Wounded Times: Difference between TRICARE and CHAMPVA

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Can someone please explain the difference to Romney? The Wall Street Journal: Romney Pledges To Expand Programs To Help Veterans Mitt Romney vowed Wednesday to expand employment and tuition assistance for veterans, taking a quick detour from the Republican National Convention to unveil new policy details in a speech here. … “Right now the VA has a shortage of mental health care professionals. I’ll hire more,” Mr. Romney told the convention. “Any time a veteran is unable to receive timely health care from the VA system, he or she will be allowed to see a Tricare provider at the VA’s expense.” (Murray, 8/29). Maybe then someone can also explain that CONGRESS is responsible for this mess along with the higher fees? Difference between TRICARE and CHAMPVA TRICARE (Formerly CHAMPUS) . Medical Insurance Program Through Dept of Defense . Must Be Retired Military . Retirement can be from longevity of service, given retirement status due to disability, or early out. . Must be enrolled in DEERS. . No disability criteria to be eligible. . Veteran, Spouse, and Dependent Children are eligible to participate in the program . Participants receive medical services preferably from in-network private physicians who participate in the Tricare program. . VA primary care doctors are not part of the in-network physicians for Tricare. Therefore, it does not benefit Tricare members to receive medical services by VA doctors under Tricare. . Note: VA specialty doctors may be Tricare in-network doctors. . There are three levels of Tricare benefit packages. . There is no annual fee for Tricare Standard or Extra, but deductibles apply. . There is an annual fee for Tricare Prime; but there are no deductibles for basic care services. . There are numerous sources for obtaining prescriptions. . Local participating pharmacies, active military installations, and mail out. TRICARE Resources DEERS Enrollment Support Office Attention: CO, 400 Gigling Rd. Seaside, CA 93955 1-800-538-9552 Tricare Enrollment Office 1-800-444-5445 Tricare Local Office 931 S. Semoran Blvd., Winter Park, FL 32792 Tricare Claims Service 1-800-403-3950 Tricare Web Site www.tricare.osd.mil CHAMPVA . Medical Insurance Program Through VA . Cannot Be Retired Military. . If veteran is also retired military, dependents would not be CHAMPVA eligible and must apply for Tricare. . No DEERS enrollment for CHAMPVA. . Veteran must be 100% SC disabled, or died on active duty, or died as a result of a SC disability. . Spouse and Dependent Children are eligible to participate in the program. . Veteran is not eligible to participate in the program. . Veteran is eligible to receive all medical care through VA medical facilities. . Dependents may go to participating VA medical facilities for medical services. . Each VA medical facility may elect to provide or not to provide services to CHAMPVA participants. . There are no annual fees for CHAMPVA. . CHAMPVA participants are not eligible for obtaining prescriptions through active military installations, but may obtain prescriptions through local participating pharmacies and mail out. CHAMPVA Resources CHAMPVA Center – Registration Post Office Box 469064 Denver, CO 80246-9064 1-800-733-8387 CHAMPVA Center – Claims Post Office Box 469063 Denver, CO 80246-9063 1-800-733-8387
Source: blogspot.com

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CHAMPVA Supplemental Insurance

In general the CHAMPVA program covers most health care services and supplies that are medically and psychologically necessary. Upon confirmation of eligibility, you will receive program material that specifically addresses covered. » CHAMPVA Supplemental Insurance
Source: arrivenews.com

All You Need to Know About the CHAMPVA Insurance

If you are an eligible beneficiary, the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) is designed to aid you pay for health attention services and supplies that are vital in different medical and psychological situations. First, you have to confirm that you are eligible for CHAMPVA insurance. To be eligible for CHAMPVA, you must never meet the qualifications of TRICARE. Tags: 1
Source: timberlandfordonline.com

Sydney Arab Film Festival

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Source: sydneyarabfilmfestival.com

Bill aims to fill health reform gap, extend coverage for vets’ children

I have a 17 year old son about to graduate high school 2013, I worry about his ability to maintain health coverage if he decides to persure an education beyond age 23 and how this will enable him to suceed as I and his father a 100% disabled vietname veteran want. My husband did not make the ultimate sacrifice to only see his son struggle due to his inability to provide as a man and father would simply because of his service connected disabilities.
Source: ifawebnews.com

Questions for Medicare in meningitis outbreak

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Drug questions by Ano Lobb. @healthyrxThe meningitis outbreak has called attention to the role of compounding pharmacies in supplying medications routinely used by hospitals and doctors to treat patients. Regulated primarily by states, the pharmacies specialize in customizing doses for individual patients who have allergies to ingredients in an FDA-approved drug, or who might need a smaller dosage than what’s available commercially. But some pharmacies have pushed into full-scale manufacturing.
Source: seattletimes.com

Video: Medicare Advantage | Questions about Medicare Advantage Plans

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

Questions for Medicare in meningitis outbreak

The health insurance program for seniors long ago flagged compounded drugs manufactured without Food and Drug Administration oversight as safety risks. The outbreak that has sickened more than 250 people nationally has been linked to an injectable steroid from a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy.
Source: thedailyrecord.com

Yikes! The page you requested is not available

Attention California Journalists: Looking for a way to reinvigorate your reporting?  Apply now for the next all-expenses-paid California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship, to be held Feb. 24-28, 2013 in Los Angeles. 
Source: reportingonhealth.org

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

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

DNC Chairwoman Raises Questions About Romney’s Tax Plan and Ryan’s Medicare Reform

Democratic Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz continued touting the notion that Mitt Romney is proposing a $5 trillion dollar tax cut skewed toward the wealthy. She said in on America’s Election HQ that, “Independent experts that have looked at it said that you have to increase taxes on the middle class to get to that 20 percent rate cut and the $5 trillion dollars that he’s proposed.”
Source: foxnewsinsider.com

Romney’s Medicare plan raising questions about costs

In an earlier blog post rebutting Democratic critics of Romney’s Medicare proposal, his campaign policy director Lanhee Chen made an indirect reference to the candidate’s belief that costs can be controlled without spending limits. “Gov. Romney has proposed no cap on premium support in his own plan,” Chen wrote, providing no additional detail.
Source: nola.com

