Aetna Launches Medicare Mobile Field Enrollment Tool For iPad

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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

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

Greenhalgh Legal Services

Living Trusts Give You Enhanced FDIC Account Protection!  At a recent Client Advisory Board meeting, one of our good clients reminded me to advise you of one major advantage to holding your assets in a living trust instead of in your individual or joint names, namely, enhanced FDIC protection.  Normally, an individual has $250,000.00 of FDIC protection for bank accounts, but if those same accounts are held in the name of your living trust, you receive $250,000.00 FDIC protection for every beneficiary named in the trust at no additional cost to you!  This is a great way to make sure all your money is guaranteed by the US government.  Be sure to tell your relatives and friends of this very important protection you have received through your estate plan with Greenhalgh Legal Services!
Source: greenhalghlaw.com

My Experience Applying for Medicare Online

Once submitted you are advised: “Thank you! Your data has been received and we are working to process your request. You will be able to check the status of your action online in 5 business days. To check the status, go to http://www.socialsecurity.gov. You will need to enter your Confirmation Number to get status information, so please put this number in a safe location. We hope you found our internet application convenient to use and easy to understand.” Well, we three found the online application process both convenient and easy. I applaud Social Security for an excellent implementation and the person-to-person customer service I received when I had a question.
Source: medicarebenefits.com

AOA spurs CMS to correct OD Medicare contractor enrollment glitch

Red flags for Primary Teachers is a recently published text by Katie Johnson with a forward by my friend and colleague, Dr. Len Press. I had a chance to meet Katie at the recent COVD meeting in Fort Worth, Tx. She is a wonderful lady who wants to get the word out about learning related vision problems and what teachers need to know. This book starts by telli […]
Source: newsfromaoa.org

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

An 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

Register today for a bevy of classes, activities and events at the Community Center

Breakfast with Gary and Kelly The Nov. 10 livecast will begin at 9 a.m. with chart-topping multi-instrumentalist Euge Groove, one of the most sought after instrumentalists on the scene. The audience will be admitted for the 10 a.m. to noon portion, and the final hour will be videotaped for later broadcast on the City’s MVTV Channel 30 and Saddleback College Channel 39 on the Cox Cable system. Admission is free but seating is limited.  For more information on the Radio on TV monthly series and how to become part of the audience for the Nov. 10 show, tune to 88.5 KSBR or visit www.KSBR.org. (Please note that while the name of the show is “Breakfast with Gary and Kelly,” it really is just the name of the show, and the only food being served is coffee and perhaps some muffins.)
Source: missionviejolife.org

Senior Benefit Services, Inc.

Effective November 1, 2012 on new business & in force business for Family Life Insurance Company 1990 and 2010 Modernized Medicare Supplement plans in Georgia. The Rate Adjustment will affect ALL Plans.
Source: srbenefit.com

You Can Apply For Medicare Online

The nice thing about applying online is that you do not need to wait for an appointment.  You can fill out your application when you are ready from your own home.  As you are filling out your application, you may save it at any time during the application process and finish it when you are ready, so you do not have to worry about possible interruptions.  The web site is very secure, so your information is protected.  Once you complete the application, you will receive a receipt and an application number so that you can log in anytime to check your application status.
Source: mexicoonmymind.com

Enjoy Best of Health during Festival Season and Upcoming New Year Choosing Right Health Plan Under Medicare or Not

Sudhir Mathuria, a Houstonian for over 30 years, has been an active participant in various community associations. He is a licensed proffesional for Medicare and Medicaid related health care plans. He can be reached by phone at 713-771-2900 or via email at sudhir@MyMedicarePlanning.com. For more information, visit: www.MyMedicarePlanning.com
Source: indoamerican-news.com

Keep a Vigilant Lookout for Your Medicare Enrollment Revalidation Notice

PPACA require providers to restate and verify existing enrollment information and also triggers screening under new program integrity rules.  Upon receipt of the revalidation request, a provider has 60 days from the date of the letter to submit the required information.  The revalidation process can occur through the web-based Provider Enrollment, Chain, and Ownership System (PECOS), or through submission of a new CMS-855 paper application form. Failure to submit the enrollment forms as requested can result in the deactivation of the provider’s Medicare billing privileges.  In light of the 60-day response time required for providers to submit revalidation paperwork as well as the consequences that may result from failure to do so, physicians should prepare themselves for the revalidation process.
Source: wordpress.com

Medicaid Will Expand, Regardless of What States Do

American Medical Association cancer CBO consumer driven health care diabetes doctors drugs electronic medical records email emergency room EMR ER exercise FDA genetics Health Care Access Health Care Costs health care quality health insurance health IT health policy Health Reform Health Savings Accounts heart disease hospital HSA insurance life expectancy Massachusetts Medicaid Medicare medicare advantage NHS ObamaCare obesity pay for performance public option SCHIP seniors socialized health care Social Security stimulus tax unemployment Uninsured
Source: ncpa.org

What Is Medicare D Insurance?

There are several ways in which a person can sign up for Medicare D insurance coverage once they have been approved to receive Medicare insurance coverage. The first option for enrollment is to complete a paper enrollment form. Paper enrollment forms can be obtained through your local Social Security office, online, or by contacting the Medicare administration that has processed your basic Medicare application. The second option for signing up for Medicare Part D coverage is to call the number listed on your Medicare approval letter. The customer care professionals that answer your call will be able to provide the assistance necessary to get your application processed. The third option for applying for Medicare Part D insurance is to call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). The representatives will either be able to begin the process of filling out your application for you over the phone or send you a form if you choose to do so in this manner.
Source: seniorcorps.org

Arkansas Medicaid Officials Apply For $60 Million Federal Grant

The grant application notes that the estimated cost to the state for this system transformation will be about $32.8M over a three and a half year period beginning in January 2013.  That’s a significant sum, but putting it into perspective, that would allow us to achieve lasting and fundamental quality and cost improvements for less than 1% of our current annual expenditures with the potential, if successful, to return over $1 billion in savings to the state Medicaid program through 2020.
Source: talkbusiness.net

Settlement Proposed for Medicare Coverage of Home Health Care

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Denied coverage because of a pap smear by Paul SchreiberThe changes would apply to the traditional Medicare program and private Medicare Advantage plans. More than 10,000 beneficiaries whose claims were denied before Jan. 18, 2011 — when the lawsuit was filed — are expected to benefit as their claims would be re-examined under the new standards, the Times reports.
Source: californiahealthline.org

