Consumer reps: Medigap is not the bad guy

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

It's all there in black and white by Dave77459In 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

Video: PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY EXPLAINS THE NEED FOR MEDICARE

A Season For Medicare Choices

• Get help if you need it. The Medicare.gov website lists all the plans in your area. You can call 1-800-MEDICARE for general information and to enroll in a plan. You can also get a referral for your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Every state has one, and they provide free counseling and advice to everyone with Medicare.
Source: smmirror.com

Is IPAB Medicare Reform? Or Just Another Stop on the Road to Serfdom?

Featuring Michael F. Cannon, Director, Health Policy Studies, Cato Institute; Len Nichols, Director, Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics, George Mason University; and Jocelyn Moore, Legislative Director, Sen. John D. Rockefeller; moderated by Laura Odato, Director of Government Affairs, Cato Institute.
Source: txwclp.org

Gov. Kaine Talks Social Security, Medicare With Senior Residents

Kaine, a Democrat, told the audience at Birmingham Green, located just outside of Manassas Park, that he doesn’t support privatizing Social Security, which he says requires the working to set money aside in an account for themselves instead of using it to support older ones.
Source: patch.com

Lovely County Citizen: Local News: The mysteries of Medicare decoded (10/11/12)

In many states and counties — including Carroll County — the Medicare advantage program has no or very low premiums. You may enroll in a Medicare advantage plan when you turn 65 or each year from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this period, you must answer only one health question to enroll. Medicare advantage plans are also open to those of all ages who are on Medicare for disability.
Source: lovelycitizen.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

Errors in Initial Calculations Cause Medicare to Revise Readmission Penalties

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm represent healthcare providers in Medicare audits, ZPIC audits and RAC audits throughout Florida and across the U.S. They also represent physicians, medical groups, nursing homes, home health agencies, pharmacies, hospitals and other healthcare providers and institutions in Medicare and Medicaid investigations, audits, recovery actions and termination from the Medicare or Medicaid Program.
Source: thehealthlawfirm.com

AHIP Medicare Survey: F Gets an A

Plan F will pay for the first 3 pints of blod, for example, and it also will pay the Part A hospice care coinsurance or copayment amount. Part F also will pay skilled nursing facility care coinsurance bills, Part A and Part B deductibes, some foreign travel emergency bills, and physician fees that Medicare Part B classifies as “excess charges.”
Source: lifehealthpro.com

Eagle Pass Business Journal

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Texas and the Transformation of Medicaid by thetexastribuneBut Perry’s aides point to a presentation by the Health and Human Services Commission which emphasizes other factors that could raise Medicaid costs for Texas. For example, Texas will be required to raise primary care provider reimbursement rates to the same level as Medicare rates for 2013-2014. The federal government will cover the costs of the reimbursement increase for those years, but if Texas chose to extend the higher rates beyond 2014, it could cost the state an additional $595 million in general revenue through fiscal year 2017.
Source: epbusinessjournal.com

Video: What Does Texas Medicaid Pay For?

Medicaid News: Texas Transition To Managed Care Plan Hurts Caregivers

California Healthline: Why The Future Of Health Care May Be On The Line With Prop. 30 There is a hidden risk buried inside Proposition 30 that goes far beyond cuts to education, according to Hope Richardson, policy analyst for the California Budget Project. … According to a report from the Health and Human Services Network of California, the state has cut $15 billion from health and social service programs in just the past three years. That does not include the budget reductions made this summer, including the planned conversion of Healthy Families to a Medi-Cal managed care program and another $2.5 billion in social service cuts, said Michael Herald, a public benefits advocate for the Western Center on Law and Poverty. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program (Gorn, 10/4).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Aggressive Texas Medicaid fraud investigators anger doctors

But O.I.G.’s dollar-recovery strategy — which includes an increased reliance on a rule that allows investigators to freeze financing for any health care provider accused of overbilling — has enraged doctors, dentists and other providers who treat Medicaid patients. They say an anonymous call to a fraud hot line or a computer-generated analysis of a handful of billing codes is enough to halt their financing without even a hearing, jeopardizing their practices and employees and leaving thousands of needy patients in a lurch while the state works to prove — or rule out — abuse.
Source: pathologyblawg.com

AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Almost immediately, Gilead also reached a price reduction agreement on Stribild with the ADAP Crisis Task Force (ACTF), of the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) on behalf of the nation’s hard-hit network of AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAP). In response to the initial steep price of Stribild and the swiftness of the ADAP Crisis Task Force agreement, AHF asked Gilead to also lower the price for other private and government programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, private insurers and other payors that otherwise face Gilead’s steep price tag for the new medication. AHF officials sent letters to private insurers and state health department directors nationwide urging them to exclude Stribild from their respective drug formularies if the drug was not made price-neutral to Atripla. AHF also asked the program directors to consider placing Stribild on ‘prior authorization’ status. ‘Prior authorization’ requires that a particular prescription must be reviewed by a second medical provider for assessment of medical necessity before being filled for a drug, and the process may add a day to the timeline of a filling a particular prescription.
Source: aidshealth.org

