedHealth, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana and Coventry

Now that open enrollment for 2013 has begun, seniors are looking for the best rated 2013  Medicare Advantage plans from large insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, AARP, Humana, Cigna and many others. Rates for the plans are now available.  While the rates are now available on the Medic are.gov website, rate updates are still pending for the Florida State insurance website, so Florida seniors that are searching for low cost Medicare Advantage plans will need to be careful that the rates that they see quoted are for 2013.
Source: medicaremedigaprates.com

Annual Enrollment for Medicare Advantage (Part C) & Part D: October 15 – December 7 

Even beneficiaries who were satisfied with their 2012 plans need to review their plan options for 2013.  Part D and MA plans may have made changes to their coverage, provider networks and other plan features.[3] Plan information for 2013 will be available on the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov.[4]  For the computer-savvy, the Medicare Plan Finder is an excellent plan comparison tool, allowing users to enter all their drugs and drug dosages, compare up to three plans at a time, save their drug information for later use, and actually enroll in a plan on-line.  This is the best – if not only – way to truly compare the many plans available to choose from.  People who cannot use the Plan Finder themselves may contact 1-800-Medicare, or their State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), for assistance with evaluating, selecting, and enrolling in a Part D plan.
Source: medicareadvocacy.org

Study: Medicare Part D “donut hole” does not linked to increase in heart attacks

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

When I'm 64 by MuffetAfter a small deductible, Part D drug plans typically cover 75 percent of drug costs up to a certain dollar figure, which was $2,400 in 2007. After a beneficiary reaches that level, there is no coverage until the person has spent potentially thousands of dollars out of pocket, then coverage kicks back in.
Source: medcitynews.com

Video: Changes to Medicare Supplements – Plans M and N

Part D Settlement Nets U.S. $5.25M

In the underlying case, the government contended that plan sponsor RxAmerica L.L.C. gave the government one list of prices for use in an online tool where participants could compare plans. But when the participants actually signed up with RxAmerica, the government alleged, the company charged them higher prices.  This, the government asserted, pushed beneficiaries more quickly into the so-called “donut hole” and “catastrophic coverage” phases of Part D coverage, causing a loss to both the beneficiaries and Medicare.
Source: fraudwhistleblowersblog.com

Medicare 102: Understanding Medicare Enrollment Periods

The Key word here is “SPECIAL.” If you have a special circumstance, such as moving out of a plan’s service area, or an involuntary loss of employer coverage because you are retiring at the age of 65 or older, than you may qualify for an SEP. There are many other circumstances which may make you eligible for an SEP. The length of the SEP can vary based on the circumstance. If you have enrolled into an Advantage Plan for the first time in your life during ICEP, or have dropped a Medigap policy to go into an Advantage Plan for the first time in your life, you have an SEP which lasts for the first 12 months of your enrollment in the Advantage Plan. This allows you to revert back to Original Medicare, enroll into a Medigap policy without being underwritten (though you may be subject to a higher premium due to age), and purchase a prescription drug plan.
Source: amac.us

Ask The Experts: Retirement

Q. I’m 74 and have been retired for 5½ years. During that time, my medical coverage has been through my working wife’s FEHB family plan and Medicare Part A. I’ve never enrolled for Medicare Part B. My wife has just retired, retaining the FEHB family plan. She will also enroll (SEP) for Medicare Part B. If I enroll for Medicare Part B, will I be penalized for late enrollment?
Source: federaltimes.com

Medicare Beneficiaries Overspend on Rx Drug Coverage, Study Finds

I’m an insurance broker. I deal with Medicare and Part D. Seniors are confused by Part D. They don’t know how to select a plan. And when they select a plan it might change the next year such that it is not right for that person. Last year the premium for a Unicare plan (owned by Wellpoint) went from $32 in 2011 to $72 in 2012. Only one of my clients had noticed this change. I had to contact the others to get them out of that plan. Part D is ridiculously complicated and there are too many plans – and they are allowed to change too much from year to year. This is not good for Medicare beneficiaries and it should be fixed.
Source: californiahealthline.org

How Does Medicare Affect TRICARE?