Video: Shocking! When States Expand Their Medicare Coverage, Less People Die

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 tweaks chronic coverage

I WISH that individuals with chronic health conditions COULD get assistance under Medicare. I have fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, have had cancer three times, and now have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue syndrome whose cause is long-term stress due to illness and/or abuse AND due to the chemotherapy medications I took. I’m so tired all of the time, and I’ve requested assistance from every organization that will supposedly assist and am told each and every time they’re out of funds. I wish I could work so that I can pay for the prescriptions and physician copays as well as food–much less the alternative treatments not covered by insurance, but that are the only ones that help with the pain. The Medicare advantage plan I signed up with last year PROMISED me that all my medications were on their formulary–even sent a list–and on January 1, suddenly had an entirely new formulary with more than half of my meds no longer covered. Under the new health-care, I ‘earn’ too much disability each year–a grand total of $7/year–to qualify for extra help, which in the past 2 years has cost me over 1/2 of my income for Medicare parts A,B&D, copays, donut hole coverage! Additionally, my state dropped a large group of us from TennCare on some technicality called the ‘Davies case’–I have no energy due to my medical conditions, and my medical team tells me over and over to avoid stress–how can I win? I hope they help some of us out–and SOON! Maybe we should run for Congress–after one 2-year session in office, they ‘retire’ with lifetime pension and health care–yet there’s no money for a cost of living increase for people on Social Security. They’ve certainly voted themselves COLA’s every single year, above and beyond any inflation. When you have the chance to vote this year, remember who is supporting individuals with chronic illnesses and those who aren’t–use your vote to show them how your life is affected by theirs!
Source: bankrate.com

Medicare Open Enrollment: What’s your back

Nobody likes to think of back-up plans when it comes to our health, but health can be as unpredictable as the weather. It’s hard to know what you’ll feel like next week, much less what health care you’ll need next year. But that’s exactly what you need to think about when you’re shopping for health coverage during Medicare Open Enrollment – which ends on December 7.
Source: medicare.gov

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

Lawsuit against Government’s Refusal of Medicare Coverage Expected To Settle

It is unclear as to how many will have advantage from the proposed settlement as many were deterred from even applying for the Medicare but advocates claim that many hundreds or thousands of Medicare beneficiaries were not allowed to avail such kind of care since the past many years.
Source: topnews.ae

Obama Administration To Relax Medicare Benefit Rules

Modern Healthcare: Class-Action Settlement Would Widen Medicare Chronic-Care Benefits A federal judge in Vermont may approve a proposed legal settlement intended to guarantee Medicare benefits for people with chronic health conditions who need nursing and therapy services at home or in skilled-nursing and outpatient facilities. The settlement would resolve (PDF) a national class-action lawsuit that alleges HHS, Medicare contractors and administrative review boards across the country have rolled out a “clandestine” policy to limit Medicare coverage for nursing and therapy services even though official CMS rules say those benefits should be covered (Carlson, 10/23).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Proposed Settlement to Broaden Medicare Coverage for Chronic Conditions

6. Manual revisions will clarify that SNF, HH, and OPT coverage of therapy to perform a maintenance program does not turn on the presence or absence of a beneficiary’s potential for improvement from the therapy, but rather on the beneficiary’s need for skilled care. a. The manual revisions will clarify that, under the SNF, HH, and OPT maintenance coverage standards, skilled therapy services are covered when an individualized assessment of the patient’s clinical condition demonstrates that the specialized judgment, knowledge, and skills of a qualified therapist (“skilled care”) are necessary for the performance of a safe and effective maintenance program. Such a maintenance program to maintain the patient’s current condition or to prevent or slow further deterioration is covered so long as the beneficiary requires skilled care for the safe and effective performance of the program. When, however, the individualized assessment does not demonstrate such a necessity for skilled care, including when the performance of a maintenance program does not require the skills of a therapist because it could safely and effectively be accomplished by the patient or with the assistance of non-therapists, including unskilled caregivers, such maintenance services will not be covered under the SNF, HH, or OPT benefits.
Source: lymphedemablog.com

2013 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period: eHealth Identifies 8 Costly Mistakes for Medicare Supplement Insurance Customers / eHealth

eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, the nation’s leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. Through the company’s website, www.eHealthInsurance.com, consumers can get quotes from leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for and purchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation’s leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it the ideal model of a successful, high-functioning health insurance exchange. Through 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 Loosens the Purse Strings

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

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

Medicare Part D has been a health care success

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Medicare Part D Press Conference 10-25-06 (34) by Korean Resource Center 민족학교The numbers clearly underscore the merits of Medicare Part D: Participants currently have more than 30 choices of prescription drug plans and pay an average premium of only $30 per plan. With this combination of affordability and choice, it isn’t surprising that seniors are overwhelmingly pleased with their coverage. In fact, a recent survey found that 90 percent of seniors are satisfied with Medicare Part D.
Source: dallasnews.com

Video: Medicare Part D and Prescription Drugs

Open Enrollment For Medicare Part C & D

Why shop around? Like any other insurance policy that renews annually, it’s important to see if your current options still best fit your needs. For example, what may have been the most efficiently priced policy last year could be significantly higher this year. Pricing for most Medicare Advantage Plans are expected to increase moderately this coming this year. However many Medicare Part D Plans are expecting double digit increases in premiums. Second, your current plans provisions and benefits may have changed and may not best fit your needs anymore. Finally, you may have had a change in your personal circumstances where another option may be more efficient. When shopping around for Medicare Advantage, just make sure that any new plan that you are considering has your primary care physician, specialists and care facilities that you are likely to use are on the plans network of providers.
Source: figuide.com

Tips for Navigating Medicare Part D Open Enrollment

Yesterday kicked off the 2013 Medicare Part D open enrollment period, during which millions of Medicare-eligible Americans over 65 and persons with disabilities can choose a new Part D plan that best fits their needs. As Medicare Today recently highlighted in a survey, 90 percent of seniors are satisfied with their Part D plan, with more than six in 10 seniors reporting that they would not be able to fill all of their prescriptions without Part D. But if you aren’t one of those satisfied people, shop around. In the coming weeks, our hope is that we can assist in pointing people to helpful tools that enable comparing and evaluating options.
Source: phrma.org

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

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Part D Plan Offerings in 2013

The analysis, is the first in a series of planned reports examining the private plan choices available to Medicare beneficiaries for 2013. It is authored by researchers at Georgetown University, the Kaiser Family Foundation and NORC at the University of Chicago.
Source: kff.org

Laura D'Andrea Tyson: Evidence vs. Ideology in the Medicare Debate

Both Governor Romney and Representative Paul D. Ryan have promised to repeal the Affordable Care Act and with it the reforms behind the $716 billion in Medicare savings (although Mr. Ryan duplicitously counts the savings from these reforms in his deficit-reduction plan). Medicare beneficiaries would be the losers. They would lose the benefits of better care at lower cost. They would lose the plan’s expanded Medicare coverage for prevention benefits and prescription drugs, and they would be forced to pay higher premiums and co-pays as a result of faster growth in Medicare costs.
Source: nytimes.com

Seniors spending hundreds unnecessarily on Medicare Part D plans

401(k) age discrimination aging aging in place annuities Career caregiving COBRA debt encore career entrepreneurs estate planning financial advisers Hard Times Guide Health healthcare health care health insurance housing IRA Jobs LGBT lifelong learning long-term care longevity Medicare pensions planning portfolio Q&A real estate retirement retirement income retirement jobs Reuters reverse mortgages RMDs Roth IRA saving second careers Social Security start-up taxes volunteering women
Source: retirementrevised.com

Medicare Part D open enrollment begins 10/15/2012

Medicare beneficiaries who have prescription drug coverage through a Medicare Part D plan and individuals who have Medicare Advantage Plans (Medicare HMO) can change their plan during the Open Enrollment Period that started October 15, 2012 and ends December 7, 2012. Any changes to your plan will become effective on January 1, 2013. We strongly recommend that Medicare beneficiaries review their current Medicare prescription drug plan and/or their Medicare HMO to decide if they want to stay on their plan or change it for the upcoming year. Beneficiaries can obtain more information about the enrollment in their “Medicare and You” publication or at Medicare.gov. Please contact your case manager or call us at (215) 587-9377 between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. for more information.
Source: aidslawpa.org