Christianity Today Gleanings: Court Says Texas Can Ban Medicaid Funds To Planned Parenthood

At Christianity Today, we’re constantly tracking important developments in the church and the world. Often we use our network of reporters around the world (and for that, visit our main site). But we also monitor other news outlets, bloggers, newsmakers’ social media feeds, and countless other information streams. Gleanings compiles the most urgent and interesting items we’ve found, explains why you need to know about them, and gives you the background you need to understand them. It’s our snapshot of what God is doing in the world, hour by hour.
Source: christianitytoday.com

HELP!!!!! Medicaid in Texas and a surgeon in san antonio!!!!!!

HELP me please I can’t find a surgeon who accepts Medicaid to do my gastric. I live in San Antonio and I can’t seem to find one who accepts Medicaid. and I’m wondering if anyone who has had gastric and medicaid paid for it what all you had to do. my PCP has already referred me to a surgeon and has given the okay for the surgery but I can’t find a surgeon now. please help me!!!!!
Source: renewedreflections.com

Xerox in Texas Medicaid Fraud Investigation

Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys is a personal injury law firm with offices in Corpus Christi, Texas, San Antonio, Texas and Houston, Texas representing accident victims nationwide. Our priority is to provide our clients with the best legal representation. Our experienced trial attorneys are committed to defending your rights in personal injury matters including defective products, recalled drugs, child injuries, and auto accidents.
Source: thomasjhenrylaw.com

Lubbock woman sentenced to 46 months for Medicare fraud

According to the factual resume filed in the case, from January 2, 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 in fact, she was in Colorado at the time. According to the indictment, during this time period, the total amount Hollingsworth billed for services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries was between $1 million and $2.5 million. Of that amount, Hollingsworth was paid approximately $576,234.39. Of that, $556,704 was paid for fraudulent claims.
Source: kcbd.com

Medicare Open Enrollment: Be a smart shopper

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

wordy informative signage by damian min the Medicare program. Average premiums for prescription drug coverage and Medicare health plans will stay around the same in 2013. People who are in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage gap (“donut hole”) will continue to save money in 2013 with big discounts on brand-name prescription drugs. Since the health care law was enacted in 2010, more than 5.5 million people with Medicare have saved nearly $4.5 billion on prescription drugs in the donut hole. 
Source: medicare.gov

Video: Medicare Part D – The Donut Hole

Study: Medicare ‘Doughnut Hole’ Not Linked To More Heart Attacks, Related Deaths

Reuters: Medication ‘Donut Hole’ Not Tied To Heart Deaths U.S. seniors forced to pay full price for their medications while in Medicare’s so-called donut hole didn’t suffer more heart attacks or deaths as a result, in a new study. During several months spent in the Medicare coverage gap, when the government-run insurance program’s Part D component stops covering medications, seniors were no more likely than peers with drug coverage to be hospitalized for, or die from, a heart-related problem (Seaman, 8/17).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

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

Why a Democratic Senate would be good for a victorious Romney

For Romney, complete control of the government by Republicans would bring a host of political problems. He would be under enormous pressure to sign into law a hard-right conservative budget that would likely be hugely unpopular – things like the voucherization of Medicare and the full repeal of Obamacare might be music to the ears of conservatives, but when the ramifications of these efforts takes effect (the closing of the Medicare Part D donut hole, the return of pre-existing conditions requirement and annual caps on care), voters likely will not take as kindly a view. Moreover, when the full impact of Republicans budget cuts becomes clear – and the potentially damaging effects on the economic recovery – it is Romney who will pay the largest political price. It’s easy to imagine that Romney would much prefer not having to sign such legislation into law.
Source: nydailynews.com

Daily Kos: I Hate Explaining the Medicare “Donut Hole” (Updated with explanation of donut hole)

I had a chance to talk to Tom Scully, the head of HMS at the time and the creator of Plan D and the donut hole about why he did it. There were two reasons. First, he had a budget of $400 billion over ten years for the program so he had to design something that hit his budget target and he did a great job on that. Medicare Part D is the only government health program where the ten year cost was actually under the budget estimate. I think it came in at $380 billion. The second reason was to make seniors really think about generics and switching from higher priced brand name drugs to lower cost generic substitutes. And that part worked as well. You need to remember that before Part D all prescriptions were out of pocket expenses for seniors on Medicare, so even with the donut hole Part D was a big benefit.
Source: dailykos.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

Seniors in Medicare Doughnut hole Skipping Depression Medication

A new study, reviewed in Medpage Today, finds that seniors falling into the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage gap, often referred to as the “doughnut hole,” reduced the number of monthly anti-depressant prescriptions they filled by 12.1% compared to those with full coverage. In 2012, Part D plans share drug costs with enrollees up to $2,930. With co-pays, premiums, and deductibles seniors pay about $1,500 up to that point. After $2,930 the doughnut hole begins and plan enrollees pay out-of-pocket until they have spent $4,700 – after which the plans pay for 95% of drug costs.
Source: pharmacycheckerblog.com

