Here’s what role healthcare reform, Medicare is having in the Wisconsin Senate campaign

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Medicare saves lives. by cometstarmoonRyan, 42, has described himself and the often confrontational Walker, 44, as “protégés of the Tommy Thompson farm team,” but the 70-year-old Thompson has sought to distance himself from their policy embrace on broad social issues. Although he has called for overturning the health law and has endorsed the concept promoted by Ryan to give seniors premium supports to buy health coverage in order to keep the system from running out of money, Thompson also has said he would want significant revisions in that plan, such as increased federal payments and an expanded pool for high-risk patients.
Source: medcitynews.com

Video: RANT!!!!! DEBT problem; Wisconsin & Ohio; Social Security, Medicare and Taxes

Senior Volunteers Credited with Helping Fight Medicare Fraud 

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Source: wisconsinsmp.org

Aging News Alert: Ryan’s Wisconsin Opponent Assails Medicare Proposal; Claims It Harms Seniors

The analysis of Ryan’s plan indicates it would effectively cut Social Security benefits of Wisconsin residents who claim benefits in 2022 by $5,884 per year — a 30% cut in Social Security benefits for the state’s average earner.   Login to read the full story    10/26/12 11:38 AM  
Source: cdpublications.com

Wisconsin’s Thompson boasts about ‘doing away with’ Medicare

But as a strategic matter, this is a symptom of a larger problem. Tommy Thompson used to be a relatively moderate Republican, at least by contemporary standards, uncomfortable with far-right extremists. As his party has become radicalized, however, Thompson has been forced to scramble to convince his base that he’s sincere in his support for an extreme agenda.
Source: msnbc.com

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

The 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

In Swing States, Obama Leads on Handling of Medicare

Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have called for curbing the growing costs of Medicare by making major changes to the program. Their plan would change Medicare for people who are now under 55 so that when they are eligible for coverage they would no longer receive a government-guaranteed, fee-for-service health plan but rather a fixed amount of money each year that they would use to purchase private health insurance or buy into a version of the existing Medicare program. But they have not provided enough details of their plan to assess how much it might increase out-of-pocket costs for future beneficiaries. Mr. Obama has pledged to preserve Medicare in its current form, but has spoken less about its rising costs.
Source: nytimes.com

Medicare annual enrollment starts soon

There are also programs that can help with Medicare costs. The Low-Income Subsidy and Medicare Savings Programs can provide varying levels of assistance depending on the beneficiary’s income. There are still many Douglas County residents who may qualify for these programs but not even know it. Individuals with gross monthly income less than $1396, and couples with less than $1891 could be eligible for extra help. Certain asset limits apply.
Source: superiortelegram.com

Why The Paul Ryan VP Pick Was Brilliant: Wisconsin + Medicare

History suggests that if vice-presidential candidates matter anywhere, it’s in their home states. If I were Romney’s campaign manager, I would tell Ryan to spend most of the next three weeks—morning, noon, and night—visiting every city, town, and hamlet in Wisconsin. And if my internal polls had Obama’s margin down to (say) one point with three or four days until the election, I would schedule one or two big Romney rallies to maximize enthusiasm and turnout.
Source: businessinsider.com

Karl Rove Targets Tammy on Medicare

The section of the ACA that sets up the board specifically declares: “The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums . . . increase Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.”
Source: progressive.org

Industry Likes Medicare Home Care Expansion, But Cost Is Unknown

Patient advocacy and industry groups are cheering Medicare’s move to start paying nursing home, home care and physical therapy bills for some patients who were previously denied coverage. But how much extra it will cost the government is far from clear. For decades Medicare’s guidelines cut off coverage of ”skilled” nursing and home care services if patients weren’t shown to be improving. The care in question might have been physical therapy for stroke victims, home nurse visits for those with Alzheimer’s or post-hospital nursing home care for diabetics. Once their conditions plateaued or started deteriorating, Medicare would stop paying.  (Source: Kaiser Health News)  [Read article]
Source: worh.org

HCAN Polls: Obama lead grows in Wisconsin, Iowa

Washington, DC – New Public Policy Polling surveys in Wisconsin and Iowa, conducted on behalf of Health Care for America Now, find Barack Obama expanding his lead in both states following his debate victory on Monday. In Wisconsin he leads 51-45, up from a 49-47 margin three weeks ago. In Iowa he’s now ahead by a 49-47 spread, a slight improvement from 49-48 last weekend.
Source: healthcareforamericanow.org

Ryan Challenger Launches Ad In Wisconsin: ‘The Ryan Plan Ends Medicare’

The ad then cuts to Zerban introducing himself: “This country is stronger when we invest in the mid class. I will never cut Medicare benefits — ever. I started two successful businesses, creating great-paying jobs. I’m Rob Zerban, and I approve this message, because I believe everybody deserves their shot at the American dream.”
Source: talkingpointsmemo.com

Industry Likes Medicare Home Care Expansion, But Cost Is Unknown

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Healthcare Costs by Images_of_MoneyThe 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

Video: What Does Medicare Cost?

Best Bets for Reducing Medicare Costs for Dual Eligible Beneficiaries: Assessing the Evidence

With pressure mounting to slow the growth in federal health care spending, policymakers are exploring ways to reform the way care is delivered to the 9 million low-income Medicare beneficiaries who also receive Medicaid – a group that on average is sicker and frailer than other Medicare beneficiaries, and therefore receive significantly more care at greater cost. Major efforts are underway at the federal and state level to better coordinate care for this population and lower health care costs – with some estimates projecting hundreds of billions of dollars in savings over the next decade.
Source: kff.org

Author Insights: Canadian Example Offers a Possible Path to Curbing US Medicare Costs

In a Research Letter published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine, the authors compare Medicare spending from 1980 through 2009 in the United States and in Canada, which has a similar Medicare program. They found US Medicare spending per elderly enrollee rose from $1215 in 1980 to $9446 in 2009, an inflation-adjusted increase of 198.7%. In Canada, spending per elderly enrollee increased from $2141 to $9292, a 73.0% increase. Canada’s higher initial spending reflects its more comprehensive benefits, covering about 80% of seniors’ total health costs compared with about 50% in US Medicare. Had US Medicare spending grown at the same rate as in Canada, more than $2 trillion (one-sixth of the national debt) would have been saved.
Source: jama.com

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

Medicare cost control in action

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Source: marginalrevolution.com