Physicians Likely to Cut Medicare Patients Due to Reimbursement Reductions

Despite current challenges, 82 percent of respondents said they would be willing to explore new payment and delivery models if a level of stability was restored to the Medicare physician payment system, according to the study by MGMA-ACMPE.
Source: dmagazine.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

Medicare, Health Law Are Common Themes In House And Senate Races

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Joe the Plumber - To Flush The System ... More scams aim to ensnare Brevard seniors - Their ingenuity is boundless, Archer said. (Jul 2, 2012) ... by marsmet524The Associated Press/Wall Street Journal: Spending By Outside Groups Rocks Many House Races Rep. Dan Lungren knows what it’s like to have a big bull’s eye plastered on his back. The Democratic Party and labor and environmental groups have spent $4.7 million on TV commercials and other efforts to unseat the nine-term Republican congressman from California. That makes him one of the biggest targets of outside groups, which are throwing unprecedented sums of money into House races this year. “I don’t recognize the person they’re portraying,” Lungren said about the ads that paint him as an ally of Wall Street and enemy of Medicare and abortion rights. He added, “Yeah, these ads have a considerable impact” (10/27).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: What is a Medicare health insurance exchange?

Medicare Open Enrollment: Be a smart shopper

in 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

2013 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period: eHealth Identifies Nine Costly Mistakes to Avoid for Medicare Advantage Customers / eHealth

eHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, America’s first and largest private health insurance exchange where individuals, families and small businesses can compare health insurance products from leading insurers side by side and purchase and enroll in coverage online. 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. 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

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

Medicare Reform: Not So Toxic After All?

KHN notes that polls show that voters still oppose Romney’s (maddeningly vague) plan to transform Medicare into a voucher-style premium support system. And yet amongst seniors in the swing state of Florida, that hasn’t been enough to turn support against the GOP candidate. As The Wall Street Journal reports, “polls now show Mr. Romney leading among the state’s elderly voters by 6% to 12%—a sign he may be weathering reasonably well the charges by Democrats that he and running mate Paul Ryan would undermine Medicare. Among all voters in Florida, Mr. Romney leads Mr. Obama by an average of less than 2%.”
Source: reason.com

Medicare Supplement How to Get Obamacare Healthcare Reform Era

There are a lot of competing philosophies on how Obamacare is and will be impacting the medical care of Medicare-eligible citizens. Even though I have definite opinions on what the true impact of PPACA will be on medical delivery systems and patients, that is not what this article is about. I am here to help you wade through the politics and make educated choices in your search for comprehensive, cost-conscious decisions. We are well versed in Medicare and Obamacare, and we are here to help.
Source: nationalnewstoday.com

Health Care Spending Trends: Medicare and Private Health Insurance

Slowing the growth of health care spending continues to be a major domestic policy challenge. In 2010, total U.S. health expenditures reached $2.6 trillion – 18 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Although health care spending has slowed in recent years, it is projected to grow faster than GDP over the next decade.Medicare, the nation’s largest health insurance program, accounts for one in five health care dollars, and in 2010 accounted for 15.1 percent of the federal budget – a figure that is expected to reach 17.4 percent by 2020.
Source: nasi.org

Seniors View Medicare’s Future with Some Angst

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

Straight Talk on Medicare: A Go

The two primary presidential candidates, President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, have both touted potential Medicare reforms, but in completely different ways. For President Obama, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — the most significant healthcare legislation to come out of Washington, D.C., in years — serves as his blueprint for Medicare and the future of the U.S. healthcare system. There has been a lot of political rhetoric surrounding the PPACA, and most of it has centered on one figure: $716 billion. President Obama has said the PPACA saves $716 billion over the next decade from the Medicare program “by no longer overpaying insurance companies [and] by making sure we weren’t overpaying providers.” Mr. Romney, on the other hand, argues the healthcare law cuts $716 billion from the program by reducing rates “across the board.” Mr. Perez broke down the infamous $716 billion figure in the following way: As it stands, the PPACA would enact $517 billion in decreases to Medicare Part A (hospitals), $247 billion in decreases to Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and $48 billion in decreases to Medicare Part D (prescription drugs). Going a step further, hospitals and health systems will absorb $260 billion of the $716 billion in Medicare reductions, and there will be $56 billion in reductions to disproportionate share hospital payments from both Medicare and Medicaid. Other major reductions include $156 billion to Medicare Advantage insurers, which have been overpaid $282.6 billion since 1985, according to a recent study by Physicians for a National Health Program. For hospital and health system executives, the cuts within the PPACA will have major impacts, perhaps detrimental in some cases, Mr. Perez said. Although the promise of more Medicaid and commercially insured patients by 2014 is supposed to offset those reductions, the proposal has still been viewed has potentially damaging to hospital bottom lines in the near future. MedeAnalytics projected that these cuts will ramp up from $15 billion to $20 billion in 2013 to $30 billion to $35 billion in 2022. The result for hospitals? Almost a 9 percent across-the-board cut to Medicare reimbursement over the next decade. “These cuts will obviously lower profit margins for hospitals, and CMS’ chief actuary has concluded that up to 20 percent of hospitals could become unprofitable as a result,” Mr. Perez said, noting that hospitals’ Medicare margins have been negative on average since 2003. Furthermore, hospitals and health systems must wait to see whether the Budget Control Act of 2011’s sequestration will take effect Jan. 1. Hospitals and other providers will see a 2 percent Medicare payment reduction totaling $11.1 billion this upcoming year, due to the BCA, unless Congress passes new measures to prevent the cuts. Tripp Umbach, an economic consulting firm, released a report earlier this year showing that sequestration could result in 766,000 lost jobs within the hospital and healthcare industry by 2021. Mr. Perez said the already-negative margins for Medicare and the prospect of future Medicare cuts per the PPACA have already prompted several large providers to lay off employees or cut jobs through attrition. “If hospitals go out of business or continue to operate but under financial duress, it stands to reason that the availability and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries could be impaired,” Mr. Perez said. Mr. Romney’s Medicare plan hinges on turning Medicare into a premium support system. Essentially, seniors will receive a fixed amount (also known as a defined contribution) to buy an insurance plan, and all insurance plans must offer coverage comparable to what Medicare provides today. However, Mr. Romney’s plan does not provide specifics on how this Medicare reform will impact payments to hospitals and health systems, nor does it cover other issues, such as: •    Will premium support payment adjustments be capped? •    Will Medicare benefits within the PPACA, such as closing the doughnut hole and expanding coverage of preventive care with no co-pays, be reinstated? •    Will traditional Medicare be subject to cuts after 2023?
Source: beckershospitalreview.com

