CMS Issues Final Rules on Medicaid, Medicare Provider Payment Rates

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Sign at Occupy St Pete: "Hands Off Social Security, Medicaid Medicare"  "www.SayNoCuts.org" by Fifth World ArtThe payment increase applies to physicians practicing in family medicine, general internal medicine, pediatric medicine and related subspecialties, such as board certified pediatric cardiologists. The rule clarifies that primary care services delivered by medical professionals working under the personal supervision of a qualifying physician, such as nurse practitioners, also are eligible for the higher payment rate (Reichard,
Source: californiahealthline.org

Video: Medicare and Medicaid: What’s it all mean?

13 Recent Medicare, Medicaid Issues

1. Hospital outpatient departments will receive Medicare payment rate increases of 1.8 percent, while ambulatory surgery center Medicare rates will increase by 0.6 percent, according to CMS’ final rule on outpatient policy and payments. 2. CMS issued its final rule on the Medicare physician fee schedule for 2013, saying Medicare reimbursement rates for physicians will be slashed by 26.5 percent on Jan. 1, 2013, unless Congress bypasses the sustainable growth rate. 3. Starting Jan. 1, 2013, through the end of 2014, certain primary care physicians will see their Medicaid payments increase to Medicare rates. 4. The American Hospital Association and four hospitals sued HHS over denied Medicare payments resulting from RAC audits. 5. The American Hospital Association and the Association of American Medical Colleges commissioned Dobson DaVanzo & Associates to look at bundled payments and provide analysis on different episode-based payment bundles that providers could expect. The study looked at 16 MS-DRG families that represent a significant portion of Medicare’s fee-for-service payments. 6. Additional imaging service referrals by providers who self-referred cost Medicare approximately $109 million from 2004 through 2010, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report. 7. A new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine revealed that per capita Medicare spending is growing three times faster for seniors in the United States compared with seniors in Canada. 8. CMS approved Washington’s HealthPathWashington initiative — a project that aims to improve the care of state residents enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. 9. Here is a list of total Medicare beneficiaries by state in 2012. 10. As federal and state agencies attempt to reduce the growth of spending for people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, new research showed it may be hard to find large savings in new demonstration programs. 11. The Medicaid expansion provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will start in 2014, adding millions of people to Medicaid rolls, but hospitals and other providers may not understand how to best tailor their medical and business practices to take advantage of the provision. 12. Here is a table of Medicaid cost-containment actions 50 states and Washington, D.C., have taken in 2012. 13. In a recent webinar, Ken Perez, senior vice president of marketing and director of healthcare policy for MedeAnalytics, broke down the current state of Medicare, discussing everything from the politicization of Medicare to detailed breakdowns of presidential Medicare plans.
Source: beckershospitalreview.com

Rowan woman gets prison for Medicare fraud

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Source: salisburypost.com

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

CMS Raises Medicaid Rates For Some Doctors

Modern Healthcare: CMS Details Medicaid Primary-Care Payments Boost The CMS issued a final rule late Thursday temporarily increasing primary-care physician payments from Medicaid. The rule (PDF), which implements a provision of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, details the extent and target of the increase, which takes effect in January and lasts through 2014. The provision is designed to match Medicare rates, but the rule specifically covers only the difference between the Medicare rate and states’ Medicaid rates as of July 1, 2009. The additional federal funding may not be enough to increase the rate to Medicare levels because some states have enacted Medicare provider rate cuts since mid-2009 (Daly, 11/1).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Health Care Politics: Vouchers, Block Grants, Medicare and Medicaid | Elections 2012

Cossy Hough, LCSW, has been a social worker since 1992. She worked for several years as a community-based case manager and worked from 1997 to 2009 as an administrator with the Texas Department of State Health Services, Case Management for Children and Pregnant Women program. Ms. Hough has experience with program planning, policy development and evaluation, as well as social welfare initiatives and legislative analysis. Her direct practice experience also included medical social work and provision of mental health services. She is a member of the Texas Chapter of NASW.
Source: utexas.edu

SANS: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Win 2012 National Cybersecurity Innovation Award