PoliGraph: DFL falsely links state lawmakers to Medicare

The flier states that Wiener “will be just another Republican vote against closing the Medicare prescription drug donut hole.” The DFL is referring to a kink in the Medicare Part D program, which covers drug benefits for seniors. Once Medicare beneficiaries reach a certain coverage threshold, they have to pay for their prescriptions until they reach the catastrophic coverage threshold.
Source: publicradio.org

Brian Barnes joins McCollum, Ellison, Obermueller for press conference on protecting and strengthening Medicare for Minnesota seniors

St. Paul – On Tuesday, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-04) was joined by DFL Congressman Keith Ellison (MN-05), and DFL candidates Mike Obermueller (CD-02), and Brian Barnes (CD-03) in highlighting efforts by Democrats in Congress to strengthen and protect Medicare. With political attack ads and smear campaigns from Republican candidates across Minnesota distorting the record and misinforming voters, the Members of Congress and candidates outlined the two very different approaches to protecting the guarantee of Medicare.
Source: barnes.mn

Rim Country Gazette: Medicare open enrollment under way

Even if you were previously turned down for Extra Help due to income or resource levels, you should reapply. If you qualify, you will get help paying for Medicare prescription drug coverage premiums, copayments, and deductibles. To qualify, you must make less than $16,755 a year (or $22,695 for married couples). Even if your annual income is higher, you still may be able to get some extra help.
Source: blogspot.com

Issa plans subpoena of Advantage pilot documents

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

TWO YEARS OF RUIN by SS&SSThe 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. The program, an amended and much more expensive version of a pilot authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, drew scrutiny from the oversight panel after the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office found this year that the pilot lacked a legal basis and recommended HHS shut it down. Issa wrote HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Oct. 19 that the subpoena was needed after 1,300 pages of documents the department sent the day before “were of no assistance to the committee’s investigation.”
Source: modernhealthcare.com

Video: ObamaCare Guts Medicare Advantage

Rep. Issa Issues Subpoena for HHS Documents

By letter dated July 11, 2012, GAO’s General Counsel advised HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has not established that the agency’s Medicare Advantage (MA) Quality Bonus Payment Demonstration is within its legal authority under section 402 of the Social Security Amendments of 1967 as amended. In March 2012, GAO issued a report recommending that CMS terminate the $8 billion demonstration because of the demonstration’s high cost and significant design shortcomings. CMS is implementing the demonstration in lieu of the MA quality bonus payment program established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. GAO’s General Counsel concluded, based on the March report findings and correspondence with CMS, that the agency has not established that the demonstration complies with section 402, which provides the agency authority to initiate Medicare payment changes to determine whether, and if so, which, changes in methods of Medicare payment or reimbursement have the effect of increasing the efficiency and economy of Medicare services through the provision of additional incentives.
Source: thenewamerican.com

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

Using Medicare Advantage to Gain Political Advantage

It is almost certainly true that quality suffers when reimbursement rates are reduced. It is also appears to be true that competition amongst private providers in Medicare Advantage is leading to efficiencies that aren’t present in traditional Medicare, which we should probably take as a lesson. It is also often the case that when the government pays more for something, it spends more, and when it pays less for something, it spends less. But what all this really reveals is the folly of trying to control health spending through government-designed payment schemes. 
Source: reason.com

Understanding Obamacare’s $716 Billion in Cuts to Medicare

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

House committee subpoenas HHS over Medicare Advantage demonstration project

In a letter to Sebelius from House Republicans last Wednesday, the lawmakers asserted that  “the only plausible explanation for the demonstration is that you decided to utilize a loophole in the Social Security Act to temporarily cover up Obamacare’s large cuts to 13 million seniors enrolled in Medicare Advantage until after this year’s election.”
Source: mcknights.com

Issa Threatens to Subpoena Sebelius Over Medicare ‘Election’ Fund

US Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), has threatened to subpoena the Department of Health and Human Services if it does not turn over documents by Thursday on a program he claims is being used to “buy” the election by hiding the effects of ObamaCare. Issa, the chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee, made his demands in a letter late Wednesday to Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. His office effectively is accusing the department of stringing them along in their months-old request for documents about an $8 billion program that pays bonuses to Medicare Advantage plans. “Your staff has run out of excuses and the long delay in providing these documents is inexcusable,” Issa wrote, in the letter obtained by FoxNews.com. Issa claims the bonus program is being used to mask the first round of Medicare Advantage cuts in connection with the health care overhaul — in order to win favor with seniors. He said in a recent letter that “the only plausible explanation” for the program is that it’s being used as a “temporary bandage” to cover up cuts, “realizing the political danger” of those cuts in an election year. The program in question is called a “demonstration” project. But Issa’s office complains the project is far more sweeping than a run-of-the-mill test program, and conveniently lasts until 2014. The congressman further says the effects of ObamaCare’s $200 billion in Medicare Advantage cuts over the next decade would have been felt starting this week — if not for the bonus payments. Thanks to them, he wrote in an August letter, the project offsets 71 percent of the cuts this year. “What they’re really doing is trying on the eve of an election not to have seniors realize that the cuts to Medicare Advantage were real,” Issa told Fox News in an interview earlier this month. But the department, while saying it is reviewing Issa’s letter, portrayed the program differently… Earlier this year, the Government Accountability Office recommended that the Obama administration kill the bonus payment program — questioning the legal authority behind the system. READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE
Source: newmediajournal.us