Hall of Record: Obama: IPAB Rationing Medicare Health Care

This is how the new Affordable Care Act [Obamacare] will prevent seniors on Medicare from actually getting medical care.  You need that $50,000 heart operation?  The Independent Panel Advisory Board [IPAB] has determined that the appropriate payment for that operation is $500 and Medicare will gladly pay that amount.  Strangely, you can’t find a doctor to do that operation for $500.  Well, you appeal, right?  No, there is no provision for you to appeal.  It’s up to you to find that $500 operation or you’re out of luck. [image] Of course, the first step on that road is the 27% payment reduction already poised to go into effect in 2013.  Try that with your utilities provider.  “
Source: blogspot.com

Medicare tweaks chronic coverage

I WISH that individuals with chronic health conditions COULD get assistance under Medicare. I have fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, have had cancer three times, and now have been diagnosed with adrenal fatigue syndrome whose cause is long-term stress due to illness and/or abuse AND due to the chemotherapy medications I took. I’m so tired all of the time, and I’ve requested assistance from every organization that will supposedly assist and am told each and every time they’re out of funds. I wish I could work so that I can pay for the prescriptions and physician copays as well as food–much less the alternative treatments not covered by insurance, but that are the only ones that help with the pain. The Medicare advantage plan I signed up with last year PROMISED me that all my medications were on their formulary–even sent a list–and on January 1, suddenly had an entirely new formulary with more than half of my meds no longer covered. Under the new health-care, I ‘earn’ too much disability each year–a grand total of $7/year–to qualify for extra help, which in the past 2 years has cost me over 1/2 of my income for Medicare parts A,B&D, copays, donut hole coverage! Additionally, my state dropped a large group of us from TennCare on some technicality called the ‘Davies case’–I have no energy due to my medical conditions, and my medical team tells me over and over to avoid stress–how can I win? I hope they help some of us out–and SOON! Maybe we should run for Congress–after one 2-year session in office, they ‘retire’ with lifetime pension and health care–yet there’s no money for a cost of living increase for people on Social Security. They’ve certainly voted themselves COLA’s every single year, above and beyond any inflation. When you have the chance to vote this year, remember who is supporting individuals with chronic illnesses and those who aren’t–use your vote to show them how your life is affected by theirs!
Source: bankrate.com

Left In Alabama:: Can We Talk? How to get Medicare for All back on the Table

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

 6)  If there is an issue you really, really care about, do everything possible to pull that issue out of the partisan arena.  If you are a visible spokesperson for an issue, strongly consider becoming an Independent.  Don’t turn gay marriage into a Democrat position, because Republicans will feel even more obligated to undermine you.  If you are a Republican, don’t turn thriftiness into a partisan issue or insist that government must fail at whatever it tries.  That’s the single biggest reason I left the two party system myself, not only because Medicare for All is ignored by both parties but because I don’t want it to be associated with only one of them.  That would be the death of a good idea—if we got it passed with a supermajority, all the other party could think about would be how to repeal it in 4 years.   They wouldn’t even be able to notice if they loved it.  I need to be able to say, wherever I am, that I am neither a Republican nor a Democrat, so either side will be able to listen.  When I made that statement at a recent talk, one obviously conservative couple became very interested in discussing single payer and expressed the thought that even though it wouldn’t fix the whole problem, it was something to think about.  Then they asked if I was a fan of Glen Beck.  I’m not, but if Mr. Beck can find a way to make Medicare for All sound good to his audience, I will say something nice.   
Source: leftinalabama.com

Video: Alabama Medicare Supplements

Romney Narrows Gap With Obama On Medicare Issue

Most troublesome for Obama is that, among likely voters, GOP candidate Mitt Romney has pulled nearly even with him on which candidate would do a better job with Medicare — an issue that resonates in battleground states with large elderly populations, such as Florida and Pennsylvania. Obama’s advantage on that question has shrunk despite the fact that six in 10 likely voters continue to oppose Romney’s idea of changing Medicare to a premium support system, in which the government would guarantee each senior a fixed amount of money to help them purchase coverage. Overall, about 46 percent of voters said they prefer Obama on Medicare compared with 41 percent  for Romney, a gap that is not statistically significant. In September, Obama held a 16-point lead on the Medicare question.
Source: aarp.org

Home Insurance Alabama ✔ Insurance FTW!

Original Medicare consists of four parts. Part A hospital insurance with a deductible of $ 1,156.00 for the year 2012. Part B medical insurance with a deductible of $ 140.00 for the year 2012. Part C is known as Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage plans are to replace the original Medicare insurance. These include hospitals, health insurers and some plans include prescription drugs. Part D is a prescription drug. Part C, if your plan does not include prescription medications, you can enroll in Part D.
Source: insuranceftw.com

Bessemer employee’s complaint of “widespread, systematic” Medicare fraud results in $5.4 million settlement

“Carl Crawley was willing to jeopardize his career to safeguard the American health care system and the taxpayers’ trust,” Henry Frohsin, one of Crawley’s lawyers, said in a statement. “This country needs more heroes like Carl who are willing to sacrifice for what they believe. He deserves to be rewarded.”
Source: al.com

Senior Benefit Services, Inc.

Effective October 1, 2012 on in force business only for United World 2010 Modernized Medicare Supplement plans (Policies effective on or after June 1, 2010) in Alabama and South Dakota and November 1, 2012 in Montana, the rate adjustments will affect plans  A, B, F, G, and M.
Source: srbenefit.com

VNS Therapy (Vagus Nerve Stimulation): Medicare agrees to cover TMS treatment for depression in TN, GA, AL

Joyce, my spouse was one of the earliest study subjects for VNS Therapy for Depression (December 13, 1999). I am also her long time support person and health care advocate of almost 5 decades. The blog is not to promote any therapy, product or treatment but to continue sharing our experiences and knowledge as it relates to VNS. I endorse patient education in collaboration with a trusted, caring, knowledgeable and licensed health care professional while also encouraging hope and persistence.
Source: blogspot.com

A Bogus Mass Mailing about Medicare That Just Won’t Die

The income threshold that triggers higher amounts was originally calculated so that it rose with the rate of inflation. But the recent health reform law froze the income thresholds which means more seniors will have to pay the higher premiums. Initially, about five percent of all Medicare beneficiaries were paying higher premiums each year based on a sliding scale. This year, the income-related premium ranges from about $140 per month to $320 and affects individuals with incomes greater than $85,000 and families with incomes over $170,000. By the end of the decade about 10 percent of seniors will pay a higher income-related premium.
Source: preparedpatientforum.org

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

More than 16 million people with Medicare get free preventive services in 2012

The Affordable Care Act – the new health care law – helped over 16 million people with original Medicare get at least one preventive service at no cost to them during the first six months of 2012, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today.  This includes 1.35 million who have taken advantage of the Annual Wellness Visit provided by the Affordable Care Act.  In 2011, 32.5 million people in Medicare received one or more preventive benefits free of charge.
Source: heraldnewsmedia.com

Health Policies Still In The Campaign Trail Mix

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Double-Parked by elycefelizThe Wall Street Journal: Medicare Fails To Sway Senior Votes None of the current proposals to bolster Medicare changes benefits for the current generation of senior citizens. But the 88-year-old Republican [Leonard Yordon] and many other retirees of both parties speak of little else when talk here turns to the presidential election. Senior citizens are a coveted voting bloc in Florida, where they make up about a quarter of the electorate in this highly contested swing state. … Polls now show Mr. Romney leading among the state’s elderly voters by 6% to 12%—a sign he may be weathering reasonably well the charges by Democrats that he and running mate Paul Ryan would undermine Medicare (Campo-Flores, 10/29).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Health Care Insurance Reform Town Hall in Ohio: Financial Security, Medicare and Education (2009)

Medicare Reform: Not So Toxic After All?