To effectively reduce risk across the widely distributed network of sites, CMS first developed a process to assess the relative security of each datacenter and normalized these security scores across the variety of security tools providing the feeds. The resulting product is a single, cohesive, apples-to-apples scoring solution that pinpoints critical risks, provides remediation information, and creates visibility in a manner that drives rapid remediation responses. CMS demonstrated initial success with this system in 2010 by developing a vulnerability risk scorecard and letter grading system to foster healthy competition among the contractors. Through this program, CMS reduced the average host risk scores at two high-risk data centers by over 68% between July 2010 and January 2011.
Source: sans.org

Medicare and Medicaid Costs (Utility Post)

The go-to source on Medicare Advantage is the official Medpac report (pdf), which currently finds MA plans costing on average 7 percent more than conventional Medicare. This is less than the premium a few years ago; apparently (pdf) because several changes in Medicare policy more or less incidentally put the squeeze on MA plans. So far those plans are still expanding, but time will tell.
Source: nytimes.com

Tommy Thompson: Who Better Than Me To Do Away With Medicare, Medicaid?

Abortion Ads ALEC American Crossroads Americans For Prosperity Bain Capital Big Oil Bob Perry Crossroads GPS Education Etch-A-Sketch Foster Friess Front Groups Funders Gun Control Harold Hamm Harold Simmons Healthcare Herman Cain Immigration Jobs John McCain Karl Rove Koch Brothers Mitt Romney Newt Gingrich Oil Subsidies Paul Ryan Poverty Red White and Blue Fund Religious Right Restore Our Future Rick Perry Rick Santorum Robocalls Scott Walker Sheldon Adelson Super PACs Supreme Court Tax Shelters Tea Party Union Busting Voter Suppresion Wall Street Winning Our Future
Source: buyingourfuture.com

Manhattan Moment: Obama and Biden will turn Medicare into Medicaid

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

Is it time for another lawsuit? Advocating to change the Medicare Hospice Benefit eligibility requirements

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Benefit Security Card .. HALF of the U.S live in households that receive government benefits (26 May 2012) ...item 2.. Brevard man gets 4 years in Social Security fraud case (Jun 1, 2012 ) ... by marsmet481I have decided that there is compelling evidence that the Medicare Hospice eligibility requirements are outdated and need to be re-written.  These policies are not driven by patient need and the evidence is mounting that limiting access to hospice and palliative services actually increases the cost of health care at the end of life.  Those with concerns about the rise in the cost of the Medicare Hospice Benefit appear to put undue focus on the increasing length of stay of a number of hospice patients without considering that hospice and palliative care can be more cost effective than usual care.  This cost reduction does not come from “irrationally rationing” health care but by facilitating conversations that allow patients and families to understand prognosis and verbalize preferences and goals about end-of-life care.  These conversations enable health care providers to guide patients away from costly treatments and interventions that do not facilitate attainment of patients’ goals or add to the quality or length of their lives. If you agree that it is time for a change to the eligibility requirements, what can we do as hospice and palliative medicine providers to advocate for our patients to receive high-quality palliative and end-of-life care in a manner that makes sense? Do we wait until the results of the concurrent care demonstration project are in? Do we ask AAHPM, NHPCO, and HPNA’s Public Policy and Advocacy Committees to weigh in on the matter?  Or do we wait until the lawyers file another class-action lawsuit against Medicare? by: Shaida Talebreza Brandon (all opinions expressed are my own)
Source: geripal.org

Video: Medicare Benefits and New Health Reform Law

Simplee’s payment portal for for health care gets boost from Medicare support — Tech News and Analysis

But Shoval’s goal is to make Simplee the trusted destination for patients to make all of their out-of-pocket health payments, from hospitalization to dentist visits to primary care appointments. Between 2006 and 2010, Shoval said, the yearly amount that an average family pays out of pocket climbed nearly 80 percent, from $2,000 to $3,600.  As the consumer-driven healthcare movement makes consumers even more responsible for their medical spending, he believes there is an opportunity for Simplee to be the central hub for all of their transactions.
Source: gigaom.com