JAMA Forum: Hard Questions on Health Care

Backstory: The imminent “sequestration” budget reductions include across-the-board cuts in federal spending. However, during the final negotiations over the debt deal that led to the reductions, Medicaid was exempted from the cuts, reportedly at the insistence of the Obama Administration. Now, with a host of budget issues back on the table—the sequestration, expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, and automatic reductions in physician payments under Medicare set to go into effect—a variety of spending and tax changes may be considered over the next several months as part of an effort to reduce the deficit. President Obama has said he opposes Republican proposals to transform Medicaid into a block grant, which would reduce federal spending significantly while giving states greater flexibility. It would likely lead to fewer people covered by Medicaid and more Americans uninsured. In contrast, the ACA expands Medicaid starting in 2014, with the federal government picking up virtually all of the extra cost if states choose to implement the expansion. But could budget talks lead to other changes in Medicaid?
Source: jama.com

Senior Care in Humble, TX: Open Enrollment for Medicare –Now through Dec 7, 2012

Would a small increase in premiums result in a large reduction in health care costs you pay? Check, for example, what coverage is available for prescription drugs you take. Medicare representatives can create a report containing the costs and benefits of various insurance products if you supply them with a list of your drug prescriptions. Ask questions about participating doctors and clinics. Some Medicare Advantage plans limit which physicians a patient can visit.
Source: autumngrove.com

Palmetto's Loss of Jurisdiction E Medicare Contract Raises Questions About Fate of MolDx Program

The University of British Columbia’s Leonard Foster and his colleagues report on proteomic profiles of honey bees from colonies that are relatively resistant to the parasitic mite Varroa destructor, believed to be a contributor to colony-collapse disorder. The team used mass spectrometry-based analyses to track protein production by adult bees and bee larvae from several bee colonies, looking at which of the 1,200 or so proteins they assessed, if any, prompted hygienic bee behavior — the removal of V. destructor-compromised larvae — in colonies infested by the mite. “We have found a set of proteins which could be used to select colonies on their ability to resist Varroa mite infestation,” Foster says in a press release, “and can be used to find individuals with increased hygienic behavior.”
Source: genomeweb.com

Medicare open enrollment: Why should I sign up for Part B or Part D if I’m healthy?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

TWO YEARS OF RUIN by SS&SSIf you don’t sign up for Part B when first eligible, you will be assessed a permanent 10 percent surcharge on your premium for every year you could have been on Part B, but were not. So already the woman, at 66, is looking at a 10 percent fine. Even worse, if you eventually do decide to go on Part B, you can only do it during the annual general enrollment period. The next one is Jan. 1 through March 31, 2013, with coverage to begin on July 1. So if you were to be diagnosed with breast cancer today, you’d have to foot the entire bill for your outpatient treatments for the next eight months.
Source: consumerreports.org

Video: Health Insurance Information : What Is Medicare Part B?

Preventive & screening services

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

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

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

Consumer reps: Medigap is not the bad guy

In the current draft of the NAIC cover letter, drafters state that, “We strongly disagree with the assertion that Medigap is the driver of unnecessary medical care by Medicare beneficiaries. Medigap insurance pays benefits only after Medicare has determined that the services are medically necessary and has paid benefits. Medigap cannot alter Medicare’s determination and the assertion that first-dollar coverage causes overuse of Medicare services fails to recognize that Medigap coverage is secondary and that only Medicare determines the necessity and appropriateness of medical care utilization and services.”
Source: lifehealthpro.com

Federal Retiree Weighs Whether To Keep FEHB Or Switch To Medigap

Q. I am an American citizen who’s retired and living abroad in Spain. Our retirement residency visa requires Spanish health insurance coverage, which meets our needs well. However, Medicare won’t accept foreign plan coverage in lieu of Part B coverage. If I eventually return to the United States and want Part B coverage, I will be penalized for each year that I haven’t been paying for it. But paying now for coverage I can’t use doesn’t seem fair. Please advise.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

The most important thing when you are researching Prescription Drug Coverage is to take into account your prescriptions.  There are so many formularies and plans, it is hard for any of us to find the best plan for ourselves without a little help.  Luckily, technology is able to help us.  www.MedicareEcompare.com has a tool that enables you to enter all of your prescriptions and instantly allows you to compare standalone PDP plans or MAPD plans with your estimated annual cost based on your needed prescriptions, age, demographics and more.
Source: medicareecompare.com

What’s not covered by Part A & Part B?

The supplemental insurance agent we use at work joined Columbia River Insurance Services over a year ago. We got some great rates on our new personal life insurance policies. Chrys suggested we get a quote on our home and auto policies. Another employee advised she had CR take a look at her policies and she saved a ton so we finally checked it out. With farm, home, residential rental, and multiple vehicles it wasn’t the easiest policy to review. This was no 15 minutes and you’re done! As it turns out we didn’t really save much if any money, but gained A LOT of necessary coverage – much of which we didn’t realize was missing under our old policy!! We couldn’t be happier. We’re recommending Columbia River to all our friends and family. Thanks Chastain & Chrys!
Source: columbiariverinsuranceservices.com

Local prescription drug plan earns top marks from Medicare

BlueCross BlueShield Rx PDP contracts with the federal government and is a stand-alone prescription drug plan with a Medicare contract. The plan is administered by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield in cooperation with Empire BlueCross, Empire BlueCross BlueShield, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and BlueShield of Northeastern New York. It’s available to Medicare eligible members who reside in New York State.
Source: readmedia.com

An explanation of Medicare

Part D is coverage for prescription drugs, and like Part C, the program is administered by private insurance companies. Part D plans have their own list of covered medicines, with a tiered pricing system. This means that some drugs, such as generics, may be in the lowest tier and have the lowest copayment. Drugs in the highest tiers would have the highest copayment. If you sign up for a Part D plan when you are first eligible you avoid paying a penalty. A penalty would be assessed if you don’t join when you were first eligible and you don’t have other drug coverage or don’t receive “Extra Help”. Beneficiaries with limited income and assets may qualify for “Extra Help” to help pay for prescription drugs. This program is administered through the Social Security program and Medicare. For more information, please visit www.SSA.gov/prescriptionhelp/.
Source: utu.org

I just want to know: Do I need Medicare Part B or not?!?!