KHN notes that polls show that voters still oppose Romney’s (maddeningly vague) plan to transform Medicare into a voucher-style premium support system. And yet amongst seniors in the swing state of Florida, that hasn’t been enough to turn support against the GOP candidate. As The Wall Street Journal reports, “polls now show Mr. Romney leading among the state’s elderly voters by 6% to 12%—a sign he may be weathering reasonably well the charges by Democrats that he and running mate Paul Ryan would undermine Medicare. Among all voters in Florida, Mr. Romney leads Mr. Obama by an average of less than 2%.”
Source: reason.com

Wilson cites differences with Johnson

As to Wilson’s vote on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, Wilson called it the most difficult vote he has ever taken during his years in public office. While not perfect, Wilson said there are things he likes about the bill, including 31,000 children in the 6th District with pre-existing conditions who will be ensured health care. He also remarked 116,000 seniors in the district now receive free screenings such as colonoscopies and mammograms. Finally, he likes that young adults up to 26 years old can now remain on their parent’s insurance.
Source: salemnews.net

Ohio Moves Forward to Integrate Care for Medicaid and Medicare Enrollees :: OAHP

Currently more than 182,000 Ohioans are enrolled in both the Medicaid and Medicare programs. These individuals are more likely to have multiple and complex chronic health conditions including behavioral health disorders, yet these two programs are designed and managed with little connection to one another.  Without a single point of accountability, consumers and their families are left to navigate two complex systems to meet their physical health, behavioral health, and long term care needs.  The result of these fragmented systems is higher costs to taxpayers and poor health outcomes for consumers.
Source: oahp.org

Romney Closes Gap With Obama On Voters’ Trust To Manage Medicare

Most troublesome for Obama is that, among likely voters, GOP candidate Mitt Romney has pulled nearly even with him on which candidate would do a better job with Medicare — an issue that resonates in battleground states with large elderly populations, such as Florida and Pennsylvania. Obama’s advantage on that question has shrunk despite the fact that six in 10 likely voters continue to oppose Romney’s idea of changing Medicare to a premium support system, in which the government would guarantee each senior a fixed amount of money to help them purchase coverage. Overall, about 46 percent of voters said they prefer Obama on Medicare compared with 41 percent  for Romney, a gap that is not statistically significant. In September, Obama held a 16-point lead on the Medicare question.
Source: aarp.org

CLEVELAND URBAN NEWS.COM BLOG OF CURRENT AND ARCHIVED NEWS… OHIO’S BLACK ONLINE NEWS LEADER: A one

America’s first Black president is reaching out to urban radio stations all over the country and courting the Black vote, just as he did in 2008. And during the interview with Simone, which aired on WZAK, Obama talks about medicare and medicaid, foreclosures, and efforts by Mitt Romney and the Republicans to cut taxes for the rich on the backs of the middle class and the poor. The president also discusses Obamacare, and he speaks on gun violence in response to the shootings earlier this year by T.J. Lane  in the Chardon High School cafeteria, shootings in the Chardon, OH. community that left three students dead and several people injured. 
Source: kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com

Michele Bachmann in debate: 'I don't do political speech'

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Any public appearance by Our Favorite Congresswoman comes with a guarantee of good copy. But put her in a face-to-face debate with someone other than Sean Hannity … . Conrad Wilson of MPR reports: “The debate Tuesday was hosted by the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce and centered largely on strategies for creating jobs on tax reform and changes to entitlement programs. …  Regarding entitlement reforms, Graves discussed getting rid of the wage base for Social Security. Currently, any income beyond $110,000 is not taxed by Social Security. Doing away with the base would bring more money into the system. On reforming Medicare, Graves said those with more money may need to share more of the costs of their care and that the overall costs of health care need to come down. Bachmann called Graves’ plan to cover the anticipated Social Security shortfall the ‘largest tax increase in American history’ and a job killer. Medicare is currently unsustainable, Bachmann said. ‘We have to reform the system for those that are 55 years and younger,’ Bachmann said. ‘And whether that’s changing age variables, there’s a number of variables that we can put in. That’s what we have to look at.’ Graves accused Bachmann of not answering how she would go about making entitlement programs sustainable, saying ‘we can’t do the political-speak any longer.’ ” You mean “job killers” and “variables” don’t cut it?
Source: minnpost.com

Video: A Short History on Medicare

Road to the Middle Class: The Medicare Amendment Conservatives

When do we fix Medicare?  If you ask today’s seniors, people like me, it is after we are gone. After all, we paid in all our lives, right? If you listen to Americans, you can see that there is no way we will reform the entitlements until after we crash. Here’s a retiree in South Florida.  He doesn’t like the idea that today’s Medicare won’t be available to his descendants. “I’ve got four children and 12 grandchildren,” said Mr. Yordon, who planned to vote for Mr. Obama. “I can’t believe the one item of most consequence to me would become a voucher” for them. Dealing with private insurance companies for cars and homes, he said, was tough enough. Navigating the private health-insurance market at his age would be impossible, he said: “I just can’t believe that that would work.” Er, Mr. Yordon, here’s an idea.  Why not get your kids to help you navigate the insurance market as you get older.  That’s what most people do. What about this 91-year-old senior? “I would like them to leave Medicare alone,” she said. She has been in the hospital four times in the past five years, twice for surgeries to remove cholesterol from arteries in her legs. “I was very satisfied” with Medicare, she said. I’ve been reading a book about the four great price revolutions of the last millennium, The Great Wave: Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History by David Hackett Fischer.  The great price waves have always featured governments spending beyond their means and seeming helpless to “do anything” about it until history decided for them in famine and revolution.  Fischer pontificates about the selfish aristocrats of the 18th century that wouldn’t surrender their privileges.  Well what would you expect a left-wing academic to say. Today’s inflationary prices are different, of course.  But you still have the aristocrats, the supporters of the regime, and their privileges.  Only this time it’s the union government workers, the entitlement beneficiaries, the tenured professors who are sitting on their hands refusing to give up any of their benefits.  Yes, for the feudatories of the regime, you can talk about the douceur de la vie. Really, why would we expect any of these chaps, from Medicare beneficiaries in their 80s or retired policemen in their 50s, to agree to a reduction in their loot?  Nobody in history ever did before, not until the tumbrils started to roll. Today’s entitlement beneficiaries are like Charlton Heston and the Second Amendment conservatives.  You can take my Medicare out of my cold, dead hand, they say.
Source: blogspot.com