Medicare Open Enrollment Runs Thru Dec 7

As reported in previous issues of this newsletter, the Obama Administration has engaged in a steady stream of propaganda, at taxpayers’ expense, to try to convince the public in general, and seniors in particular, that President’s health care law is beneficial to them. Some of the most recent examples of these blatant pro-Obama efforts include government news releases: PEOPLE WITH MEDICARE SAVE $4.8 BILLION ON PRESCRIPTION DRUGS BECAUSE OF THE HEALTH CARE LAW PEOPLE WITH MEDICARE HAVE MORE HIGH QUALITY CHOICES, which claims, “As a result of provisions in the Affordable Care Act, Medicare is doing more to promote enrollment in high quality plans and alert beneficiaries who are enrolled in lower quality plans… The Affordable Care Act also added new benefits to Medicare, including in the Medicare Advantage program.” NEW PROGRAM TO INCREASE QUALITY IN NURSING FACILITIES, which claims, “The Initiative will be run collaboratively by the CMS Medicare-Medicaid Coordination Office and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, both created by the Affordable Care Act to improve health care quality and reduce costs in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.” HHS CONTINUES TO SUPPORT STATE EFFORTS TO BUILD AFFORDABLE INSURANCE EXCHANGES, which claims, “Because of the Affordable Care Act, consumers and small businesses will have access to Exchanges starting in 2014.” HEALTH CARE LAW ENSURES CONSUMERS GET CLEAR, CONSISTENT INFORMATION ABOUT HEALTH COVERAGE THROUGH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT, AMERICANS WITH MEDICARE WILL SAVE $5,000 THROUGH 2022 The “Affordable Care Act” is the nickname which HHS has given to Obamacare. It is not the official name of the law. Despite this heavy-handed propaganda, most seniors understand the President’s health care law cuts $716 Billion from Medicare to finance other aspects of Obamacare. These savings are achieved by rationing health care for seniors through the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB).   A previous issue of this newsletter reported that Dick Gephardt, the House Democratic leader before Nancy Pelosi, explained the devastating nature of IPAB:
Source: sixtysecondactivist.com

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

Why no outrage over Obama forcing Medicare beneficiaries to forgo care or pay thousands?

Inpatients pay a one-time deductible ($1,156 during 2012) for all hospital services and medications provided during a hospital stay. By contrast, outpatients have to pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount for each hospital service and the difference (usually significant) between what a hospital charges for medications and what their Medicare prescription drug plan will pay for medications purchased from network providers. Individuals have reported having to pay $18 for one baby aspirin and $71 for one blood pressure pill they can get at their local pharmacy for 16 cents.
Source: dailycaller.com

NFCC Financial Education Blog

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

OOPS I THINK THE SHINE IS OFF THE PEACH ...........IT'S ABOUT TIME by SS&SSEligibility. Medicare provides health care benefits to people age 65 and older and those under 65 with certain disabilities or end-stage renal disease. For most people, the initial enrollment period is the seven-month period that begins three months before the month they turn 65. If you miss that window, you may enroll for the first time between January 1 and March 31 each year, although your coverage won’t begin until July 1. To apply for Medicare online, visit this site.
Source: nfcc.org

Video: Pete Mitchell’s When To Sign Up For Medicare by Pete Mitchell

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

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

Medicare Rx Open Enrollment

There’s never been a better time to check out Medicare coverage. With the new health care law, there are new benefits available to people with Medicare, including lower prescription costs, wellness checkups and preventive care. The new law also provides better ways to protect beneficiaries from fraud, making Medicare stronger for all of us and for future generations.
Source: patch.com

Confetti Wine Glasses, Medicare Enrollment This Week

Craft your own set of four confetti wine glasses to give as a gift or use for your holiday entertaining on Saturday, December 8 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.. Samples will be on display at the Library. Class is limited to 20 participants. Registration required and can be done at the Circulation desk. Friends registration begins Nov. 11 – fee is $15. General public registration begins Nov. 18 – fee is $18.
Source: patch.com

Beware of fraud during Medicare enrollment

“Consumers should be suspicious of unsolicited calls from anyone claiming to be from Medicare,” Matthew Fehling, BBB president and CEO, said in a statement. “Medicare will generally not make unsolicited calls to update information, issue a new card or offer free medical equipment. We recommend seniors hang up and call a trusted Medicare number if they have questions regarding their benefits.”
Source: consumerinsuranceguide.com