Effective October 2009, TRICARE beneficiaries who are awarded retroactive benefits based on disability or permanent kidney failure do not have to pay for Part B for those months in the past in order to keep TRICARE. You should, however, contact the Department of Defense to find out whether you would now need to enroll in Medicare Part B in order to keep your TRICARE.
Source: specialneedsplanning.net

Manhattan Moment: Obama and Biden will turn Medicare into Medicaid

In his debate with Paul Ryan last Thursday, Vice President Biden basically proposed demolishing Medicare Part D, the enormously successful — and bipartisan — program for covering prescription drugs for seniors. Today, Medicare Part D strikes a careful balance between protecting seniors from high drug costs, while encouraging pharmaceutical companies to invest in the next generation of treatments for serious diseases like Parkinson’s, depression, Alzheimer’s and cancer. Biden’s plan would destroy that balance, imperiling innovation, killing jobs and threatening seniors’ access to innovative medicines.
Source: washingtonexaminer.com

For Sale 5 free exclusive annual enrollment leads, limited time

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

"Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state." ` Thomas Jefferson. by eyewashdesign: A. GoldenAre you looking to expand your business this annual enrollment season, but want to make sure you purchase only the highest quality leads to assure your success? If you like our leads all that we ask is that you buy more. The cost is only $15 per lead. You can try us out FREE by getting 5 FREE leads, to ensure you like our quality and service. Our leads are from seniors looking for information on their 2013 Medicare Supplement Health Plan Options. Seniors are called back after responding to a quick telephone survey where they let us know they are interested in being contacted by an agent in their area to talk about their 2013 Medicare Supplement Health Plan Options. Each person is called back by one of our reps and verified that the senior would like a call back from an agent in their area. Each call is recorded and you will be sent the lead in REAL TIME including the clients contact information along with the actual call recording of the client agreeing to a call back from you. Our leads are Exclusive to you! Unlike other companies we do not re-sell your lead to anyone else! We are so confident that you will be fully satisfied with our service that we offer a 100% Satisfaction money back guarantee. Our system is easy to use as you can access your leads from an application in your smart phone, i-pad, or computer at any time, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. We can only generate a limited number of leads so be sure to sign up today. Again space is limited so to assure your spot be sure to sign up immediately! Please visit our website: www.seniorleadmarketing.com or email us at seniorleadmarketing@mail.com
Source: leadbuyernetwork.com

Video: FREE MEDICARE LEADS/ MEDICARE SUPPLEMENT LEADS/ INSURANCE SALES LEADS

Florida Exclusive Medicare Supplement Leads Now Available from Benepath

With a business boost using Florida Medicare supplement leads, an insurance agent helps seniors stay healthy. “These days, Florida Medicare supplement leads are hot items. The nation is graying, and baby boomers have come to a transition point in their lives where they now qualify for Medicare, and also need Medicare supplements to fill in the gaps. It’s a captive market, in that health insurance protects a senior’s most precious asset – their health,” indicated Clelland Green, RHU, CEO, and president of benepath.net, Pennsylvania. Insurance agents working this niche, and buying Florida Medicare supplement leads, are aware that many, but not all, seniors have reached a point in their lives where they are more financially comfortable; a result of saving all their lives. Provided they are not spending their cash reserves on nursing home care, they are relatively well off. In reality, they likely also paid relatively little for their house, compared to today’s market. Many seniors still own their own homes, fully paid for and mortgage free. “While they are still paying property taxes, gone are the days of handing out cash to pay off their mortgage. What was once a $45,000 home may now be worth $450,000, and although their money is tied up in the house, they may have fewer expenses, which simply means they may have more on hand to buy Medicare supplements,” suggested Green. The beauty of using Florida Medicare supplement leads is the opportunity it provides for insurance agents to sell a worthwhile product that helps their customers. Most seniors want to protect their assets, particularly after a lifetime of working for them. “Protecting their health is a vital consideration for them, and if you have the right Medicare supplement products, you will be able to sell them. One distinct benefit is Medicare supplements take care of co-payments; a significant issue for seniors, should they become ill,” Green added. Choose a lead generation company with a sterling reputation, and order exclusive Florida Medicare supplement leads for the best return on the investment of business dollars. Even though running an insurance agency is a business, many agents are in this line of work because they genuinely want to help others and see them stay healthy. To that end, many agents also offer seniors long-term care insurance, final expense insurance and a variety of financial planning options. Insurance these days is pro-active and aimed at bettering the lives of clients. To learn more, visit http://www.benepath.net
Source: sbwire.com