Why Private Medicare Plans Don't Cost Less

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

Industry Likes Medicare Home Care Expansion, But Cost Is Unknown

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

Is Government Provision the Answer? (Part I)

Studies by Milliman3 and others4 show that when all costs are included, Medicare costs more, not less, to administer. Further, raw numbers show that, using Medicare’s own accounting, its administrative expenses per enrollee are higher than private insurance. They are lower only when expressed as a percentage—but that may be because the average medical expense for a senior is so much higher than the expense for nonseniors. Also, an unpublished, ongoing study by Milliman finds that seniors on Medicare use twice the health resources as seniors who are still on private insurance, everything equal. Ironically, many observers think Medicare spends too little on administration, which is one reason why one out of every ten dollars of Medicare spending is lost to fraud. Private insurers devote more resources to fraud prevention and find it profitable to do so.
Source: ncpa.org

Important: We have the wrong Medicare program

Second, Canadian hospitals receive prospectively determined global operating budgets, removing incentives to provide unnecessary care while simplifying billing and administration. However, unlike accountable care organization payment schemes in the United States, capital costs are not folded into the global budgets but distributed separately through an explicit health-planning process. Canadian hospitals cannot use operating surpluses to fund new buildings or equipment but must request separate capital appropriations. Hence, they cannot expand by overproviding lucrative services, gaming the payment system through upcoding, avoiding unprofitable patients, or cost shifting.
Source: pnhp.org

An Extremely Mucked Up Medicare Debate

Consider two New York Times stories. After the first presidential debate, Michael Cooper, Jackie Calmes, Annie Lowrey, Robert Pear and John M. Broder said that President Obama “DID NOT CUT BENEFITS by $716 billion over 10 years as part of his 2010 health care law; rather, he reduced Medicare reimbursements to health care providers.” A few days later, David Brooks cited an AMA study of a premium support plan put forward by vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, saying that “costs might have come down by around 9 percent with NO REDUCTION IN BENEFITS” [cap emphases mine].
Source: governmentwedeserve.org

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

What’s Driving up the Cost of Medicare?

Recognizing the demographic facts doesn’t obviate Medicare’s need to spend federal health care dollars effectively and efficiently to slow the growth of health care costs while improving the quality of care for each and every beneficiary. But arguments that efficiency will come from morphing Medicare into a private insurance market—the conservative “solution” to rising health care costs—make no sense. There is simply no evidence that a private marketplace can match Medicare’s ability to slow spending growth. With Medicare’s per capita cost growth already lower than GDP and projected to diverge increasingly from private health care spending, vouchers for private insurance would actually increase per capita costs.
Source: americanprogress.org

Resource Advisory Services

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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

Video: Apply for Medicare | Medicare Sign Up

Things to Consider When Applying For Medicare

Medicare is a socialized form of health insurance used by some countries. This usually works by taxing or deducting a certain portion of an individual’s wages, salary, or income and then applying it to a fund that is governed by a governmental or quasi governmental body. This article endeavors to provide basic guidelines to individuals who want to apply for Medicare. The first and most important step is to read several materials regarding Medicare. This can be taken online or by asking your employer or H.R. personnel. Materials can also be taken from the nearest Medicare office. After reading thru the material decide on the following issues: 1. What plan or plans do you intend to avail of. There are 4 basic plans to choose from but these plans can be mixed and matched. a. Part A: Hospital Insurance or in patient care b. Part B: Medical Insurance or outpatient care c. Part C: Medicare Advantage plans like HMO or PPO plans d. Part D: Prescription Drug plans which covers prescription medication Depending n the parts availed of Medicare costs can increase and decrease. Take into consideration your finances, health, other insurance coverage and job environment then decide which parts to include. For example, if you already have a comparative or higher HMO coverage then there is no need to take out a Part C Medicare plan. However if the Part C coverage that can be availed of is higher then decide if the additional costs is worth it for you. 2. Insurer: if you are an employee, especially if you are electing to take out a part c Medicare coverage then it would also be best to look into the supplemental Medicare insurer. Make sure check the number of accredited hospitals, medical professionals and procedures within your locality. They should be unlimited. 3. Ask questions: Make sure to ask for the appropriate contact number to answer any questions you might have regarding the plan. While it is important to read thru the materials it would be best if you can talk to a person to explain difficult concepts. Out of Pocket Expenses As a general rule when you apply for Medicare Part A and/or Part B you need to pay additional premiums to be paid by the individual. Now consider alternative HMO and/ or PPO providers. For example, If Mr. A is supposed to pay $100 monthly for Medicare will only pay $90 for a superior HMO policy then it would be in the best interest of Mr. A to just avail of the HMO. Application Proper There are two ways to apply for Medicare. The first is to call the social security service in your locality and be guided by a representative every step of the way. The second option is to go to the office of the local social security service and fill out the appropriate paperwork. Find the listing as well as the phone number and even the website on the yellow pages or on the internet. After that just wait for the paperwork to be processed. If you are looking for the best medicare advantage and medicare coverage, visit our site for more tips and information. Contact us for free medicare advice. If you are looking for the best http://www.medicarerep.com/ medicare advantage and http://www.medicarerep.com/ medicare coverage, visit our site for more tips and information. Contact us for free medicare advice.
Source: abcarticledirectory.com

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

Applying for Medicare Part B

So, even though my husband did everything right, he is being denied Medicare Part B because the people at Social Security couldn’t be bothered to process his application until after the deadline had passed. The phone representative called the office that received his application, and told my husband that someone from there should contact him. If no one contacts him, then he is to call Social Security back in 30 days. Meanwhile, he is going without the insurance coverage that he qualifies for.
Source: families.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

Information Needed to Apply for Medicaid in Florida

This list may seem long but it is not an easy process to apply for Medicaid.  It is best to start gathering information now if there is a possibility that one may have to apply for Medicaid because once the person has to go into the nursing home, there are so many other things going on that it is tough to focus on getting the information.  Preplanning will go a long way!
Source: estateplanningandtaxlawyer.com

Medicare to update reimbursement criteria for degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, MS, Parkinson’s disease