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

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

Higher copays seen for Medicare brand

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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Source: fiftyplusadvocate.com

Video: CUBA 2012 Beach Resort? Marea Del Portillo, Manzanillo de Cuba Best Beaches — Music: Feliciano

VIVA MEDICARE Plus Earns Highest Quality Rating Score in Alabama for Second Year in a Row : e Yugoslavia

CMS established the star rating system to give Medicare patients a single summary score for each health plan to make it easier to compare different plans based on quality and overall performance. Plans are ranked on a scale of one to five stars. The overall score is based on more than 50 separate measures that rank member satisfaction, access to appropriate care, and managing chronic conditions.
Source: eyugoslavia.com

Fixing Medicare With More Direct

As I’m sure you remember, when the Senate passed the Medicare bill in 1965, President Lyndon Johnson said, "We have proved, once again, that the vitality of our democracy can shape the oldest of our values to the needs and obligations of today." Now that you’re 47, it’s time we start thinking about the needs and obligations of a new day. When we think of the health care system, we should be thinking about how to better care for everyone in it — including workers.
Source: aarp.org

Share Your Views on Social Security, Medicare, You’ve Earned a Say

In this Prime Time Focus segment, Alyne Ellis and AARP financial educator Jon Dauphine discuss Social Security and Medicare, and how, over time, these federal programs could be made secure for future generations.
Source: aarp.org

VIVA MEDICARE Plus Earns Highest Quality Rating Score in Alabama for Second Year in a Row

VIVA MEDICARE Plus has earned the highest overall star rating in the state for the second year in a row, company officials announced today. Alabamas highest ranked Medicare Advantage plan also has experienced the largest membership growth in its service area, according to Medicares enrollment numbers from October 2010 to October 2011, available on http://www.cms.gov.
Source: jobsdomain.us

Part D Savings Continues, Especially For Cost

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Horace D. Grant by jajacks62The donut hole is the gap in prescription drug coverage offer by a PDP that was part of he original Part D program, put in place to reduce the cost of the legislation that was enacted in 2003 that included Part D. Under the original benefit, as Part D beneficiaries accrued drug expenses, they first had to satisfy a deductible, then 75 percent of their drug costs were covered up to a certain dollar amount. Then, the donut hole kicked in, a coverage gap where the beneficiary was responsible for 100 percent of drug costs. When total out-of-pocket spending reached a specific maximum, the PDP then provided 100 percent coverage for any additional drug costs.
Source: wolterskluwerlb.com

Video: Irrational Health Service (1/5) – Richard Dawkins

Social Security COLA no big deal

In my opinion, us Senior Citizens,who have paid into Social Security all of our working lives hoping to have a decent retirement and incidentally on which we had paid taxes, should speak out loud and clear as to the unfairness forced upon us, by: Telling Each and Every politician and members of Congress, the President,Vice President, they too must pay for Social Security Benefits out of their excessive salaries, pay for medical benefits premiums. We should all remember that once voted into elective office, these individuals get all sorts of free benefits and perks for life, even after they retire, including their spouses. And, if they vote increases for themselves (which the majority do not deserve) they should also vote in giving same percentages to the working and retired Americans. They should remember,that without us, they are NOTHING! How did this unfairness come about? Thank you for letting me vent! and to voice my opinion about the injustice being done to the citizenry of our wonderful Country.
Source: bankrate.com

MedicareIsSimple: Avalere Analysis Reveals Significant Fluctuations in Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Premiums for 2013

But there are alternatives for cost conscious seniors. UnitedHealth’s new Medicare Rx Saver Plus PDP is offering premiums averageing just $15 a month, the lowest available in many markets. In past years, low-cost entrants have captured significant market share, and Humana Walmart began the trend with its offering in 2011. Last year, First Health’s low-cost offering enrolled 450,000 patients in its first year of operation. Also, Coventry and CVS Caremark have fielded very competitively priced enhanced plans – with premiums below $30 that are likely to attract interest from seniors who are looking for a low premium, but would prefer a more comprehensive benefit plan. Interestingly, these plans are cheaper than the premiums for those sponsors’ basic offerings due to their use of preferred pharmacy networks. By employing limited pharmacy networks, plan sponsors are better able to offer such low-cost plans.
Source: blogspot.com