Eye on Wisconsin: Can’t Trust Tommy with Medicare Trust Fund

We all know that Tommy Thompson declared that he would “do away with” Medicare and Medicaid.  He has tried to spin away from his declaration to the tea party extremists but we have more than that moment of honesty.  We have an actual track record showing just how Medicare fared under Tommy Thompson’s care. In 2001, when Tommy Thompson became Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund was projected to be exhausted in the year 2029. [2001 CMS Trustees Testimony to Congress] In 2005, when Tommy Thompson left Health and Human Services, the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund was projected to be exhausted in the year 2020. That is a loss of 9 years on Tommy’s four year watch.[2005 CM Trustees Report] Even though Tommy Thompson served as George W. Bush’s HHS Secretary, in 2008, he criticized the failure of the Bush Administration to address the problems of Medicare. Thompson then said that “Medicare is going broke by 2012, 2013.” Fast forward to the point where President Obama took office and before the Affordable Care Act passed. The Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund was projected to be exhausted in the year 2017. That is where the Bush Administration (including Tommy) left President Obama. [2009 CM Trustees Report] The Affordable Care Act (ACA) reduces the rate of growth in Medicare spending, with savings that eliminate waste and inefficiencies. The ACA targets wasteful programs and ensures that taxpayer money is efficiently filtered back into the health care system, allowing seniors to get preventive care without copays. Regardless of Tommy’s ridiculous lies on the subject the $700 billion in identified savings actually help extend the life of Medicare. Tommy Thompson wants to repeal ACA and in doing so he will be undermining the long term prospects of Medicare.  We have no reason to doubt that he would sacrifice Medicare to his new found right wing ideology. He has said as much, he has pledged allegiance to Paul Ryan’s voucher-care concept and lets face it his track record on extending the life of Medicare has never been a good one. Tommy predicted that Medicare would go broke by 2012 or 2013 and if his policy positions and history are any indication, he apparently intends to make that prediction come true.
Source: blogspot.com

What You Can Learn from Brief History of Medicare

The of 1945 becomes an important part in history of medicare. Harry Truman proposed a concept of national health insurance plan to congress to be legalized. On the contrary, congress at that time had plan on social security program, not focusing on health but merely on social matter. By the end of President Harry Truman administration, Medicare program and its companion Medicaid are legalized by President Lyndon Johnson on July 30, 1965. This regulation is agreed between previous president Truman and present president Lyndon Johnson as the concept of “Great Society”. At that time Medicare premium only cost $3 per month. In 1972 there is a regulation to cover person under age 65 with serious disease including speech therapy and physical therapy. By the time passes by and so does the history of medicare, there are some changes especially in term of bill and coverings.
Source: perfectly-health.com

Cracker Squire: If we don’t get Medicare right, there’s no money for anything else. On this particular policy issue, the Republicans have the edge.

The history of Medicare is strewed with efforts to control costs by controlling prices. The results are terrible. Providers just increase the number of services, redefine the classification of services or find other ways to get their money back. A study by the Congressional Budget Office found that, between 1997 and 2005, Medicare payments for individual treatments fell by 5 percent, but the total spent on these services skyrocketed by 35 percent. Doctors made up in volume what they lost in reimbursement levels.
Source: blogspot.com

Medicare Supplement How to Get Obamacare Healthcare Reform Era

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

"Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state." ` Thomas Jefferson. by eyewashdesign: A. GoldenThere are a lot of competing philosophies on how Obamacare is and will be impacting the medical care of Medicare-eligible citizens. Even though I have definite opinions on what the true impact of PPACA will be on medical delivery systems and patients, that is not what this article is about. I am here to help you wade through the politics and make educated choices in your search for comprehensive, cost-conscious decisions. We are well versed in Medicare and Obamacare, and we are here to help.
Source: nationalnewstoday.com

Video: What Is Medicare Part-C and Part-D?

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

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

MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT, OCT15

Enroll in a Medicare Part C plan.  If you currently have Medicare Parts A and B with no supplemental insurance, or Parts A and B with a “Medicare supplement” insurance policy (commonly called a “Medigap” policy), you can enroll in a Medicare Part C plan during Open Enrollment.  You would be covered effective January 1, and you would drop your Medigap plan, if any.  Part C plans are also called Medicare Advantage plans or Medicare Health Plans.  Unlike Medigaps, they don’t simply target the gaps in Medicare, they completely replace Medicare with a private insurance policy that covers everything Medicare covers, plus extras.  It’s not official, but you might think of the “C” as standing for “Comprehensive” coverage.  Many of the plans include Medicare Part D drug coverage.  (Note:  if you enroll in a Part C plan, your ability to later switch to a Medigap policy is limited.  It’s almost a one-way route.)
Source: retireusa.net

Massachusetts Health Stats: Consumer Reports Lies about Part C Medicare Health Plans to Support Obama Re

Massachussetts Health Stats is an as-needed look at statistics about the Massachusetts healthcare delivery and insurance market and industry, including aspects of Medicare as they relate to Massachusetts seniors and the Medicare-eligible disabled. On both Medicare and Massachusetts health care, this blog overcomes the attempts from those on both the left and right of the political spectrum to use statistics to impose needless changes on one of the best healthcare systems in the world.
Source: typepad.com

The impact of Obamacare cuts on Medicare Advantage Plans

The PPACA, as amended, also introduces MA bonuses and rebate levels that are tied to the plans’ quality ratings. Beginning in 2012, benchmarks will be increased for plans that receive a 4-star or higher rating on a 5-star quality rating system. The bonuses will be 1.5 percent in 2012, 3.0 percent in 2013, and 5.0 percent in 2014 and later. An additional county bonus, which is equal to the plan bonus, will be provided on behalf of beneficiaries residing in specified counties. The percentage of the “benchmark minus bid” savings provided as a rebate, which historically has been 75 percent, will also be tied to a plan’s quality rating. In 2014, when the provision is fully phased in, the rebate share will be 50 percent for plans with a quality rating of less than 3.5 stars; 65 percent for a quality rating of 3.5 to 4.49; and 70 percent for a quality rating of 4.5 or greater.
Source: quinnscommentary.com

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

Medicare open enrollment: Did I mess up by not taking Part B when I retired from my federal government job?

Q. I retired from a federal government agency and did not enroll in Medicare Part B when I became eligible. Instead I continued my coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program. I understand that if I ever want to enroll in Part B in the future there will be a 10 percent penalty for every year that I delayed. Did I make a mistake? A. Last week brought a spate of queries from federal retirees who are in the enviable situation of having multiple health coverage options. But with options comes complexity.
Source: consumerreports.org

Medicare open enrollment: Did I mess up by not taking Part B when I retired from my federal government job?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Hospital Care B.Y.O.B: Bring Your Own Bed by Grant NeufeldQ. I retired from a federal government agency and did not enroll in Medicare Part B when I became eligible. Instead I continued my coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program. I understand that if I ever want to enroll in Part B in the future there will be a 10 percent penalty for every year that I delayed. Did I make a mistake? A. Last week brought a spate of queries from federal retirees who are in the enviable situation of having multiple health coverage options. But with options comes complexity.
Source: consumerreports.org

Video: Guide to Medicare Part A and Part B

Warren: $716B in program cuts strengthen Medicare

She cited an AARP examination of the reductions: “They’ve taken this plan apart from soup to nuts,” and that found “the claim that these cuts weaken Medicare is simply wrong. The cuts strengthen Medicare because they get a little bit of spending back in balance, and they help the Medicare program be stronger and more sustainable. Those are the facts.”
Source: thetranscript.com

Medicare Supplement How to Get Obamacare Healthcare Reform Era

There are a lot of competing philosophies on how Obamacare is and will be impacting the medical care of Medicare-eligible citizens. Even though I have definite opinions on what the true impact of PPACA will be on medical delivery systems and patients, that is not what this article is about. I am here to help you wade through the politics and make educated choices in your search for comprehensive, cost-conscious decisions. We are well versed in Medicare and Obamacare, and we are here to help.
Source: nationalnewstoday.com

StrataPT News: Has your Medicare patient been discharged from Part A?