The biggest ques­tion mark may be for the large num­bers of peo­ple who suf­fer from demen­tia. Accord­ing to Robert Egge, vice pres­i­dent for pub­lic pol­icy at the Alzheimer’s Asso­ci­a­tion, there are many ben­e­fits that come from delay­ing the long-term pro­gres­sion of demen­tia. Leslie Fried, direc­tor of pol­icy and pro­gralaw­suit ms at the National Coun­cil on Aging, said there had been a par­tic­u­lar Medicare claims bias over the years in apply­ing the improve­ment stan­dard to peo­ple with demen­tia and other forms of cog­ni­tive impairment.”
Source: sharpbrains.com

Opinion: Medicaid cuts would harm children and families the most

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

TOP 10 Reasons to Re-Elect Mike Coffman No. 10 by Smarty McPantsThe Affordable Care Act will build upon the success of Medicaid and the health care safety net to expand access to care to 19 million additional Americans by 2019, according to the Congressional Budget Office, reducing the number of uninsured by 50 percent.  The House Budget Plan advocated by the Romney-Ryan presidential ticket would decrease total Medicaid enrollment by approximately 50 percent or 37.5 million people, according to a recent Urban Institute study.
Source: healthpolicysolutions.org

Video: Colorado Medicare Supplements

State Highlights: N.H. Hospital In Hepatitis Oubreak Must Allow Access To Patient Records

Kaiser Health News: The Price Is Right There In Front Of You, In Colorado At Least The price of a knee MRI in Colorado varies from $350 to $2,336. It’s a huge gap, but it’s also remarkable that the prices themselves are known at all. Prices for health care aren’t public in most states, making shopping for the best deal nearly impossible. Different patients pay different prices for the same procedures based on their insurance coverage, and even the doctors who order the tests are often unaware of the price variations (Whitney, 11/2). The Boston Globe: Harvard Wary Of Health Care Costs Harvard University’s top financial officials are sounding an alarm about the rising cost of medical benefits for its employees, saying costs are growing at a rate “unsupportable” relative to revenues. In Harvard’s annual report, being released Friday, officials said that while they want to keep offering generous benefits, the school “cannot simply continue with the status quo.” It is the first time the nation’s richest university has addressed employee health care so directly (Healy and Weisman, 11/2).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

What Seniors Need To Know About Colorado Medicare

This is the reason most Colorado private health insurers are reaching out to Americans who are about to become seniors to learn more about the program. The private health care providers are able to sort out the many options that would-be seniors may encounter if they are able to get Plan C or Medicare advantage plans. The insurance providers also give counseling on the benefits of getting Medigap programs making it sure that seniors get the best advantage in having either original Medicare or Medicare advantage plans.
Source: 198show.com

The Price Is Right There In Front Of You, In Colorado At Least

Providers, payers and government in Colorado agreed to build the new foundation-funded database to try to drive costs down. “This is absolutely vitally important if we’re going to realize the magic of the market to improve outcomes in the marketplace,” says Jonathan Mathieu, director of data and research at the Center for Improving Value in Health Care in Denver, which is maintaining Colorado’s database.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Paul Ryan and Medicare Reform

In stark contrast, the current plan, The Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as Obamacare, removes $716 billion out of Medicare and transfers it to Obamacare.  The current administration believes they can replace this withdrawal by paying doctors, hospitals and nursing homes less.  Unfortunately many service providers have already stated they would have no choice but to stop accepting senior patients if this reduction in payment amount occurs. They simply cannot afford to offer the care necessary at these lowered rates resulting in decreased services, outdated products, increasing premiums and prices.
Source: mycoloradoview.com

Getting Medicare In Colorado

Colorado residents are eligible for Medicare offerings. The program offers a definite benefit to its members. Medicare programs come in two parts known as Part A and B. Part A refers to hospital care while Part B covers outpatient health care. In order to afford coverage for Parts A and B; a patient can choose the original Medicare coverage or a Medicare advantage plan or Part C. On the other hand, to cover prescription drugs; Medicare has a part D which is an extension of Part C.
Source: nolamarketingseo.com

Colorado’s Medicaid Cost Drivers

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

ProgressNow Colorado “Two Ways Tipton” billboard unveiled

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, October 22, 2012 CONTACT: Joanne Schwartz, Executive Director at 303-991-1900 DENVER: As part of its ongoing “Two Ways Tipton” campaign, ProgressNow Colorado, the state’s largest online progressive advocacy organization, unveiled a billboard in Pueblo vividly depicting how Rep. Scott Tipton has attempted to play both sides on the issue of Medicare privatization. Located at 802 W. 4th St. in Pueblo, the billboard has already stimulated a great deal of discussion among Pueblo seniors.   “Scott Tipton has always said he’d never cut or privatize Medicare,” said Michele Keplinger-Sabata, a Pueblo senior. “But it turns out he threw us seniors under the bus by voting to privatize Medicare twice, in 2011 and 2012.” Rep. Tipton voted for both Ryan budgets, which would dramatically change Medicare from a program that pays for seniors’ health care to one that would establish a fixed-cost voucher that may or may not cover costs. The first of the two budget proposals Tipton voted for fully privatized Medicare, leaving no traditional Medicare option for future seniors. ProgressNow Colorado launched its Two Ways Tipton website last month, to alert 3rd Congressional District voters that their Congressman regularly votes contrary to his promises to constituents on issues like Medicare, government spending, protection for Chimney Rock, reproductive rights and the environment. “Southern Colorado members told us many of their friends and family didn’t know that Scott Tipton tried to privatize Medicare,” said ProgressNow Colorado Education executive director Joanne Schwartz. “So we felt it was time to let Pueblo voters know the truth–their Congressman, despite his repeated promises to the contrary, voted to put vulnerable seniors on fixed incomes at risk.”
Source: progressnowcolorado.org

Older voters look beyond Medicare, Social Security

FILE – This Aug. 18, 2012 file photo shows Republican vice-presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., right, introducing his mother, Betty Ryan Douglas, to supporters at a campaign rally in The Villages, Fla. Get in line, Medicare and Social Security. Seniors, like just about everyone else, have money on their minds. Seniors vote at a higher rate than any other age group, so they’ll be a deciding factor in the presidential election. Seniors backed the Republican candidate in the last two presidential elections. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File)
Source: gazette.com

Week before Obama visit, report finds Colorado Democrats cut Medicare by $6 billion for seniors in Colorado

“Seniors are among those in Colorado hit hardest by this recession,” Call concluded. “With many seniors living on fixed incomes, hundreds of thousands of Coloradans struggling to find work and a debt level that threatens to downgrade America’s credit rating again, we can’t afford another four years of Obama and the Democrats’ failed economic policies.”
Source: cologop.org