Jude’s Almost Daily Blog: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

About a month ago I got a call from a woman in Florida who was trying to hire licensed insurance agents for a company here in Indiana. She told me the name of the company was ACS, but in reality, and maybe she didn’t realize it, the company is XEROX. I had no idea that XEROX had expanded into the insurance business. Here in Indiana, and also in St. Lake City, UT, there are call centers set up through Xerox via another company called Connecxion Point. The purpose of the mash-up between these two companies is still a bit unclear, however I believe Connecxion Point (CXP)is providing the software called CallPro which assists their client Coventry Insurance, to actually sell their branded name of First Health Part D Medicare PDP products. Have I confused you yet? I surely hope not, as it gets really crazy from this point. ************** I told the woman OK, I would go to ACS, fill out forms, and get hired. She indicated it wasn’t that simple. For licensed agents you would call first, set an appointment, get a packet sent to you via e-mail, download it, print it, fill it out, scan it, email it back, and get a 10-card (fingerprints) from the local police before actually meeting with anyone. SERIOUSLY? OK…done. I did that. Oh, then they tell you that you have to have X,Y, and Z form notarized because they plan on having you licensed in 50 states so you can sell their insurance…AT NO TIME was I told this was going to be a call center position where I would be on the phone taking calls like an operator. I found that out later, and it was at that time that I declined. ***************** As I’m leaving the office, literally walking out because I wanted a full time permanent position where I would dress professionally and sell insurance products, I kept asking myself what I was getting myself into. I don’t know why I stayed. What I found was a large open center with dozens of less than casually dressed employees walking in and out of a buzzer-locked door. These employees, the ones I saw, were chewing gum, bad-mouthing their boss over only getting a 30 minute lunch, and I thought to myself “I will never work for anyone who doesn’t respect their employees enough to tell them they can’t wear flip flops, wear low cut t-shirts and skin-tight jeans, and who only allow them to have a 30-minute lunch. I’m gone…so I was walking out the door. That’s when Ken Dixon found me. Ken is the V.P. of the Xerox side of things. (Even though his business card read that he was an Account Executive) Ken stopped me and asked me where I was going. I asked him why he asked. He told me I was dressed professionally, therefore I somewhat stood out among the rest. That should have been my first clue. Here he was the V.P. and allowed it. It must have been HIM that the girls were bitching about. ****************** Ken and I spoke and he convinced me to stay. He assured me that I would be hired as a full time employee. I would make between $38,000 and $42,000, which was a bit low for my past salary requirements, but I agreed for the first year to take the $42,000. He said he would do his best. He informed me that I would be in operations, perhaps in Quality Assurance, and that I would not be a call center operator selling insurance over the phone. I told him that was the ONLY way I would consider the position. I was walked back through the center and up to the HR department, which at this time, because it was all so very new was only one person. Jamie McMahon was the only person in the new Xerox-Indy HR. Ken looked Jamie in the eyes and said “Hire this woman. She’ll be in operations or Q.A. get a hold of Stefone and tell him I said so.” There was no mention of my salary, there was no contract, and I wondered about the professionalism at that point, but let me tell you – – it got so much worse. **************** To try to explain everything that took place would take a book. I think I could actually write a 250 page book over the events that took place over just 17 days from September 30th to October 16th. Let me cut it way short by saying there is no way I would want to write a book full of the extreme negative and rancid energy that was put off by the Xerox and Connecxion Point employees at Xerox-Indy call center 2012. If I did I would have to burn sage and shower every other paragraph. When I left I spent more than 2 hours on the phone with the REAL Human Resources at Xerox explaining all the unethical and illegal practices being committed by their “employees” Ken Dixon, David Adams, and Stefone Binns. Why do I feel so damned confident about putting that out on the internet? Because I have about 20 named agents who gave me their telephone numbers JUST in case I needed witnesses; that and the fact that I was smart enough to copy (ha…Xerox, if you will) documents that prove my points! What’s that they say about Hell hath no fury – – well, here you go! ***************** 1. David Adams of Xerox-Indy told dozens of would be agents that if they didn’t sign a Reimbursement Agreement agreeing to pay all training and licensure costs back to Xerox should they leave, or even if they were fired for any other reason other than lack of work, they couldn’t continue their employment. The falsify agreement further stated that the money was to be paid back immediately. The Reimbursement Agreement he spoke of was a one-paragraph writ that he created without the permission to do so by Xerox. He mentioned the name Xerox several times in the writ, and the document failed on at least 3 points to be construed in any court as being worth the paper it was written on. He told me it was his way to have a “golden handcuff” on the agents. When I refused to sign it he said I could be an exception. When I told him it was illegal he said I needed to go back to the training room and mind my own business. He added that if he “heard” me saying anything about the agreement to anyone I would be fired. Well Dave, kiss my ass! I’m telling EVERYONE. I took a copy of the agreement to my attorney. I called HR and let Lisette Rodiguez know, and I let Margie Bright know. If it’s not a matter of record I’ll be sure and ask why, because I told them both. (Oh, but this is just ONE thing they asked me to hide or cover up.) ****************** 2. Stefone Binns asked me to hide the fact that he was suppose to have 30 recorded Q.A. calls before 10/15/12 for the Coventry Insurance group to