AMA committee endorses Ryan

“The [AMA] policy identifies changes that must be made to strengthen the traditional Medicare program (i.e., restructuring beneficiary cost-sharing, including modifying Medigap rules, and changing the eligibility age to match Social Security),” the Council writes, “and expresses support for giving beneficiaries a choice of plans for which the federal government would contribute a standard amount (i.e., a ‘defined contribution’) toward the purchase of traditional fee-for-service Medicare or another health insurance plan approved by Medicare. The Council firmly believes that implementing a defined contribution system, with strong regulatory protections for patients, is a responsible and feasible approach to strengthening the Medicare program.”
Source: hotair.com

Romney Leads Obama by Seven Points, DOMA Struck Down, Annual Welfare Spending Tops $1T: P.M. Links

The U.S. ambassador to Turkey spilled the beans about an American offer to help with efforts against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party. Is there some kind of prize for meddling in the internal affairs of volatile countries? (H/T: Paul Scott)
Source: reason.com

Polls: Contraception, Abortion, Health Cuts, Medicare Factor In To Voters’ Decision

CQ HealthBeat: Majorities Oppose Health Cuts To Trim Deficit Spending Policy makers will be under heavy pressure next year to make health-related cuts to deal with the nation’s debt crisis, but the majority of Americans won’t be backing them up if they do, suggests a new survey by the Pew Research Center. The health-related cut that came closest in the survey to attracting majority support would require a reduction in Medicare benefits for higher-income seniors. Forty-nine percent of those polled in the Oct. 4-7 survey by the Pew Research Center expressed support for such a move. Forty-seven percent disapproved of such a change. Raising the amount people on Medicare contribute to cover their health care costs was a non-starter. Fifty-seven percent disapproved of that approach, while 35 percent approved (Reichard, 10/15).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Issa promises subponea to obtain HHS materials on Medicare Advantage

The Hill: Study Shows 33 Percent Spending Increase In Federal Poverty Programs A new study by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service finds that federal spending on anti-poverty programs has increased 33 percent since 2008, when President Obama was elected. The study, commissioned by Senate Budget Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), included traditional welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, Pell grants and 80 other federal programs but excluded veterans assistance programs. … The CRS study shows that broadly defined, anti-poverty spending was higher than Social Security or Medicare or base defense spending in 2011 (Wasson, 10/18).
Source: medcitynews.com

Nancy Pelosi’s Weak, Cynical Defense of ObamaCare’s Medicare Changes

Elsewhere in the piece, Pelosi offers another scare stat: “Medicare will be bankrupt by 2016 under the Romney-Ryan plan.” But as one of the program’s public trustees has noted, the Obama administration’s Medicare plan only extends the program’s trust fund by double counting, using ObamaCare’s spending reductions to pay for both extending Medicare and new insurance coverage. And even if you ignore the double counting, Pelosi’s bankruptcy charge still boils down to this: You can trust Democrats with Medicare because Team Blue has a plan to let the program go insolvent by 2024.
Source: reason.com