The other day, my neighbor and dear friend called me in her usual exaggerated state of panic. But this time she wasn’t calling because one of her dogs got loose outside or she ran out eggs while baking a cake. She was worried about whether she would have to sign up for Medicare now that she’s turning 65.  Vicky is retired, but she is covered under her husband’s health and prescription drug benefits, which he gets through his current employer.   
Source: themeddiva.com

Managed Risk Medical Insurance Plan To Cut Premiums in 2013

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

TTT #5... 259365 by paloeticProgram officials were considering an average rate increase of almost 10% for MRMIP members. However, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) last month signed a bill (AB 1526) — by Assembly member Bill Monning (D-Santa Cruz) — that allows the program to subsidize rates to help keep individuals from leaving the plan because of premium changes (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 10/18).
Source: californiahealthline.org

Video: Health Insurance Hemet

Illegal Insurance Plan Closings

In some instances, insurance companies have tried strategic closures, sometimes even going so far as to commit healthcare insurance fraud, so they can force the sickest of their insureds off of their books. Then, when mandatory coverage for everyone comes into effect, they will be able to afford to bring those members back at that time. One company accused of this, Anthem Insurance Company, recently settled a class action lawsuit alleging violation of the California law described above.   Girard Gibbs has successfully prosecuted similar cases in the past, including our Blue Shield of California Class Action Lawsuit, in which we represented consumers who alleged Blue Shield closed their plans to new members resulting in a 40% increase on their premiums.
Source: girardgibbs.com

Roundup: States Raise Employee Insurance Contributions To Save Money

Stateline/Kaiser Health News: Oklahoma Looks for Ways to Keep Mentally Ill Ex-offenders Out of Prison  Shawna Gordon isn’t alone in worrying what will happen on that day in the future when she ventures beyond the familiar barbed wire that circumscribes her existence now. … Because Gordon suffers from schizophrenia, she is eligible for counseling and life-management services as well as money for housing, clothing and food that Oklahoma offers to keep mentally ill ex-cons stable and less likely to return to prison. Central to that program is ensuring that participants leave custody already signed up for Social Security Disability and Medicaid (Ollove, 10/23).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Tips For Finding The Right Health Insurance For You

No matter what age someone is, it will be beneficial to get a health insurance plan. Whether you are young or old, there are numerous benefits to having health insurance. Unfortunately, it can sometimes be difficult to know which health insurance policy is most suited to your life, or which insurance providers are trying to sell you unnecessary and expensive extra cover. This article can help you to strike the best balance between insurance cost and value.
Source: bwpco.com

Tips for choosing a health insurance plan

The anxiety may rise this time of the year as open enrollment for employer-based medical plans is usually offered to workers in the fall. It’s the time to gather relevant facts and spend the hours needed to learn which coverage is the most cost-effective while offering the best protection, says Wendy Shanahan-Richards, Aetna’s national medical director and co-author of “Navigating Your Health Benefits for Dummies.”
Source: insurance.com

Summary of Benefits and Coverage could wreak communication havoc

If you haven’t checked the list on this website published by The Center for Insurance Information & Insurance Oversight —http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/factsheets/clas-data.html  — you may want to, especially if you are developing your own SBCs. Section 2719 of the Public Health Service Act requires group health plans and health insurance issuers offering health insurance coverage to provide the SBC in a “culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.” Thus, if you operate in a county in which 10% or more of the population is literate in only the same non-English language, English versions of the SBCs must include a prominently displayed statement in the applicable non-English language indicating how to access the language services provided by the plan or issuer. Upon request, a written translation in the non-English language of applicable notices must be provided. The list on the website includes all of the counties which currently meet or exceed the 10% threshold. This list will be updated annually.
Source: megro.com

Benefits And Types Of Health Insurance Plans

The health insurance had been proven itself as a sort of aid and financial help in few circumstances when something bad happens with you unexpectedly. At that time when you are ill and the condition of yours health is very serious within danger and the amount of yours savings seems to be lesser for to be used for yours treatment and further caring, then the health insurance is there to free you and all your well wishers from all sort of expenditures to be done for the treatment and further expenditures like as of medicines and visiting to the doctor until you got totally fit and fine as earlier.
Source: felicitari.us

How can I tell which health plan is best for me?

Don’t worry so much about the brand-name of the insurer but about whether the plan in question provides the kind of coverage you want at a price you can afford. The good news is that most health insurance plans today will provide preventive well-child care, checkups, immunizations, etc. But look at the different copayments you may face for sick visits, and look at the prescription drug costs for each plan, and the annual deductible (if there is one). The true cost of a plan is about a lot more than just the monthly premium (what’s taken from your wages).
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

Special Report: Health care law could be costly for individuals

This Law Only went into effect because Nancy Pelocie forced a vote without anyone reading the bill. I believe the Democrates are to blame for this as they were puppets for a select few. Obama and the Democrates can not blame anyone else for this mess. Would any competent person sign a contract without reading it. Of course the people voting on this bill made themselves exempt from this bill so they will not suffer the consequences of this unread bill. This was like saying let the peasants have this we deserve better. Many of the laws that have been put out by lawmakers have themselves exempt from the laws. Maybe we should pass a law that any government employee cannot be exempt from a law that everyone else must obide by. This would include the President. Then we would see how these lawmakers really feel about the laws they passed.
Source: wisconsinreporter.com

Health Insurance Packages for Your Entire Family – What Are Your Options?