do calibrations to see how the agents were doing on the floor. These calls were never made because Stefone didn’t have the phone lines up and running, the agents weren’t trained, the CallPro wasn’t working, the transfer buttons weren’t installed, and there were just so many issues which cast the most unprofessional shadow over the entire operation. My own training on the CallPro and/or call-center end of my job was dismal at best. It was constantly interrupted by the CXP trainer who adamantly disagreed with the Xerox trainer. The two of them nearly bit each others heads off in class every other day. We were given a total of about 30 hours of training, but not really when you considered we never got online to actually practice, it was all do this and do that, then change this, now change that. Don’t do this, now do this, and it was very very confusing as well as discombobulated. Not one agent in my class knew what to do from start to finish on a given call, and yet – all were given call certifications. We were all given call certifications because Xerox failed to hire the 200 agents they promised Coventry. I was NOT going to be a call center operator, and when I finally put my foot down about it I was allowed to walk about the floor with a clip board and a grade-sheet and pen in my hand to grade the agents who were not lucky enough to stand up and demand more training. EVERY call but 3 were failed of the 26 calls I took 10/15 and 10/16. When I tried to coach or train the agents on what to do I was stopped by Stefone who had changes to make….again. When I refused to cover up his multiple discriminatory remarks, harassment remarks, sexual remarks, and/or degrading remarks, I found myself being fired for my “demeanor on the floor”. ********************** 3. My training was so poor that I calculated a total of 9 full minutes of training which was then stretched to an additional 4 or 5 minutes during the meeting where I was fired. At least the two idiots were kind enough to admit that they hadn’t properly trained me. I was standing there with my eyes about to pop out at David Adams who had the NERVE to say that I shouldn’t have been doing Q.A. if I hadn’t been trained. OH..REALLY? You think so, David Adams? There’s a no-brainer for you. Did you just now figure that out? DUH! I wanted to be trained, but I was never trained, and Stefone admitted it. Thank you, Mr. Binns. It was the first time in a long time that he had actually spoken the truth in a meeting. We had several; one after he had literally bullied me to the point of tears on the floor during my own call certification where he was forcing me to go against all of the format training I had, and even when I explained to him that Ken Dixon told me I didn’t need to be call certified, there was Stefone standing over me berating me, and telling me that if I didn’t go through with it I would be fired right then and there. He accused me of having an “attitude” and said I was bobbing my head at him. Well Mr. I-Can-Wear-Pajama-Pants-to-Work-and-Still-be-Professional, I broke my neck in 1992, and tore the injury further during the Oklahoma City Bombing. I’m 50, I’m disabled, and I’m a woman, I can think of 3 reasons why he should be held for discrimination on about 6 things he told me that day in front of witnesses. ************************* On 10/16 I was doing another Q.A. for Stefone when the agent I was monitoring needed a lot of help. I was not allowed to help her because I was monitoring what she knew. She called for help and Tyson Ray of Connecxion Point came to help her. The agent hadn’t put the caller on hold but went into the consult with Tyson. He walked her through the call needs, but asked me why I didn’t help her. I explained I could not, I was to monitor her truly, and give her an actual rating. He told me I was stupid. I ignored his rude remark and went on to fail the call. I explained to the agent that the call was failed, but that as a coach I would now coach her. I asked her to place herself on break/training in the system and I trained her properly. She apologized for Tyson’s rude remark, saying it was her fault, but I explained it was indeed HIS character flaw, not hers. The next thing I know I’m being fired for my “demeanor on the floor”. I was told I made the agent cry. I was told she was inconsolable. I was told she wanted to quit because of me. Well, if that was the case I would have needed to be written up and TRAINED properly….right? Not under David Adams and Stefone Binns who just done seem to follow Xerox protocol in the first place. ********************* After leaving I decided to call the media and let them know about the Reimbursement Agreement. Good thing I had a copy. I also took copies of the failed calls I made just in case Binns decided to cook the books and say they never happened. I know that 4 of my reports were calls that were somehow showing up as “dead” so they were not recorded. How did that happen? It only happened to my calls…hum….makes you wonder. Well, no worries. I’d rather be at home drinking coffee and blogging than working for idiots who lie to clients (Coventry) and who fake or falsify reports. I simply won’t be a part of it. *********************** One last thing: If you or your loved one called Coventry for Medicare Part D PDP for 2012 or 2013, you may very well have been part of the sham. Many of the 60+ (suppose to be 200) agents are NOT licensed, but they’re still enrolling people, and most of the licensed agents are only licensed in a few states. YOUR state may not have been one of the ones they were licensed to sell or represent in, and your coverage may be affected by this when it comes time for you to make a valid claim. Xerox proper was NOT aware that Xerox-Indy was not up and running full swing. They had no idea that they didn’t have the 200 agents, and Coventry PAID Connecxion Point millions to have it up and running. IT IS NOT UP AND RUNNING…it’s floundering, falling, stumbling, and rolling over people, but it is not running. ********************** Well, that’s all I have for this topic today. I’ve decided to let it go unless asked. I’m not trying to sue anyone, but I want David Adams, Ken Dixon, Stefone Binns, and Tyson Ray to know I’m not going away, and if anyone from your companies or Coventry wants to see evidence and know the truth about these issues….I’m happy to share it with them. GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER!
Source: blogspot.com