Fixing Medicare: Romney plan vs Obama plan

Romney: Sets up a premium support system that would continue the current Medicare program, but also encourage competition from private insurance companies. Insurance companies which meet coverage standards set by Medicare, would be allowed to participate in a Medicare Exchange. The idea is that by having all plans competing on a level playing field, following the same rules, price increases would be minimized, while innovation and quality would be maximized. Each person would receive a premium support payment which could be used to purchase any Medicare approved plan, including original Medicare. Those choosing a less expensive plan would keep any premium saving, while those choosing a richer plan would pay extra. Low-income individuals would be well taken care of by receiving an extra-high premium subsidy. Insurance companies would be required to insure everyone at the same price, regardless of medical condition. This is a privatized, yet highly regulated hybrid model that is successfully working with Medicare Advantage plans and Part D drug plans. It’s been road tested and deserves to be expanded. According to FactCheck.org the false claim that Romney’s plan will end Medicare or raise premiums by $6500 per year is based on old and erroneous assumptions. Nothing is more important to the fiscal health of our seniors—or of our entire economy—than getting Medicare spending under control. Let’s reject old schemes to cut provider reimbursement which have never actually worked. Instead, let’s adopt the Part D drug model that has been successfully working the past seven years. Certainly, the Romney-Ryan plan will be tweaked and modified, but it is based on a solid, proven formula and stands the best chance of actually fixing Medicare, without causing painful harm to either patients or providers.
Source: rightturncolorado.org

Getting The Right Coverage For Colorado Medicare Beneficiaries

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Source: njkayak.net

Fischer says deep concern about direction of country drives campaign (AUDIO)

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

“Well, I guess I would criticize him for always saying that we have to raise taxes,” Fischer tells Nebraska Radio Network in an interview. “You know we haven’t done that here in the state of Nebraska. We balance our budget every year. I’ve done it the last eight years. We’re required to do it. It’s in our constitution and we need to see that at the federal level as well.”
Source: nebraskaradionetwork.com

Video: Johanns Discusses Impact of Medicare Cuts on Nebraska

New TV ad: “Lee Terry is a strong supporter of Medicare”

Two local residents talk about Rep. Lee Terry’s record in this regard and criticize candidate John Ewing for backing $716 billion in cuts to the program. The cuts were mandated in the 2010 healthcare law.
Source: nefrw.org

Daily Kos: When did Nebraska’s Senate race become competitive?

JohnAdams999, NYFM, DCDemocrat, HoundDog, citizenx, roycej, reflectionsv37, karmsy, BobBlueMass, Dave in Northridge, Sylv, Texdude50, elziax, Omahan, Jim H, George3, implicate order, RUNDOWN, dickensgirl, Denise Oliver Velez, immigradvocate, Hatrax, Mambo, sillia, Vatexia, gizmo59, Egalitare, renzo capetti, WhizKid331, Thinking Fella, antooo, BasharH, Vico, camlbacker, wu ming, Wreck Smurfy, MsGrin, Odysseus, scribeboy, edwardssl, wdrath, BYw, Bush Bites, nice marmot, pademocrat, IamNotaKochsucker, luckylizard, IndieGuy, keetz4, walkshills, manyamile, furpletron, dianamherrera, polecat, silencekit, geordie, Char, IM, BirdMom, eeff, laurak, leonard145b, bythesea, Catherine R, Iron Spider, TKO333, tinfoilhat, Involuntary Exile, dkosdan, sethtriggs, Sharon Wraight, spooks51, tamandua, Eric Blair, mconvente
Source: dailykos.com

Medicaid Expansion in Nebraska

Bailey analyzed data from recent reports and analyses on Medicaid expansion from the Center for Health Policy at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), the Urban Institute and Milliman. According to Bailey, the new federal health care law, the Affordable Care Act, provided for the expansion of Medicaid – the joint federal-state health insurance program that covers needy and low-income individuals, including children, people with disabilities, and the elderly – by making adults with incomes less than 138% of the federal poverty designation, or $15,415 per year for an individual, eligible for Medicaid. That expansion, should Nebraska choose to participate, would bring in at least $2.9 billion from the federal government by 2020, potentially financing more than 10,000 ongoing Nebraska jobs in healthcare and related fields. “Moreover, without Medicaid expansion more than $1 billion in uncompensated care could be provided in Nebraska through 2019. Those costs would likely shift to individuals and employers across Nebraska in the form of higher insurance premiums,” predicted Bailey. “Implementing the new Medicaid initiative is the morally and fiscally responsible choice for all Nebraskans, and will have even more profound positive impacts in Nebraska’s small towns and rural areas than in our urban centers, ” Bailey continued. “It will create jobs and economic activity in the state, while also benefitting Nebraskans who work hard and play by the rules. The new Medicaid initiative will help make people healthier, will reduce the number of health care-related bankruptcies and make Nebraska a better place to live and raise families.” This is the 17th report in a series dealing with how health care reform and the Affordable Care Act will impact rural America. Visit http://www.cfra.org/policy/health-care/research to review or download earlier Center for Rural Affairs health care reports.
Source: cfra.org

Nebraska’s Medicaid “Integrity” Unit + A.G.’s Medicaid Overseers Agree: “We Get Lots of Calls/Tips about Fraud!” So, GOP: How About Demanding Medicaid/Care Audits in Cornhusker Country Rather than Obsessing about the Federal Reserve? Why Not? Like Charity, Audits Should Begin at Home.