HMO: This is the most affordable type of health insurance for your family.  You will need to choose a primary care physician who is “in network,” meaning he/she accepts the health insurance company you are purchasing your plan from, and your costs will be covered according to the coverage you are eligible for within the framework of the plan.  If you or a member of your family needs to see a specialist, you will need to first get a referral from your primary care physician.  You will most likely need to pay a copayment for each doctor visit, which can be as low as $10, and perhaps a deductible.  For doctors who are not in-network, you will not receive any health insurance coverage.
Source: healthyone.org

Study Finds Premium Support Plan Could Raise Medicare Premiums In Many Parts of Country

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

NEW REPORT HIGHLIGHTS MEDICARE ADVANTAGE INSURERS’ HIGHER ADMINISTRATIVE SPENDING by Leader Nancy PelosiThe study modeled the impact of a generic version of premium support, under which beneficiaries would receive a defined subsidy, or voucher, to buy health insurance in a competitive market instead of getting a guaranteed set of benefits as Medicare has traditionally provided. That payment would be tied to the second lowest cost plan offered in an area or traditional Medicare, whichever is lower. This kind of a change is a central part of the House Republican budget written by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, now the GOP’s vice-presidential candidate, and it has also been embraced by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Even a few Democrats have flirted with such a plan as a way to leverage market efficiency to rein in the spiraling cost of Medicare.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Parts A & B – Traditional Medicare

Health Care Reform Brings Major Medicare Changes

In addition, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has begun this month reimbursing hospitals for Medicare services based on how well they follow “best practices” or clinical guidelines and how their patients respond to satisfaction surveys. This is known as “value-based purchasing” or “paying for performance.” Some hospitals will be paid less while higher-performing hospitals will be paid more. Beginning this month, Medicare is reducing payments to hospitals that had higher-than-expected readmission rates over the last three years for patients who returned within 30 days of being discharged after pneumonia, heart attack or heart failure. More conditions will likely be added in the future.
Source: northcarolinahealthnews.org

Transforming Medicare into a Premium Support System: Implications for Beneficiary Premiums

The analysis does not attempt to model any specific proposal, but is generally based on an approach included in House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s fiscal year 2013 budget plan, the proposal Chairman Ryan co-sponsored with Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, and; in the plan put forward by former Senator Pete Domenici and Dr. Alice Rivlin. In the first two proposals, people who are at least 55 years old, including current beneficiaries, would be exempt from the new system. Republican presidential nominee Gov. Mitt Romney has supported a premium-support system along these lines.
Source: kff.org

Kaiser study: Romney’s Medicare plan raises costs

What’s more, as Sahil Kapur added, the study “does not project the longer-term implications for traditional Medicare. Many analysts warn that over time, sicker and older patients would choose traditional Medicare over private plans as private insurers tailored their plans to younger, healthier beneficiaries. Without strict rules and adequate risk adjustment, this would put traditional Medicare premiums on a ‘death spiral’ and the public plan would collapse.”
Source: msnbc.com

Kaiser Study Assumes Seniors Can't Shop

A new study that claims 59% of Medicare beneficiaries — or about 25 million seniors — would pay more for Medicare under a premium support reform plan (like that proposed by Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan) was exposed as having serious flaws. The left-leaning Kaiser Family Foundation recently released a study of the Ryan-Wyden Medicare reform plan called: Transforming Medicare into a Premium Support System: Implications for Beneficiary Premiums. According to the study’s methodology, most seniors now receiving Medicare benefits will face premium hikes higher than they could expect under the current government-run Medicare system. However, since current Medicare beneficiaries — or anyone over the age of 55 — will not participate in the premium subsidy program, the effect on these Medicare recipients is moot.  They will pay for traditional Medicare (and all premium increases) with or without the Ryan premium subsidy plan. At the same time, those under age 55 will still be allowed to purchase traditional Medicare health insurance, so if private health insurance plans are far more expensive in the future, seniors could still take the traditional Medicare route. The headline number in the study assumes only one quarter of seniors will choose health care plans that are less expensive.  When the authors give premium support private healthcare plans a 5% reduction in cost versus traditional Medicare, they find that the number of seniors left with premium increases drops to 35%. The Kaiser study authors use 5% as a limit on the savings that private health care plans could achieve.  However, real world data exists to make better estimates. For example, the Institute of Medicine has estimated that almost 30% of medical spending last year was wasteful.  Assuming private health care plans with an incentive to offer the best coverage at the lowest cost would capture only 1/6th of the potential savings seems low. Furthermore, data from the Medicare program itself suggests competition could result in much larger savings. The Medicare Part D prescription drug program operates as a premium support program already.  The monthly premium for the Part D has remained at around $30 a month for the past three years, despite health care costs that have outpaced the rate of inflation. This premium represents a 40% decrease in the original estimated cost of providing this prescription drug coverage for seniors when it was enacted. The Kaiser study assumes that as costs of private health care plans go down, seniors who stay in traditional Medicare will end up paying more.  In order for this to be the case, seniors would have to ignore health care choices that offer similar levels of service and cost less. Right now, 90% of current seniors have the ability to choose health care options including Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plans.  That means the choices offered for traditional Medicare would not be beyond the ability of seniors to recognize and to opt for plans that offer them the kind of coverage they want. A Heritage Foundation report summarizes the Kaiser study’s major flaw:
Source: 60secondactivist.com

Study: Privatized Medicare Would Increase Premiums

Like the Romney-Ryan plan, government health insurance payments for individual seniors would be tied to the cost of the second-lowest private insurance plan in their geographical area, or traditional Medicare, whichever is less expensive. Seniors could pick a private plan or a new public program modeled on traditional Medicare. But if their pick costs more than the government payment, they would have to pay the difference themselves.
Source: sacobserver.com

Report: Premium Support Would Boost Costs for Dallas County Medicare Beneficiaries

Like the Romney-Ryan plan, the model assumes Medicare payments would be tied to the cost of the second-lowest private insurance plan locally. Seniors could select a private plan or a public plan based on traditional Medicare. If their choices cost more than the government payment, they would pay the balance.
Source: dmagazine.com

The Medicare Disadvantage

Many 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: usc.edu

Ryan budget plan would end traditional Medicare benefits, candidate says

MANATEE — The choice of Paul Ryan as the Republican vice-presidential nominee and the embrace of his budget plan would “break the moral contract” to take care of seniors and the disabled with Medicare if the GOP wins in November, a congressional candidate said Friday.
Source: bradenton.com

We are looking for Health Plan Enrollment Advisors in Salt Lake City, Utah and Gold River, CA