The repercussions are that you either do not receive payment at all or the payment that you did receive for your time and services is recouped by Medicare. This type of denial can be one of the most frustrating and unfortunate denials to receive because as the clinician, you have done everything correctly.  You provided skilled care, your documentation was compliant and claims were billed appropriately.  However, the ball is often dropped as a result of the patient failing to mention that they were also being seen by a home health agency. 
Source: stratapt.com

Why Medicare Must Be Reformed

No one seems to be willing to speak the "truth". US health care costs are grossly excessive compared to what people who live in other developed countries than the USA pay for their health care. Simply access "Google" and find this out for yourself. Part of the problem is an uncontrollable system (created by lawyers) of malpractice law suits which is the driving force behind much of our excessive medical costs today. A solution to this would be a Constitutional Amendment that would forbid any member of the legal profession from holding any elective office. For a lawyer to serve in a legislative body is an automatic "conflict of interest" since the laws passed by such bodies are simply means for other lawyers to find ways to create more profitable lawsuits.
Source: heritage.org

Daily Kos: Medicare’s ‘death spiral’ under Romney/Ryan voucher plan confirmed in new study

Another study finds that the voucher system Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan envision for Medicare will cause the program’s demise. TPM’s Sahil Kapur reports on the study from Health Services Research, which used the model of the existing optional Medicare Advantage, the current subsidized Medicare alternative. The study’s conclusion: healthy seniors tend to gravitate to private plans and sicker seniors gravitate to traditional Medicare. That’s because private insurers craft their plans to attract lower-cost patients and leave sicker, more expensive ones for traditional Medicare—a process known as favorable selection. […] “I think what that means for premium support is that fee-for-service Medicare would gradually be a dumping ground for the sickest people and the premiums would go higher and higher if they want to stay in their plan,” said Austin Frakt, a health economist at Boston University. “And that’s a huge concern for some people.” That’s, in microcosm, a huge part of the problem the private insurance system has seen, except seniors have the option of Medicare that has to accept them, and sicker people who aren’t eligible for Medicaid are pretty much out of luck when it comes to finding affordable insurance. But in the case of Medicare, adding in private competition that markets to and selects the healthiest individuals means that traditional Medicare eventually becomes too expensive to sustain. That would lead to what Frakt calls the “classic adverse selection death spiral,” and the end of Medicare.
Source: dailykos.com

Straight Talk on Medicare: A Go

The two primary presidential candidates, President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, have both touted potential Medicare reforms, but in completely different ways. For President Obama, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — the most significant healthcare legislation to come out of Washington, D.C., in years — serves as his blueprint for Medicare and the future of the U.S. healthcare system. There has been a lot of political rhetoric surrounding the PPACA, and most of it has centered on one figure: $716 billion. President Obama has said the PPACA saves $716 billion over the next decade from the Medicare program “by no longer overpaying insurance companies [and] by making sure we weren’t overpaying providers.” Mr. Romney, on the other hand, argues the healthcare law cuts $716 billion from the program by reducing rates “across the board.” Mr. Perez broke down the infamous $716 billion figure in the following way: As it stands, the PPACA would enact $517 billion in decreases to Medicare Part A (hospitals), $247 billion in decreases to Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and $48 billion in decreases to Medicare Part D (prescription drugs). Going a step further, hospitals and health systems will absorb $260 billion of the $716 billion in Medicare reductions, and there will be $56 billion in reductions to disproportionate share hospital payments from both Medicare and Medicaid. Other major reductions include $156 billion to Medicare Advantage insurers, which have been overpaid $282.6 billion since 1985, according to a recent study by Physicians for a National Health Program. For hospital and health system executives, the cuts within the PPACA will have major impacts, perhaps detrimental in some cases, Mr. Perez said. Although the promise of more Medicaid and commercially insured patients by 2014 is supposed to offset those reductions, the proposal has still been viewed has potentially damaging to hospital bottom lines in the near future. MedeAnalytics projected that these cuts will ramp up from $15 billion to $20 billion in 2013 to $30 billion to $35 billion in 2022. The result for hospitals? Almost a 9 percent across-the-board cut to Medicare reimbursement over the next decade. “These cuts will obviously lower profit margins for hospitals, and CMS’ chief actuary has concluded that up to 20 percent of hospitals could become unprofitable as a result,” Mr. Perez said, noting that hospitals’ Medicare margins have been negative on average since 2003. Furthermore, hospitals and health systems must wait to see whether the Budget Control Act of 2011’s sequestration will take effect Jan. 1. Hospitals and other providers will see a 2 percent Medicare payment reduction totaling $11.1 billion this upcoming year, due to the BCA, unless Congress passes new measures to prevent the cuts. Tripp Umbach, an economic consulting firm, released a report earlier this year showing that sequestration could result in 766,000 lost jobs within the hospital and healthcare industry by 2021. Mr. Perez said the already-negative margins for Medicare and the prospect of future Medicare cuts per the PPACA have already prompted several large providers to lay off employees. For example, University of California San Francisco Medical Center laid off hundreds of employees in preparation for the cuts. “If hospitals go out of business or continue to operate but under financial duress, it stands to reason that the availability and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries could be impaired,” Mr. Perez said. Mr. Romney’s Medicare plan hinges on turning Medicare into a premium support system. Essentially, seniors will receive a fixed amount (also known as a defined contribution) to buy an insurance plan, and all insurance plans must offer coverage comparable to what Medicare provides today. However, Mr. Romney’s plan does not provide specifics on how this Medicare reform will impact payments to hospitals and health systems, nor does it cover other issues, such as: •    Will premium support payment adjustments be capped? •    Will Medicare benefits within the PPACA, such as closing the doughnut hole and expanding coverage of preventive care with no co-pays, be reinstated? •    Will traditional Medicare be subject to cuts after 2023?
Source: beckershospitalreview.com

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

AMAC: President Cut $716B from Medicare, Reducing Health Care Options for The Elderly

The Association of Mature American Citizens [http://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital and conservative alternative to those traditional organizations, such as AARP, that dominate the choices for mature Americans who want a say in the future of the nation.  Where those other organizations may boast of their power to set the agendas for their memberships, AMAC takes its marching orders from its members.  We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests, and offering a conservative insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.
Source: amac.us

StrataPT News: Has your Medicare patient been discharged from Part A?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Record shop Ithaca, NY by exaktaThe repercussions are that you either do not receive payment at all or the payment that you did receive for your time and services is recouped by Medicare. This type of denial can be one of the most frustrating and unfortunate denials to receive because as the clinician, you have done everything correctly.  You provided skilled care, your documentation was compliant and claims were billed appropriately.  However, the ball is often dropped as a result of the patient failing to mention that they were also being seen by a home health agency. 
Source: stratapt.com