Both Obama and Romney agree there has to be a limit to Medicare spending, but they differ on how to get that done. Obama would rely on a powerful board to cut payments to service providers, while gradually changing how hospitals and doctors are paid to reward results instead of volume. Romney would limit the amount of money future retirees can get from the government for medical insurance, relying on the private market to find an efficient solution. Each accuses of the other of jeopardizing the well-being of seniors.
Source: wordpress.com

Time To Cash In Coventry Profits

The insurer said its medical costs also climbed 22 percent to $2.67 billion. Selling, general and administrative expenses rose 6 percent to $521 million. Coventry’s medical-expense ratio, or the percentage of premium revenue used to pay patient bills, was 84.4%, up from 81.5% a year earlier and down from 85.9% in the prior quarter. Total operating expenses climbed 19%.
Source: seekingalpha.com

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 him or her 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

‘Mediscare’ and the Pennsylvania Senate Race

What I find irritating is that for all the standard platitudes from Republicans about getting federal spending under control, they’re simultaneously attacking Democrats for allegedly wanting to cut the budget’s big-ticket items like Medicare and military spending. Democrats might deserve it for decades of trying to scare the pants off of seniors, but the GOP’s adoption of their tactics is evidence in support of the view that the parties merely represent two sides of the same coin. (Don’t forget the last big expansion of entitlements came from the Republican-engineered addition of a prescription drug benefit to Medicare in 2004.)
Source: tenthamendmentcenter.com

Here’s what role healthcare reform, Medicare is having in the Wisconsin Senate campaign

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Medicare saves lives. by cometstarmoonRyan, 42, has described himself and the often confrontational Walker, 44, as “protégés of the Tommy Thompson farm team,” but the 70-year-old Thompson has sought to distance himself from their policy embrace on broad social issues. Although he has called for overturning the health law and has endorsed the concept promoted by Ryan to give seniors premium supports to buy health coverage in order to keep the system from running out of money, Thompson also has said he would want significant revisions in that plan, such as increased federal payments and an expanded pool for high-risk patients.
Source: medcitynews.com

Video: RANT!!!!! DEBT problem; Wisconsin & Ohio; Social Security, Medicare and Taxes

Senior Volunteers Credited with Helping Fight Medicare Fraud 

badgercare plus Better Business Bureau charity scams credit card fraud credit card scams election fraud false claims act fraud fraud alert newsletter Frauds healthcare reform identity theft job scams medicaid fraud Medicare medicare fraud medicare overbilling medicare part D medicare reform medicare reimbursement mortgage fraud phishing scams podcasts prevent medicare fraud scams storm chasers storm scams telephone scams Training voter fraud wisconsin bbb wisconsin check fraud wisconsin child care fraud wisconsin election fraud wisconsin fraud wisconsin head start fraud wisconsin medicaid fraud wisconsin mortgage fraud wisconsin scam wisconsin scams wisconsin smp wisconsin smp training wisconsin unemployment benefits wisconsin unemployment fraud wisconsin voter fraud
Source: wisconsinsmp.org

Aging News Alert: Ryan’s Wisconsin Opponent Assails Medicare Proposal; Claims It Harms Seniors

The analysis of Ryan’s plan indicates it would effectively cut Social Security benefits of Wisconsin residents who claim benefits in 2022 by $5,884 per year — a 30% cut in Social Security benefits for the state’s average earner.   Login to read the full story    10/26/12 11:38 AM  
Source: cdpublications.com

In Swing States, Obama Leads on Handling of Medicare

Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have called for curbing the growing costs of Medicare by making major changes to the program. Their plan would change Medicare for people who are now under 55 so that when they are eligible for coverage they would no longer receive a government-guaranteed, fee-for-service health plan but rather a fixed amount of money each year that they would use to purchase private health insurance or buy into a version of the existing Medicare program. But they have not provided enough details of their plan to assess how much it might increase out-of-pocket costs for future beneficiaries. Mr. Obama has pledged to preserve Medicare in its current form, but has spoken less about its rising costs.
Source: nytimes.com

Medicare, Health Law Part Of Obama, Romney Pitches For Votes

Detroit Free Press: As Election Draws Near, President Barack Obama Expands Lead In Michigan President Barack Obama heads into the final weekend of the campaign with a 6-percentage-point lead in Michigan over Republican rival Mitt Romney, a new Free Press/WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) poll shows. The survey suggests that the Democratic incumbent has regained some momentum heading into Tuesday’s election. Obama had 48% support to Romney’s 42%. Ten percent of likely voters were undecided or chose a third-party candidate. … Three-quarters of Romney’s supporters considered themselves enthusiastic — about the same as the number for Obama. Obama got higher marks in the poll on issues such as protecting Social Security and Medicare; making health care available to everyone, and handling the war in Afghanistan. Romney, who made a fortune in private equity and venture capital, slightly topped the president — 46%-44% — on handling the economy and creating jobs (Spangler, 11/1).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Wisconsin’s Thompson boasts about ‘doing away with’ Medicare

But as a strategic matter, this is a symptom of a larger problem. Tommy Thompson used to be a relatively moderate Republican, at least by contemporary standards, uncomfortable with far-right extremists. As his party has become radicalized, however, Thompson has been forced to scramble to convince his base that he’s sincere in his support for an extreme agenda.
Source: msnbc.com

Medicare annual enrollment starts soon

There are also programs that can help with Medicare costs. The Low-Income Subsidy and Medicare Savings Programs can provide varying levels of assistance depending on the beneficiary’s income. There are still many Douglas County residents who may qualify for these programs but not even know it. Individuals with gross monthly income less than $1396, and couples with less than $1891 could be eligible for extra help. Certain asset limits apply.
Source: superiortelegram.com

Industry Likes Medicare Home Care Expansion, But Cost Is Unknown

Patient advocacy and industry groups are cheering Medicare’s move to start paying nursing home, home care and physical therapy bills for some patients who were previously denied coverage. But how much extra it will cost the government is far from clear. For decades Medicare’s guidelines cut off coverage of ”skilled” nursing and home care services if patients weren’t shown to be improving. The care in question might have been physical therapy for stroke victims, home nurse visits for those with Alzheimer’s or post-hospital nursing home care for diabetics. Once their conditions plateaued or started deteriorating, Medicare would stop paying.  (Source: Kaiser Health News)  [Read article]
Source: worh.org

Why The Paul Ryan VP Pick Was Brilliant: Wisconsin + Medicare

History suggests that if vice-presidential candidates matter anywhere, it’s in their home states. If I were Romney’s campaign manager, I would tell Ryan to spend most of the next three weeks—morning, noon, and night—visiting every city, town, and hamlet in Wisconsin. And if my internal polls had Obama’s margin down to (say) one point with three or four days until the election, I would schedule one or two big Romney rallies to maximize enthusiasm and turnout.
Source: businessinsider.com

Ryan Challenger Launches Ad In Wisconsin: ‘The Ryan Plan Ends Medicare’

The ad then cuts to Zerban introducing himself: “This country is stronger when we invest in the mid class. I will never cut Medicare benefits — ever. I started two successful businesses, creating great-paying jobs. I’m Rob Zerban, and I approve this message, because I believe everybody deserves their shot at the American dream.”
Source: talkingpointsmemo.com