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Mitt Mobile in the Final Stretch by DonkeyHoteyAn innovative, National Health Insurance Company is looking to hire multiple Enrollment Advisors.  An active Health Insurance License is an absolute requirement. As a medicare Part D Enrollment Advisor you will assist customers in online enrollment process for Medicare part D plans. This person will be responsible for maintaining the highest level of professionalism and providing a great customer experience to all customers, while consistently meeting and/or exceeding certain enrollment and call center metrics.
Source: parallelhr.com

Video: I am a Medicare Advisor for Texas, South Carolina Michigan and California

Survey Shows the Future of Medicare Is No. 1 Worry for Seniors Who are Also Willing to Pay More for Coverage

The Allsup survey also asked seniors what advice they would give baby boomers about managing their healthcare costs. Based on their own experience with Medicare, seniors recommend that baby boomers take proactive steps that they themselves did not appear to take when planning for retirement. For example, 44 percent of seniors recommended that baby boomers save specifically for Medicare out-of-pocket expenses; 41 percent recommended getting professional help for Medicare decisions. Forty percent of seniors cautioned baby boomers to plan to pay more than they expect for healthcare costs, and 39 percent advised them to review Medicare plans annually.
Source: emrdailynews.com

Resource Advisory Services

They needed my birth certificate.  The Social Security Administration was missing information from it.  The young man helping me told me the information would have been collected if I had interacted with Social Security for almost anything in the past.  He was very professional, almost caring.  The wait to see him was reasonable, in a room that could handle many more than were there that day.  I can remember Dad talking about my brand new Social Security card and signing it.  I don’t remember ever going to a Social Security office.  I still have the same cards, but they sent me a new one.  It doesn’t look much different.  The Medicare card should arrive soon, after which I can apply for Medicare supplement insurance.  I was there about thirty minutes.  It could have been much longer if that waiting room was full.
Source: resourceadv.com

Helping Clients With Medicare Plan Shopping

By Katie Kuehner-Hebert Source: On Wall Street   Planners can prove their worth if they find ways to lessen the chance that their clients will not outlive their retirement funds. David Blanchett, director of consulting and investment research for the Retirement Plan consulting Group of Unified Trust in Lexington, Ken., on Friday detailed how…
Source: riacentral.com

Time for a Medicare switcheroo?

. While only about 3 million out of 50 million Medicare enrollees encounter the much-vaunted doughnut hole, if you are one of them it can be expensive. The doughnut hole is the gap in Part D coverage when all costs are paid by enrollees out of their own pockets. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, in 2013, the government is fiddling with the doughnut hole to lessen its impact. Recipients enter the doughnut hole at $2,970 — $40 later than in 2012 — and catastrophic coverage kicks in $50 later at $4,750. As they traverse the doughnut hole, next year recipients will pay 47 percent of premium drug costs, down from 50 percent this year, and 79 percent of generic drug costs, down from 86 percent this year. If you are likely to fall into the hole, it is especially important to make sure you’re signed up for the most economical plan for you. As you can see — even with the reductions — these are whopping costs.
Source: bankrate.com

How you can choose right Medicare supplement plan?

There are many Medicare advisor companies are working. But My Medicare advisor is best rather than others. My Medicare advisor first gives the full guidance to client. We help for getting more coverage in low cost. We have 25+ year experience and thousands of people joined us. We promise that we will assist you in future for all problems. Medicare is a very complex problem for everyone isn’t easy. Many insurance companies are giving different coverage in same plan. By these reason you are confused and you can’t do selection of right Medicare plan.
Source: freearticleforyou.com

People Should Appeal Medicare Decisions More, Expert Says

Leigh Ann Otte is a freelance writer who specializes in health and aging issues. She covers finding and paying for senior care for OurParents. If you have any questions about this post or need help finding senior-care options for a loved one, call 1-866-483-4896 to speak with a care advisor in your area.
Source: ourparents.com

Medicare Plans – Do You Know Your Numbers?

And here’s the most important thing: if you are looking at a new plan, don’t just compare it to your current plan. Start fresh. Consider your specific coverage needs, then look for a plan that does what it needs to do for you. It’s actually easier that way.
Source: allsup.com

Senior Advisor Group Provides Medicare Insurance Advice to seniors

The Senior Advisor Group now provides comprehensive advice on Medicare Supplemental Insurance to Individuals on Medicare in 38 states. The Senior Advisor Group provides advice on Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap), Medicare Advantage Plans, and Medicare Part D (Rx drug Plans), which safeguard one’s health and provide gap and prescription drug insurance coverage. Their highly trained professionals provide Medicare beneficiaries’ objective and unbiased advice on Medicare Supplemental Insurance, and Part D coverage. Their professional advisers will help resolve the confusion and misinformation associated with the various types of Medicare Insurance. They will further assist in the selection and enrolment in the insurance options available in the area. Through extensive research, they understand the various plans available and who offers the best value in each particular area of the country. They will work directly with each Medicare beneficiary to find a plan that suits their specific needs. A client of the Senior Advisors Group recently stated, “I wanted to thank you for all of your efforts and your time spent explaining the intricacies of the new Medicare plans. Your help was invaluable and greatly simplified the selection of a replacement for our cancelled Medicare Advantage Plan.” About The Senior Advisor Group By partnering with over 40 different insurance companies, the Senior Advisors Group remains squarely on the side of their clients and has no obligation to any one insurance company. They will search from their database of top rated insurance providers to find the best Medicare plan, at the best price, from over 40 well known carriers. They provide one stop, personalized service, on all the brand names you’ve come to know and trust. To learn more visit http://www.mysenioradvisorsgroup.com/ or call 610-399-8700.
Source: sbwire.com

Medicare Loosens the Purse Strings

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Senate Dems Protest Medicare Cuts by Talk Radio News ServiceThanks to the marvels of medical science, our parents are living longer than ever before. Adults over age 80 are the fastest growing segment of the population; most will spend years dependent on others for the most basic needs. That burden falls to their baby boomer children. In The New Old Age, Paula Span and other contributors explore this unprecedented intergenerational challenge. You can reach the editors at newoldage@nytimes.com.
Source: nytimes.com

Video: Time to Make a Change to Medicare Coverage?