eResource News: Medicare Drug Plan Info

According to a new analysis of Medicare and Medicaid Services by Avalere Health, seven of the ten most popular Medicare prescription drug plans will raise premiums next year. The seven plans with double-digit premium increases were: the Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan (23 percent); First Health Part D Premier (18 percent); First Health Part D Value Plus (17 percent); Cigna Medicare Rx Plan One (15 percent); Express Scripts Medicare-Value (13 percent); the HealthSpring Prescription Drug Plan (12 percent); and Humana Enhanced (11 percent). In light of this new report and the fact that open enrollment season runs between Oct. 15 and Dec. 7, now is a good time to (re)familiarize yourself with Medicare.gov and the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Finder. The site provides a wealth of information on Medicare plans, including drug coverage, supplemental insurance, help with claims and resources to help you coordinate your care. Other online resources to check out include:
Source: blogspot.com

Report says seniors face major hikes for top Medicare drug plans

The seven plans with double-digit premium increases were: the Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan (23 percent); First Health Part D Premier (18 percent); First Health Part D Value Plus (17 percent); Cigna Medicare Rx Plan One (15 percent); Express Scripts Medicare-Value (13 percent); the HealthSpring Prescription Drug Plan (12 percent); and Humana Enhanced (11 percent).
Source: timesdispatch.com

Need Help with Medicare Choices? SHIP Advice to the Rescue

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

New Online Rx System Makes UM Student 'Top Entrepreneur' Finalist by University of Maryland Press ReleasesThe programs are called SHIP programs (State Health Insurance Programs.)

Consumer reps: Medigap is not the bad guy

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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

Video: Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance

Moving to Another State With a Medicare Supplement

There are many times in the average American’s life where they look at moving to another State and a primary time for this is during or after retirement. It’s pretty common for seniors to want to retire in a certain State such as California either by choice or by financial necessity. Either way, if you’re under the age 65 and not on Medicare, health insurance can be a big issue in terms of moving to another State since health insurance is still managed on a State by State basis. What if you have Medicare are or shopping for a Medicare supplement insurance plan? Do you need to take into account future moves in such a situation the way you would with a pre-65 individual and family health plan? Great question and we have some good news. Let’s take a look at the ability to transport Medicare supplement plans across State lines. Just the other day, I spoke with a client who has a Medicare supplement insurance plan with us as the broker. They were selling their California house which would afford them quite a bit more where their family was in Ohio even after the the recent housing devaluations. They were concerned with moving before establishing how it would affect their Medicare supplement coverage currently held through a California Medigap carrier. It’s not everyday you get to give good news regarding moves and health care. Today was such a day. The Medicare program itself is of course a Federal program and therefore extends into every U.S. State. Even though the supplements are provided by State regulated private health insurance carriers, Medicare supplements is an exception to the rule that you have to re-apply when moving out of State. In the case mentioned above, the couple would be able to keep their Blue Cross of California Medicare supplement plan and transfer it to their new State of residence. They are not required to change or re-apply. Ideally, all the health plans on the market would have this same sense of portability but for now, it’s confined to the Medicare supplement market. What about doctors or providers in the new State? Again, since the overarcing program of Medicare is Federal and available in all States, the provider network is not State-specific but relies on the doctor or providers relationship with the Federal Medicare program. The above couple will be able to use Medicare doctors in the new State and the Medigap plan will pay accordingly. After all, the Medicare supplement looks to traditional Medicare to dictate eligibility both in terms of provider (accepts Medicare) and claims eligibility (is the service covered by Medicare) and this holds true in all States equally. What about pricing in the new State? Does it make sense to re-apply with the local State’s carrier to see if you can get a better rate? Can you automatically transfer to another similar Medicare supplement plan in the new State? In most cases, you would need to qualify based on health for the new Medicare carrier. You generally cannot just transfer plans due to a move but the health underwriting for Medicare supplements isn’t terribly stringent in most cases. We recommend running a Medicare supplement quote to see if there’s a sizeable savings with the new State’s rates. Either way, you have the option available of keeping your existing Medicare supplemental plan after moving across State lines. Dennis Jarvis is a licensed insurance agent concentrating on medicare supplement insurance.