Karl Rove Targets Tammy on Medicare

The section of the ACA that sets up the board specifically declares: “The proposal shall not include any recommendation to ration health care, raise revenues or Medicare beneficiary premiums . . . increase Medicare beneficiary cost-sharing (including deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments), or otherwise restrict benefits or modify eligibility criteria.”
Source: progressive.org

Dental Patients Experience Total Convenience Through Medicare Dental Surgery

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Martin Place 1 by Greens MPsPeople would get the best dental surgery deal through medicare dental surgery. The said kind of surgery is actually just like any other surgeries people with dental problems go through only that, patients are freed from financial stress for the medicare dental insurance would take care of the bill. With this, the patient could relax and concentrate on the surgery itself, totally not minding how the surgery would be paid up. The plan is simply created to assist people during times of need and giving them the convenience they deserve. These medicare dental plans are being offered to all kinds of people, regardless of age.
Source: lydc.org

Video: Medicare Dental Plans | Medicare supplemental Plans dental plans

Medicare open enrollment: How can I find a better plan?

What about doctor availability? On the Medicare site you can directly compare up to three plans, and when I selected your current plan and these other two plans, I saw that your current plan says it has 1001-1500 “physicians and providers,” compared to 4001-5000 for the other two plans. For each plan you can click on “View provider and physician network website,” which takes you away from Medicare.gov and onto the plan’s own website, where you can search its provider directory to judge for yourself whether it has enough doctors to meet your needs.
Source: consumerreports.org

Medicare Dental Plans: Features of Medicare Dental Plans

Medicare is a uncomparable upbeat protection direction which covers varied welfare mind medical checkups and treatments including dental problems. Medicare is highly salutary for patients undergoing various treatments either from hospitals or at homes. There are antithetic types of medicare plans and the purchasers are required to deal researches regarding the coverage and premiums of these plans before choosing them. The reportage is in the structure of financial assistance which is stipendiary after analyzing the examination reports from the solicitous doctors. As per medicare plans the reporting offered to dental procedures are rattling narrow. This present not allow either subprogram dental checkups or communal dental want treatments. Medicare and dental procedures: – In widespread, medicare does not garment the regular dental caring equal set improvement, cavum stuff, dental extractions, implantations, crowning etc. But definite other dental eudaemonia reparation policies overcompensate subroutine dental treatments and checkups. In average welfare protection plans, dental mending also gift be assumed up if registered by the physician as needful along with different ailments. In gain, there are medicare dental coverages at reduced expenditure for the facility of patients. Of ripe, fundamental dental help material, one set passage discourse and diadem repairs. The medical fund statement as per the medicare programme is added secondary to firing the dental expenses. The give to this record is made from the medicare account of the policy capitalist. Occasions when medicare covers dental services 1) During kidney insert or heart valve exchange surgeries, if a longanimous requires dental management, the aforesaid present be strewn by the medicare contract. 2) If a unhurried having dental problems has to stand jaw surgery, the medicare policy capitalist instrument be salaried for both the treatments. 3) During accidents, if gum and dentals are tatterdemalion, the value of treatments required testament be met by the medicare. 4) After way extraction predestinate patients may be artificial by infections. The expenses for specified treatments faculty be compensated as per the reportage. 5) If patients hurting from great ailments enjoin dental extraction or surgeries as per the clinical comment, the outgo of the identical testament be splashy by the several medicare policies. 6) Old citizens of the commonwealth are offered medicare reporting at reduced expenditure, or liberal of outgo according to circumstances. Medicare dental plans do not apparel the subprogram dental checkups and shared dental treatments. They are wrapped only if these treatments are fatal as a air of treating additional better ailments. In accidents, the cost of treating the bent teeth, gums and jaws are met by the existing coverage along with another treatments. In miscellaneous, the medicare dental plans are understaffed for solid the demotic requirements of dental patients. Hence, it is utmost instance to add the dental plans offered by medicare.
Source: blogspot.com

How to Save on Dental Care

I use dental discount plans (I’m on my second one).  Wanted to share some hard earned experiences: 1) I didn’t realize that the dentists get NONE of your plan membership fee.  My first yearly plan included free cleanings/xrays/checkups, and it was a horrible experience as the dental offices figure out other ways to pressure you for money (flouride treatments, bogus offices visit charges, overtreatment of moderate cavaties as needing a root canal/cap). 2) My second plan has a lower yearly fee and about 70 percent off dental fees.  Still get pressured for items not covered, like 300 dollar nightime mouth guards (that last 6 months).  Also, when I did need a specialist, his office didn’t honor the advertised rates, only gave 20 percent off. The 20 percent off was supposed to apply only to services not itemized in the dental plan. 3) Even with the aggravation, I think a dental plan is worth it because I’ve never found a dental office that will negotiate on the prices.  The office staff doesn’t want to be bothered.  They only want to deal with either insurance companies, or dental plans as all the fees are loaded in their administrative systems.  4)  One other tip, print out a copy of your plans itemized fees as I found two dental offices that changed the prices. 
Source: depositaccounts.com

MEDICARE CHRONICE DISEASE DENTAL PATIENTS FORCED TO COVER DENTAL CARE AFTER 1 DECEMBER 2012

Medicare has announced the closure of the Chronic Disease Dental Scheme on the 1 December 2012. Eligible patients will no longer receive dental services covered under the benefit and future services will need to be met by the patient after this date. Member of the Australian Dental Association, Dr Joseph Dang Quang Do said, “Those patients will end up in the public dental hospital, which may take a while before they are seen and treated.” He also said, without these benefits “Their current dental state will deteriorate.”
Source: wordpress.com

Independence Blue Cross Offers 2013 Medicare Advantage Plan With $0 Monthly Premium

Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we have 3.1 million members nationwide. For nearly 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we’re changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Source: globenewswire.com

Top Medicare Part D Plan Costs Spike in 2013

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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

Video: Chicago: “Cigna 7″ Arrested – Medicare for All

Health Insurance News: Cigna Earnings Climb, Small Businesses Drop Coverage

The Wall Street Journal: Cigna Earnings Surge; Layoffs Planned The Bloomfield, Conn., managed-care company significantly boosted its full-year adjusted earnings guidance after posting better results than Wall Street expected. The company Thursday also announced a restructuring plan that includes reducing the size of its global workforce about 4%, affecting 1,300 workers amid a mix of layoffs and hiring. Cigna continued a streak of “beat and raise” third-quarter reports for large health insurers. … Like its peers, Cigna has benefited from signs patients are using health-care services a bit less than expected (Kamp, 11/1).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Insurer Cigna to buy HealthSpring for $3.8B