Medicare cost control in action

Modern Principles of Economics Launching The Innovation Renaissance The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will(Eventually) Feel Better Create Your Own Economy: The Path to Prosperity in a Disordered World Discover Your Inner Economist Good and Plenty: The Creative Successes of American Arts Funding Judge and Jury: American Tort Law on Trial Markets and Cultural Voices: Liberty vs. Power in the Lives of Mexican Amate Painters (Economics, Cognition, and Society) The Voluntary City: Choice, Community, and Civil Society (Economics, Cognition, and Society) Creative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the World’s Cultures Changing the Guard: Private Prisons and the Control of Crime What Price Fame? In Praise of Commercial Culture Entrepreneurial Economics: Bright Ideas from the Dismal Science
Source: marginalrevolution.com

Health Care Reform Brings Major Medicare Changes

In addition, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has begun this month reimbursing hospitals for Medicare services based on how well they follow “best practices” or clinical guidelines and how their patients respond to satisfaction surveys. This is known as “value-based purchasing” or “paying for performance.” Some hospitals will be paid less while higher-performing hospitals will be paid more. Beginning this month, Medicare is reducing payments to hospitals that had higher-than-expected readmission rates over the last three years for patients who returned within 30 days of being discharged after pneumonia, heart attack or heart failure. More conditions will likely be added in the future.
Source: northcarolinahealthnews.org

Viewpoints: Medicare Provider Cuts ‘Won’t Work'; A ‘Pamphlet Isn’t A Plan’

Politico: A Glossy Pamphlet Isn’t A Plan One of the benefits of having served the people of Utah in the Senate for as long as I have is that I’ve been able to work with many presidents from both parties. … Yet in this year’s historic presidential election, we have an incumbent president who either knowingly refuses to tell the American people what his plan for our nation would be if reelected … A look at the health care section is remarkable for its look backward – not forward – to ObamaCare, hardly an achievement in most people’s eyes since the president promised that it would hold down health care costs, which it’s failed to do (Sen. Orrin Hatch, 10/24). Roll Call: On Mitt Romney, Medicare And Making The Math Work The political appeal behind pledging not to touch Medicare benefits for current and soon-to-be seniors is obvious. The political appeal of attacking the president for slashing the Medicare program by $716 billion and pledging to restore it is equally obvious. The political appeal of promising to cut deficits and debt and cap government spending at 20 percent of  the GDP is also apparent. But the combination of the three is utterly inconsistent and impossible. Something has to give — the question is what. It is that question the 113th Congress will have to confront immediately if Romney wins, with no palatable answer (Norman Ornstein, 10/25).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Why Private Medicare Plans Don't Cost Less

Many 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

Industry Likes Medicare Home Care Expansion, But Cost Is Unknown

For decades Medicare’s guidelines cut off coverage of ”skilled” nursing and home care services if patients weren’t shown to be improving. The care in question might have been physical therapy for stroke victims, home nurse visits for those with Alzheimer’s or post-hospital nursing home care for diabetics. Once their conditions plateaued or started deteriorating, Medicare would stop paying.
Source: aarp.org

Chart of the Day: Cherry Picking in the Medicare Market

That’s debatable, but Austin Frakt points us to a new study that makes it an even more dubious claim. The chart on the right is the key evidence, and it requires a bit of explanation. For each year since 1999, it shows the average cost of patients who switch in and out of Medicare Advantage. In 1999, for example, Medicare patients who switched in to MA plans had average costs (in the previous six months) that were 80% of the average. Patients who switched out of MA plans had average costs (in the subsequent six months) that were 40% higher than average.
Source: motherjones.com

Medicare Reform Myths: A New Quiz Show (VIDEO)

Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone’s intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.
Source: heritage.org

Toward More Sensible Medicare Coverage // Current TV

Here is my principal objection to the way Medicare works. Nursing care, therapy and disability services are not covered unless the expectation from such care is to cure an illness or heal from an injury. Many seniors need care for conditions that are not expected to improve. I love those rare instances, when I can bring you good news.
Source: current.com

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

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

MORE DIRTY TRICKS FROM YOUR SOCIALIST/MARXIST   PRESIDENT AND HIS NASTY LITTLE ADMINISTRATION HACKS by SS&SSNow 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

Video: Medicare Plans from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Blue Plus

Dave Fluker’s California Health Insurance Blog: Blue Shield CA Medicare Plan Changes Coming

Blue Shield CA will be adding two new Medicare Supplements to their portfolio. Additions will include High Deductible Plan F and Plan N. The current $20 per month “new to Medicare” discount will be reduced to $15 per month for those enrolling in Medicare Part B for the first time. As always, Blue Shield of California Medicare Supplement Plans include the Silver Sneakers health club membership at no additional cost. For more information about Blue Shield Medicare products, visit my web site. 
Source: blogspot.com

2012 Influenza Vaccination Clinic

Please update your version of Internet Explorer here. Most visitors to the William Mitchell website are using updated browsers, so the site is designed to those standards. You may continue to use this version, but you will always see this note, and pages may not display properly.
Source: wmitchell.edu

No matter the season, BlueCross BlueShield is hereto support our seniors

The Bills season is underway, the Sabres season hopefully will begin soon, and BlueCross BlueShield’s Medicare team is actively involved in our senior community: Answering questions, assisting in choosing the right plan, and providing the security and stability that only BlueCross BlueShield can offer. Our goal is to provide outstanding service so the only stress a senior may face is how large a pumpkin or what kind of apples to pick for their grandchildren.
Source: 125.109

California Medicare Supplement Plans Blue Shield

each month for 12 months on your Medicare Supplement Plan rates.To qualify, you must be age 65 or older, and Blue Shield must receive your application within six (6) months of the date you first enrolled for benefits under Medicare Part B. Savings will be effective for the first twelve 12 months of your plan dues.The Welcome to Medicare Rate Savings is available for all Medicare Supplement Plans that Blue Shield of California offers. You can also take advantage of our two-party rates and Easy$Pay
Source: mattlockard.net

Daily Kos: Medicare Scare: Friends, here we go again. Henny Penny – the sky is falling!