Video: Guide to Medicare Part A and Part B

Medicare Supplement How to Get Obamacare Healthcare Reform Era

There are a lot of competing philosophies on how Obamacare is and will be impacting the medical care of Medicare-eligible citizens. Even though I have definite opinions on what the true impact of PPACA will be on medical delivery systems and patients, that is not what this article is about. I am here to help you wade through the politics and make educated choices in your search for comprehensive, cost-conscious decisions. We are well versed in Medicare and Obamacare, and we are here to help.
Source: nationalnewstoday.com

retired doc’s thoughts: If you give up Medicare Part A you loose your social security benefits

The headline is correct .See here for background on this agency ruling that makes the headline true. See here for my earlier posting of what a federal judge considered a “mandatory entitlement”.   The absurdity of this situation has been challenged in court and lost in the trial court and in the appeal but now efforts are underway to put the issue to the Supreme Court. I have blogged about this before and thought the issue was settled but thanks to folks at Cato the fight goes on.
Source: blogspot.com

Straight Talk on Medicare: A Go

The two primary presidential candidates, President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, have both touted potential Medicare reforms, but in completely different ways. For President Obama, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — the most significant healthcare legislation to come out of Washington, D.C., in years — serves as his blueprint for Medicare and the future of the U.S. healthcare system. There has been a lot of political rhetoric surrounding the PPACA, and most of it has centered on one figure: $716 billion. President Obama has said the PPACA saves $716 billion over the next decade from the Medicare program “by no longer overpaying insurance companies [and] by making sure we weren’t overpaying providers.” Mr. Romney, on the other hand, argues the healthcare law cuts $716 billion from the program by reducing rates “across the board.” Mr. Perez broke down the infamous $716 billion figure in the following way: As it stands, the PPACA would enact $517 billion in decreases to Medicare Part A (hospitals), $247 billion in decreases to Medicare Part B (medical insurance) and $48 billion in decreases to Medicare Part D (prescription drugs). Going a step further, hospitals and health systems will absorb $260 billion of the $716 billion in Medicare reductions, and there will be $56 billion in reductions to disproportionate share hospital payments from both Medicare and Medicaid. Other major reductions include $156 billion to Medicare Advantage insurers, which have been overpaid $282.6 billion since 1985, according to a recent study by Physicians for a National Health Program. For hospital and health system executives, the cuts within the PPACA will have major impacts, perhaps detrimental in some cases, Mr. Perez said. Although the promise of more Medicaid and commercially insured patients by 2014 is supposed to offset those reductions, the proposal has still been viewed has potentially damaging to hospital bottom lines in the near future. MedeAnalytics projected that these cuts will ramp up from $15 billion to $20 billion in 2013 to $30 billion to $35 billion in 2022. The result for hospitals? Almost a 9 percent across-the-board cut to Medicare reimbursement over the next decade. “These cuts will obviously lower profit margins for hospitals, and CMS’ chief actuary has concluded that up to 20 percent of hospitals could become unprofitable as a result,” Mr. Perez said, noting that hospitals’ Medicare margins have been negative on average since 2003. Furthermore, hospitals and health systems must wait to see whether the Budget Control Act of 2011’s sequestration will take effect Jan. 1. Hospitals and other providers will see a 2 percent Medicare payment reduction totaling $11.1 billion this upcoming year, due to the BCA, unless Congress passes new measures to prevent the cuts. Tripp Umbach, an economic consulting firm, released a report earlier this year showing that sequestration could result in 766,000 lost jobs within the hospital and healthcare industry by 2021. Mr. Perez said the already-negative margins for Medicare and the prospect of future Medicare cuts per the PPACA have already prompted several large providers to lay off employees. For example, University of California San Francisco Medical Center laid off hundreds of employees in preparation for the cuts. “If hospitals go out of business or continue to operate but under financial duress, it stands to reason that the availability and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries could be impaired,” Mr. Perez said. Mr. Romney’s Medicare plan hinges on turning Medicare into a premium support system. Essentially, seniors will receive a fixed amount (also known as a defined contribution) to buy an insurance plan, and all insurance plans must offer coverage comparable to what Medicare provides today. However, Mr. Romney’s plan does not provide specifics on how this Medicare reform will impact payments to hospitals and health systems, nor does it cover other issues, such as: •    Will premium support payment adjustments be capped? •    Will Medicare benefits within the PPACA, such as closing the doughnut hole and expanding coverage of preventive care with no co-pays, be reinstated? •    Will traditional Medicare be subject to cuts after 2023?
Source: beckershospitalreview.com

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Part D Plan Offerings in 2013

The analysis, is the first in a series of planned reports examining the private plan choices available to Medicare beneficiaries for 2013. It is authored by researchers at Georgetown University, the Kaiser Family Foundation and NORC at the University of Chicago.
Source: kff.org

Ask The Experts: Retirement

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

Open Enrollment For Medicare Part C & D

Why shop around? Like any other insurance policy that renews annually, it’s important to see if your current options still best fit your needs. For example, what may have been the most efficiently priced policy last year could be significantly higher this year. Pricing for most Medicare Advantage Plans are expected to increase moderately this coming this year. However many Medicare Part D Plans are expecting double digit increases in premiums. Second, your current plans provisions and benefits may have changed and may not best fit your needs anymore. Finally, you may have had a change in your personal circumstances where another option may be more efficient. When shopping around for Medicare Advantage, just make sure that any new plan that you are considering has your primary care physician, specialists and care facilities that you are likely to use are on the plans network of providers.
Source: figuide.com

Campaign Trail Issues And Answers: Medicare Reform, Health Law Repeal Still Part Of The Mix

The Wall Street Journal: Medicare Fails To Sway Senior Votes None of the current proposals to bolster Medicare changes benefits for the current generation of senior citizens. But the 88-year-old Republican [Leonard Yordon] and many other retirees of both parties speak of little else when talk here turns to the presidential election. Senior citizens are a coveted voting bloc in Florida, where they make up about a quarter of the electorate in this highly contested swing state. … Polls now show Mr. Romney leading among the state’s elderly voters by 6% to 12%—a sign he may be weathering reasonably well the charges by Democrats that he and running mate Paul Ryan would undermine Medicare (Campo-Flores, 10/29).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Medicare Part A Deductibles & Benefit Periods

There is some cost sharing with Medicare Part A, which includes deductibles. Medicare Part A deductibles are different from a typical deductible in health insurance for people under 65.  You pay a deductible for each “benefit period,” rather than for the calendar year. A benefit period starts the day you go into a hospital or skilled nursing facility. It ends when you have been out of the facility for 60 consecutive days.
Source: medicareecompare.com

Tips for Navigating Medicare Part D Open Enrollment

Yesterday kicked off the 2013 Medicare Part D open enrollment period, during which millions of Medicare-eligible Americans over 65 and persons with disabilities can choose a new Part D plan that best fits their needs. As Medicare Today recently highlighted in a survey, 90 percent of seniors are satisfied with their Part D plan, with more than six in 10 seniors reporting that they would not be able to fill all of their prescriptions without Part D. But if you aren’t one of those satisfied people, shop around. In the coming weeks, our hope is that we can assist in pointing people to helpful tools that enable comparing and evaluating options.
Source: phrma.org

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