Cigna is the fourth-largest commercial health insurer based on enrollment, trailing WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Aetna Inc. It operates health care, group disability and life segments in the U.S. The insurer also has a growing international segment that sells individual insurance in several countries and operates an expatriate business that covers people living outside their home countries.
Source: ourbusinessnews.com

Is Government Provision the Answer? (Part I)

Studies by Milliman3 and others4 show that when all costs are included, Medicare costs more, not less, to administer. Further, raw numbers show that, using Medicare’s own accounting, its administrative expenses per enrollee are higher than private insurance. They are lower only when expressed as a percentage—but that may be because the average medical expense for a senior is so much higher than the expense for nonseniors. Also, an unpublished, ongoing study by Milliman finds that seniors on Medicare use twice the health resources as seniors who are still on private insurance, everything equal. Ironically, many observers think Medicare spends too little on administration, which is one reason why one out of every ten dollars of Medicare spending is lost to fraud. Private insurers devote more resources to fraud prevention and find it profitable to do so.
Source: ncpa.org

Billionaire David Einhorn’s Favorite Healthcare Stock

Cigna’s key acquisition of HealthSpring should help with the company’s growth prospects. HealthSpring allows the company to expand into the Medicare market, as well as increasing commercial members. Full integration of the HealthSpring acquisition should allow Cigna to increase its 2013 EPS to $5.85, up from the estimated 2012 EPS of $5.35. HealthSpring will continue to be a key part of Cigna going forward, namely because millions of Americans are aging into Medicare eligibility each year. HealthSpring allowed Cigna to expand Medicare coverage in eleven states.
Source: insidermonkey.com

Cigna Acquires Medicare Advantage Plans From Humana Covering 3,500 in Texas

The federal government required Humana to sell the Medicare Advantage plans as part of approval for buying Arcadian Management Services. Cigna will offer the new customers Medicare Advantage plans through its subsidiary HealthSpring, which the Bloomfield-based health insurer acquired in January for $3.8 billion.
Source: courant.com

Medicare Premiums Expected to Increase in 2013, Study Says

Due to these large increases, senior citizens are being advised by Avalere to switch to more affordable plans.  Some of the most advisable plans include those of UnitedHealth Group; its Medicare Rx Save Plus PDP costs only $15 a month in fees.  Coventry, CVS Caremark and First Health are also highly recommended by health experts, including those at Avalere.  According to the health research firm’s senior vice president Bonnie Washington, senior citizens would have to “carefully assess their options going into this open season to ensure that they have a plan that meets their needs.”
Source: tellmenews.com

2013 Medicare Part B and Drug Premiums Set To Rise

2013 gains for seniors via the 1.7% COLA increase could be wiped out and more just as quickly with higher Medicare premiums likely. Medicare premiums are deducted from social security payments. The Medicare Part B premium, which covers doctor visits, is expected to rise by about $7 per month for 2013, according to government projections. This is an almost 7% increase based on the currently monthly premium of $99.90. Medicare is expected to officially announce the premium for 2013 in the coming weeks and I will post that information here, so encourage you to subscribe to get the latest updates.
Source: govmil.com

Candidates have starkly different visions for Medicare

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

THE PEOPLES LEADER by SS&SSIn addition to the steep provider cuts already provided for in Obamacare, the Obama administration wants to impose price controls on the medicines that seniors need to manage and cure illnesses. The Medicare prescription drug program (known as “Medicare Part D” in Washington, D.C.) provides robust competition among drug companies in order to get the best deal possible for seniors. Unlike the rest of Medicare (where competition is nowhere to be found), Part D is coming in under cost for taxpayers. Since the program started nearly a decade ago, costs have been 40 percent lower than initially anticipated. Satisfaction rates for seniors are around 90 percent. The rest of the Medicare program is headed toward bankruptcy, with Part D the only model of success to point to.
Source: dailycaller.com

Video: Louisiana Medicare Supplemental Insurance

$30.7 Million Cut to Louisiana Medicare Begins October 1st, 2012

“At both political conventions – and in health policy forums like those sponsored by AARP today in New Orleans – seniors’ Medicare-funded nursing home care and its ongoing funding adequacy has been part of a vigorous, necessary national discussion,” stated Alan G. Rosenbloom, President of AQNHC, which funded the data analysis. “The higher profile of nursing home funding in the 2012 election reflects the growing importance of ending what essentially amounts to a ‘cut now, ask questions later’ governmental funding policy. We hope to help engender a consensus that bigger-picture, systemic reforms that reduce costs, improve efficiency and optimize care quality must be pursued once the election is over.”
Source: seniorlivingcare.com

Insurance Policies Favoring Compounded Drugs For High

Vials of a compounded version of the injectable pregnancy drug were among the dozens of products recalled by the now-shuttered New England Compounding Center (NECC) in Framingham, Mass., believed to be the source of the fungus-contaminated steroids linked to the meningitis outbreak. Experts say contracting meningitis from the pregnancy drug is unlikely because it’s administered into muscle, not the spine. But a contaminated dose “could cause a local infection,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman Curtis Allen.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Degrees of Separation: Medicaid This Election Season

Earlier this year, Louisiana’s Medicaid system was sold to a private company, and new rules and guidelines were set in motion.  Historically, when healthcare providers like doctors and social workers work directly with patients, the state of Louisiana paid the providers directly for any services rendered.  Today, under a new managed care arrangement, doctors are paid by a third-party organization with whom the state contracts.  Understandably, the amount employees are paid is based upon their credentials, and increase according to any degrees earned by the employee who bills for services.  Under this new managed care system, employees without a B.A. are no longer paid enough, even though there is no difference in the services received by patients.  These new reimbursement rates are making it impossible for employers to continue to pay those who may be well seasoned in the social service industry through decades of professional experience, simply because they don’t have the degree to show for it.
Source: wordpress.com

Medicare fraud scheme puts Louisiana woman, others behind bars

The woman was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 18 months in prison. In addition, she will be supervised for a period of two years after her release from prison and will be required to pay $3.18 million as restitution for her supposed crimes. Documents show that eight other defendants have been sentenced in regards to this scheme with three more people still awaiting their sentences. In most criminal cases, the sooner a defense attorney is contacted the more effective he or she will be in developing an effective strategy in response to any charges.
Source: steveleblanc.com

Romney continues campaign of lies 

But FactCheck.org concluded: “Various incarnations of this claim have cropped up in Romney’s campaign speeches — including claims that Obama is ‘cutting’ ‘funneling’ or ‘raiding’ $716 billion from Medicare to pay for the health care law. But Medicare money isn’t being taken away. The Affordable Care Act calls for a $716 billion reduction in the growth of Medicare spending over 10 years, a move that – if successful – would keep the hospital insurance trust fund solvent for an additional eight years… Furthermore, as we explained in detail in our story ‘Medicare’s ‘Piggy Bank,’ “ Medicare doesn’t have $716 billion sitting around that could be ‘raided.’ The president can’t take money out of the trust fund – which had $244.2 billion at the end of 2011.”
Source: louisianaweekly.com

Senior Benefit Services, Inc.