>   A message from Blue Cross Blue Shield > Professor Emeritus John W.  Hill, JD, PhD > Kelley School of Business , Indiana University > MEDICARE > Look clearly at the 2014 rate compared to the 2013 rate. > For those of  you who are on Medicare, read the following. It’s short, but > important and you probably haven’t heard about it in the Mainstream News: > “The per person Medicare Insurance Premium will increase from the present > Monthly Fee of $96.40, rising to: > $104.20 in 2012 > $120.20 in 2013 > And > $247.00 in 2014 = $2964/yr/per person. > > These are Provisions incorporated in the Obamacare Legislation, > purposely delayed so as not to confuse the 2012 Re-Election Campaigns. > Send this to all Seniors that you know, > so they will know who’s throwing them under the bus.
Source: dailykos.com

Seniors Can Change Medicare Part D, Enrollment Runs Through Dec 7

Mount Kisco Public Library, 100 Main St., Mount Kisco (914) 269-7764, Wednesdays, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Warner Library, 121 N. Broadway, Tarrytown (914) 269-7765, Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Grinton I. Will Library, 1500 Central Park Ave., Yonkers (914) 269-7138, Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. John C. Hart Memorial Library, 1130 Main St., Shrub Oak (914) 269-7137, Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Field Library, 4 Nelson Ave., Peekskill, (914) 265-5286, Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. New Rochelle Public Library, 1 Library Plaza, New Rochelle, (914) 265-5287, Fridays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, (914) 269-7129, Mondays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library, 1 Haseco Ave., Port Chester (914) 269-7131, Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Seniors can also find help at the federal government’s Medicare site at www.medicare.gov or its helpline at (800) 633-4227.
Source: newrochelletalk.com

Medicare Beneficiaries May Qualify For Federal Help Low Income Subsidy Program to Pay For Prescriptions

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

HELP ME HELP MYSELF! by eyewashdesign: A. GoldenDo you know someone who is on Medicare and needs assistance in paying for their prescription drugs? Medicare beneficiaries may be eligible for the federal Extra Help low income subsidy program if he or she has limited income and resources. The Extra Help program can increase cost savings by paying for all or part of the monthly premiums, annual deductibles and provide lower prescription co-payments under a Medicare prescription drug plan.
Source: hcpress.com

Video: medicare extra help

Medicare enrollment to end Dec. 7

x3Cpx3EATLANTA x26mdashx3B Americans have six weeks remaining to select new Medicare plans or choose to stay with current coverage.x3C/px3Ex0Dx0Ax3Cpx3Ex3Cbr /x3EDuring this yearx26rsquox3Bs Medicare openx2Denrollment period, which ends Dec. 7, the Georgia Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Aging Services and the statex26rsquox3Bs Area Agencies on Aging will offer free onex2Donx2Done assistance and community presentations to help Georgians make decisions about Medicare health and prescription drug plans.x3C/px3Ex0Dx0Ax3Cpx3Ex3Cbr /x3EGeorgiaCares, the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), offers personalized assistance through a tollx2Dfree help line at 866x2D55AGING (866x2D552x2D4464). Consumers may also compare plans at www.Medicare.gov or call 800x2DMedicare (800x2D633x2D4227).x3C/px3Ex0Dx0Ax3Cpx3Ex3Cbr /x3Ex26ldquox3BSpecialists in the GeorgiaCares program are trained to provide wellx2Dresearched, unbiased information about Medicare health insurance coverage, prescription drugs, and Medicare supplements,x26rdquox3B said Dr. James J. Bulot, DHSx26rsquox3B director of Aging Services. x26ldquox3BThey can also help consumers discover whether they may be eligible for help in paying for Medicare.x26rdquox3Bx3C/px3Ex0Dx0Ax3Cpx3Ex3Cbr /x3EPeople with Medicare can create personalized coverage solutions from options such as Original Medicare, x26ldquox3BPart Dx26rdquox3B prescription drugx2Dhelp plans, and comprehensive x26ldquox3BPart Cx26rdquox3B Medicare Advantage plans.x26nbspx3B Plan details may change, so beneficiaries should carefully review their current coverage annually.x3C/px3Ex0Dx0Ax3Cpx3Ex3Cbr /x3EGeorgiaCares SHIP counselors also assist with filling out applications for x26ldquox3BExtra Help,x26rdquox3B which covers costs associated with Medicare premiums, deductibles, and cox2Dpayments for financially eligible individuals. Online applications are available at www.socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp or through the Social Security hotline at 800x2D772x2D1213 (TTY: 800x2D325x2D0778).x3Cbr /x3Ex3Cbr /x3Ex3C/px3E
Source: effinghamherald.net

Mayor’s Health Line Expands to Offer Medicare Counseling

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Source: wordpress.com

Social Security and You: Medicare Part D

While all Medicare beneficiaries can participate in the prescription drug program, some people with limited income and resources also are eligible for “Extra Help” to pay for monthly premiums, annual deductibles and prescription co-payments. Extra Help is worth about $4,000 a year. To figure out whether you are eligible for Extra Help, Social Security needs to know your income and the value of any savings, investments and real estate (other than the home you live in). To qualify, you must be receiving Medicare and your annual income must be limited to $16,755 for an individual or $22,695 for a married couple living together.
Source: mysanantonio.com

In The News: Enfield, Vernon Medicare beneficiaries get extra help with prescriptions : JoeCourtney.com

“Throughout the year, as more seniors hit the doughnut hole, the number of beneficiaries and the total amount of assistance will continue to increase,” U.S. Rep. Joseph D. Courtney, D-2nd District, said. “In the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act, seniors can now rest assured that this assistance is permanent, and will continue to grow until the doughnut hole is closed entirely in 2020.”
Source: joecourtney.com

Industry Likes Medicare Home Care Expansion, But Cost Is Unknown

For decades Medicare’s guidelines cut off coverage of ”skilled” nursing and home care services if patients weren’t shown to be improving. The care in question might have been physical therapy for stroke victims, home nurse visits for those with Alzheimer’s or post-hospital nursing home care for diabetics. Once their conditions plateaued or started deteriorating, Medicare would stop paying.
Source: aarp.org

MDaware.org: Medicare at 67?