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

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Dr. Donald Berwick by Talk Radio News ServicePolitico: 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

Video: In Meningitis Outbreak, Medicare Likely Paid

Medicare open enrollment: Can I put my wife and 20

So you’re going to need to purchase health insurance on the individual market for your wife and son. Don’t delay; going without health insurance is risking financial disaster if an unexpected illness or injury strikes. Here’s our guide to what good insurance looks like, and here are instructions on how to shop for an individual plan.
Source: consumerreports.org

Industry Likes Medicare Home Care Expansion, But Cost Is Unknown

The number one reason my we spend $2.6 Trillion annually on healthcare, by far more than any other nation in the world, is because of fee-for-service delivery. End fee-for-service healthcare and you will begin to solve the problem. Providers are the main culprit. Providers cannot continue to prescribe unnecessary tests and unnecessary medicines and unnecessary treatments without thinking about the cost. We need to force providers to care about cost. The only way to do that is to increase the scrutiny and measure their performance and get rid of the bad actors by sending patients to providers that play by the rules.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.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

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

Medicare change helps the very ill

The agreement is expected to affect tens of thousands — maybe hundreds of thousands — of patients nationally. Those who stand to benefit include not only people with intractable conditions like Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and chronic lung disease. Those who are growing weaker because of advancing age, placing them at greater risk of falls and other problems, could also be helped.
Source: goerie.com

Administration proposal would expand Medicare coverage for SNF stays

While Medicare advocacy and provider groups hail the proposed changes, the administration has not said how the government would pay for the added coverage. Experts and legal officials with the Department of Health and Human Services acknowledge the cost of this reversal could be substantial. Others suggest it could save the government money since physical therapy and home health are typically less expensive than care delivered in hospitals and nursing homes, the newspaper noted.
Source: mcknights.com

Top Medicare Part D Plan Costs Spike in 2013

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

DC Voting Rights by dbkingThe 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

Video: 5 minutes to lower Medicare Part D spending on MedicareSaver.com

Is Medicare Really Working in Oregon?

One certain reason enrollees are continually satisfied is that 2012 premiums are lower on average than 2011 premiums.  In 2011, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)  found that the Medicare Part D program saved enrollees $2.1 billion in 2011 because of the Gap Discount program, which requires drug manufacturers to provide discounts on brand-name and generic drugs to seniors in the gap or “donut hole.”  About 3.6 million enrollees nationwide benefitted from these discounts, at an average of $604 each.
Source: northcoastoregon.com

THE HUNT IS AFOOT FOR MEDICARE PART D

You can complete an easy-to-use online application for Extra Help at www.socialsecurity.gov. Click on Medicare on the top right side of the page. Then click on “Get Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs.” To apply by phone or have an application mailed to you, call Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask for the Application for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug Plan Costs (SSA-1020). Or go to your nearest Social Security office.
Source: patch.com

Sign On and Preserve the Medicare Part D Program

Constrain formularies in ways that make it harder for beneficiaries to get prescribed medicines. In attempting to limit premium increases, prescription drug plans may opt to adjust their formularies, giving seniors and disabled Americans fewer preferred options, resulting in higher out-of-pocket costs. Economically vulnerable elderly and disabled populations are prone to reducing medications when faced with higher drug prices. In addition to the human toll, Medicare could incur tens of billions of dollars annually in avoidable complications and hospital admissions. The availability of drug coverage is achieving savings of about $1,200 per beneficiary in hospital and skilled nursing facility costs. A rebate would jeopardize these savings and patients’ access to affordable prescription drug coverage.
Source: cahc.net

Researcher: Older Medicare drug plans cost more

Medicare Part D program rules prohibit insurers from offering introductory discounts to gain market share, but Ericson says an insurer still has an incentive to find ways to use a subtle “invest then harvest” marketing strategy: setting initial rates low to attract first-time enrollees, then raising prices substantially once the insurer has a base of enrollees who are “stuck in place.”
Source: lifehealthpro.com

Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Changes for 2013

The Affordable Care Act includes provisions that, over time, are reducing the cost of prescription drugs for people who fall into the coverage gap, or “donut hole.” In 2011 and 2012, the discount for brand name drugs was 50%; in 2013 and 2014, it will increase to 52.5%, and will grow after that until it reaches 75% in 2020.
Source: wordpress.com

eHealth Study: 95 Percent of Medicare Part D Beneficiaries Not in Lowest

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 Part D Premiums Holding Steady

Thanks 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

Seniors spending hundreds unnecessarily on Medicare Part D plans

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Source: retirementrevised.com

Appeal to protect and preserve Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D has provided a lifeline to millions of beneficiaries. The personal result is improved health outcomes for America’s seniors. The financial result is overall Medicare savings through reduced doctor and hospital visits, prevention of acute illness, and avoidance of other costly health issues. The potential results of mandatory budget cuts to Medicare Part D are reduced options for treatment and medications, considerably increased out-of-pocket costs, and the suffering of Part D beneficiaries who can no longer afford the healthcare they need.
Source: thesomervillenews.com