Effective November 10, 2012 on new business & January 1, 2013 in force business for Gerber 2010 Modernized Medicare Supplement plans in Idaho and Medicare Supplements and SELECT plans in Utah. The Rate Adjustments will affect plans  A, B, and C.
Source: srbenefit.com

Louisiana Federal District Court Approves MSA Based on G&L Expert Testimony :Gould & Lamb

Gould & Lamb provides its clients with Medicare Compliance Services and Programs focused on reducing claim costs and positioning claims for settlement. To this end, Gould & Lamb has prepared a Settlement Language Guide to assist insurers and self insured entities navigate the complex sea of Medicare Secondary Payer compliance. The guide contains language for possible claims settlement scenarios with a description and analysis of possible actions. Once the Conditional Payment or Medicare Set Aside issue has been brought to light, Gould & Lamb will assist with recommending MSP appropriate and protective settlement language. If you have already produced settlement documentation that contains such language, Gould & Lamb will review same and make recommendations on any needed changes, additions, or deletions. Gould & Lamb also offers our clients detailed and specific to the claim analysis of all Medicare Secondary Payer exposure issues that may exist in your case. Gould & Lamb’s extensive and experienced MSP legal team will provide a written analysis, including statutory, regulatory, and case law citations, that outlines any Medicare Secondary Payer exposure and recommends solutions to any discovered potential problems or issues. Gould & Lamb also provides expert advice on MSP issues, available to provide expert testimony on any MSP issue at meetings, mediations, depositions, hearings, trials, or any other event our client deems our expert analysis helpful or necessary.
Source: themedicarecomplianceblog.com

Four people arrested for Medicare fraud

“Such activity has not only siphoned precious taxpayer resources, drive up health care costs and jeopardized the strength of the Medicare program, it also disproportionately victimized the most vulnerable members of our society including the elderly, disabled and impoverished Americans.”
Source: wafb.com

Why Private Medicare Plans Don't Cost Less

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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

Video: How to Understand Medicare Plans

Daily Kos: Elderly will be hit hard by Romney’s Medicare, Medicaid plans

As it turns out, what we know for sure about Mitt Romney’s assault on senior citizens may pale compared to what we don’t. Romney, after all, has promised to magically offset $5 trillion in tax cuts and $2 trillion in new defense spending over the next decade by closing as yet unnamed tax credits, deductions and deductions. But among Uncle Sam’s $1.1 trillion in annual tax expenditures are a host of tax breaks for the elderly. That figure is forecast to hit almost $1.4 trillion by 2015. While the home mortgage and health expense deductions top that list, untaxed Social Security benefits will reach $44 billion annually in three years. And that’s just one example. Mitt Romney has called for raising the retirement age to 67 for those now 55 and under. (In his 2008 campaign, Romney supported President Bush’s proposal to privatize the retiree pension system.)
Source: dailykos.com

Medicare Plan Finder for Health, Prescription Drug and Medigap plans

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 open enrollment: How can I find a better plan?

What about doctor availability? On the Medicare site you can directly compare up to three plans, and when I selected your current plan and these other two plans, I saw that your current plan says it has 1001-1500 “physicians and providers,” compared to 4001-5000 for the other two plans. For each plan you can click on “View provider and physician network website,” which takes you away from Medicare.gov and onto the plan’s own website, where you can search its provider directory to judge for yourself whether it has enough doctors to meet your needs.
Source: consumerreports.org

Weiss Ratings Launches Unique Medicare Planning Tool for Seniors

The Planner suggests specific Medicare plans at the lowest prices offered by the strongest insurers. And because some plans with low initial rates may actually be more costly in the long run, the Planner has another distinctive capability—it considers historical price increases for Medigap policy recommendations. It also gives seniors the benefit of government quality assessments, by taking into account the federally assigned star ratings when making Medicare Advantage and prescription drug plan recommendations.
Source: moneyandmarkets.com

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

Kaiser study: Romney’s Medicare plan raises costs

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

VP Candidates Spar Over Medicare Plan Specifics

Politico Pro: What Biden And Ryan Said, And What They Meant What Ryan said: “If you reform these programs for my generation, people 54 and below, you can guarantee they don’t change for people in or near retirement, which is precisely what Mitt Romney and I are proposing.” Why he said it: Romney and Ryan need seniors to feel protected from any changes to the Medicare benefits they’re already enjoying. Romney also needs to preserve the power of his other charge: That unlike his plan, President Barack Obama does cut Medicare for current seniors. What he didn’t say: If future retirees start switching to private plans … some analysts have warned that seniors in traditional Medicare will have trouble finding doctors. … What Biden said: “We cut the cost of Medicare. We stopped overpaying insurance companies, doctors and hospitals. The AMA supported what we did. AARP endorsed what we did.” Why he said it: The best defense against Ryan’s attacks on Obama’s Medicare cuts is to point out that two respected nationwide groups … supported the health care law. What he didn’t say: AARP has asked the Obama administration to stop using its name to promote the law (Nather, 10/11).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Smith’s Mom Endorses Medicare Plan in New Ad (Watch Video)

Both parties have been banging the Medicare drum for the 2012 cycle, each with misleading claims about the other party’s plans. Smith’s ad accuses Casey of voting to cut $716 billion from Medicare when he supported Obamacare. However, that $716 billion would affect providers, not beneficiaries. And, Smith has voice support for Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget, which leaves the exact same $716 billion out of Medicare.
Source: politicspa.com

Kaiser Permanente Leads the Nation with Six 5

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