One of the ideas thrown around to save Medicare costs is to increase the age of eligibility from 65 to 67 (Social Security is undergoing a slow transition from 65 to 67, initiated by Congress in 1983). It seems to make sense: people live & work longer, so let’s adapt and save some money. But it looks like it wouldn’t help very much. These numbers below are from a 2011 analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation I recently reviewed for journal club. For more (but not too much) detail, there’s a great Executive Summary on page 5. If the age change suddenly went into effect in 2014, this is what would happen in the first year:
Source: blogspot.com

Demystifying Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage

Companies that sponsor Medicare Part D prescription drug plans are required to offer a basic benefit, either the standard Part D benefit defined by law or an equivalent benefit design. In 2012, the standard benefit has a deductible of $320, and possibly a coinsurance of 25% up to an initial coverage limit of $2,970 in total drug spending, a coverage gap (also known as the “doughnut hole”), and catastrophic coverage after $4,750 in costs. Plan sponsors can also offer plans with enhanced drug benefits. Enhanced plans are required to have a greater actuarial value than basic plans, but plans vary in the ways in which they improve coverage. Enhanced plans may reduce or eliminate the deductible, charge less (on average) than the standard 25 percent coinsurance, and cover drugs in the coverage gap. The best way to find out what types of coverage are available in their area is to speak to a benefit Advisor and they can go over the pricing differences as the enhanced plan will be more costly on a monthly premium stand-point.
Source: extendconnections.com

Medicare Rights Center sides with court’s decision

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

ILGWU senior female members and retirees holding placards urging "fair play for the aged", "hands off social security", "don't mess with medicare", "keep your promises Mr. President", and more. by Kheel Center, Cornell UniversityThe Supreme Court’s decision means that seniors and people with disabilities will be able to look forward to the law’s future benefits, including closure of the Medicare Part D doughnut hole by 2020; a new requirement that Medicare Advantage plans use at least 85 percent of revenues on beneficiaries’ medical services rather than overhead and salaries; and increased solvency of the Medicare Hospital Trust Fund for an additional 8 years, until 2024.
Source: benefitspro.com

Video: Medicare Rights Center

Medicare confusing, but don’t put off enrolling

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Source: fredericksburg.com

Beyond the Boardroom: Interview with Joe Baker

And while he was with us, Baker graciously agreed to sit down with Senior Program Officer Rachael Watman for the latest in our Beyond the Boardroom video series. They covered what the Medicare Rights Center does, the current debate over Medicare reform, and what Hartford Foundation grantees and colleagues can do to help improve Medicare. For more information, visit the Medicare Rights Center website.
Source: jhartfound.org

Declaration of the Rights of the Medicare Center President Joe Baker on the 45 th anniversary of the creation of Medicare

The Medicare Rights Center hears daily from people who rely on Medicare for their own welfare or the welfare of a loved one, and every day reminds us that Medicare is a source of health and financial security. These are the calls and conversations with consumers of health insurance that guide all of us at the Medicare Rights Center to work for the protection and enhancement, the public program of value. Medicare will evolve, but all changes must focus on consumers and reflect the basic principles of the program: to offer quality care and affordable for people who have made an invaluable contribution to our society.
Source: kenskidsinc.org

Medicare Rights Center marks anniversary of Affordable Care Act

“In the second year of its implementation, the ACA has improved access to health care for millions of people with Medicare,” said Joe Baker, President of the Medicare Rights Center. “Medicare beneficiaries are receiving preventive services at no cost as well as cheaper prescription drugs in the coverage gap, and while the immediate benefits of health reform are encouraging, there is still a lot to look forward to as the law is being implemented.”
Source: 50plusnorthwest.com

Medicare: Help enrolling or switching plans

Visit Medicare.gov. Its Plan Finder allows you to compare a wide range of costs across multiple drug and Medicare Advantage plans available in your county. It also has ratings on each plan’s performance and quality. Most important, it allows you to enter prescription drug names to gauge whether they’re covered and at what cost under a variety of plans.
Source: oregonlive.com

InTowner Publishing Corp.

Mon., Oct. 22 (3:30-5pm): The Dupont Circle Village will be hosting another of its monthly Live and Learn Seminar programs, open to the public, this month at the American Geophysical Union (2000 Florida Ave., NW). Chris DeYoung, co-director of the Health Insurance Counseling Project of the George Washington University Law School’s Community Legal Clinics will address the following questions: What is covered by Medicare?; what changes can be made during the Medicare Open Enrollment period?; what are the Medigap choices?
Source: intowner.com

Federal Retiree Weighs Whether To Keep FEHB Or Switch To Medigap

Q. I am an American citizen who’s retired and living abroad in Spain. Our retirement residency visa requires Spanish health insurance coverage, which meets our needs well. However, Medicare won’t accept foreign plan coverage in lieu of Part B coverage. If I eventually return to the United States and want Part B coverage, I will be penalized for each year that I haven’t been paying for it. But paying now for coverage I can’t use doesn’t seem fair. Please advise.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Seniors Can Change Medicare Part D, Enrollment Runs Through Dec 7

Mount Kisco Public Library, 100 Main St., Mount Kisco (914) 269-7764, Wednesdays, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Warner Library, 121 N. Broadway, Tarrytown (914) 269-7765, Wednesdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Grinton I. Will Library, 1500 Central Park Ave., Yonkers (914) 269-7138, Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.; Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. John C. Hart Memorial Library, 1130 Main St., Shrub Oak (914) 269-7137, Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Field Library, 4 Nelson Ave., Peekskill, (914) 265-5286, Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. New Rochelle Public Library, 1 Library Plaza, New Rochelle, (914) 265-5287, Fridays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, (914) 269-7129, Mondays, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library, 1 Haseco Ave., Port Chester (914) 269-7131, Thursdays, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Seniors can also find help at the federal government’s Medicare site at www.medicare.gov or its helpline at (800) 633-4227.
Source: newrochelletalk.com