Medicare Open Enrollment Underway

Medicare’s open enrollment period is now underway, giving current or newly eligible Medicare beneficiaries the opportunity to sign up for benefits or make changes to existing coverage.   The open enrollment period began Oct. 15 and continues until Dec. 7. And, as senior citizens review or consider changing their Medicare benefit plans, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel issued this consumer alert today to help consumers as they navigate their Medicare options.   A recent survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that nearly one in four American senior citizens were unaware of their annual opportunity to review or change Medicare coverage. More than a third of seniors surveyed said they review or compare coverage options only once every few years, rarely, or never.   “Medicare beneficiaries have the option every year to review the coverage that’s right for them, depending on their health-care needs,” McDaniel said. “As with any insurance product, it’s always good practice to shop around for the best plan.”   In addition to typical Medicare coverage, beneficiaries must join a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Medicare Part D), unless they have prescription coverage under another recognized plan. Beneficiaries may choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan, which operates like an HMO or PPO and may also include a prescription drug benefit.   To select a plan, compare plans and coverage, or estimate costs, visit www.medicare.gov. Senior citizens are encouraged to make changes as soon as possible to allow coverage to begin uninterrupted on Jan. 1, 2013.   Beneficiaries may be able to join other types of Medicare health plans as well. Click here for more information on how to select a plan.   Medicare beneficiaries may also call a 24-hour hotline, (800) MEDICARE, with questions about coverage options. In Arkansas, the Senior Health Insurance Information Program, or SHIIP (click here) is available to assist Medicare beneficiaries.   McDaniel noted that his Consumer Protection Division often sees an uptick in Medicare-related scams during the open enrollment period. He urged beneficiaries and their families to use caution when sharing sensitive personal or financial information.   Scammers in the past have asked Medicare beneficiaries for information such as bank account numbers or Social Security numbers over the phone. Medicare rules prohibit these types of calls, though. No beneficiary should provide that type of information to someone who calls them, no matter whether the caller sounds official.   The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection website (click here) offers tips and resources to help consumers avoid Medicare-related scams and other types of scams and fraud. Consumers may also download a free, electronic copy of the Medicare Protection Toolkit on the website.
Source: arkansasmatters.com

Penalties can occur if you don’t sign up for Medicare Prescription Drug Plans when you are first eligible

Terri Trepanier is the Owner of Balanced Care and a licensed insurance broker in New Hampshire and Maine.  Located in Rochester, NH, she specializes in helping individuals and businesses with their Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, Life Insurance, Disability Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, Medicare Supplemental, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, Accident, Critical Illness, and Cancer Plans.    Terri knows the importance of insurance products and how they help individuals and families.    She continually strives to give her clients the Peace Of Mind that each of us deserves.
Source: balancedcarehealth.com

Medicare News: Enrollment Periods that Happen Every Year for Part C and Part D Begin Early this Year

You can sign up when you’re first eligible for Part B. For example, if you’re eligible for Part B when you turn 65, this is a 7-month period that begins 3 months before the month you turn 65, includes the month you turn 65, and ends 3 months after the month you turn 65. If you enroll in Part B during the first 3 months of your Initial Enrollment Period, your coverage start date will depend on your birthday:
Source: indoamerican-news.com

Medicare Open Enrollment: Be a smart shopper

The good news is the health care law has gone a long way toward lowering overall costs 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: nhcoa.org

Medicare and Hearing Aids

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

OBAMACARE WATCH: MORE DARKNESS THAN LIGHT AND OF COURSE TAXES AND PENALTYS by SS&SSHearing loss is very common among aging adults. Your hearing loss may stem from several causes, though the most common is sensorineural. That means that the tiny hairs inside your ears have been damaged and are deteriorating, usually because of aging. You losing your hearing if you notice that straining to hear thing clearly makes you tired, or if you watch the mouths of people around you to understand what they are saying. Other troubling signs of hearing loss include having difficulty hearing people in public places where there is a lot of ambient sound, or if you often find yourself asking people to repeat themselves.
Source: totalmedicare.com

Video: Does Medicare Insurance Cover Hearing Aids? : Medicare Insurance Questions

Dispelling some rumors about Medicare and the health law limiting care

LocalHealthGuide is a health news and information web service for Seattle and the Puget Sound Region. We are independent and unaffiliated with any hospital, medical association or insurer. If you have questions or if your group has an upcoming event that you would like us to cover, please let us know by going to our “Contact Us” page and dropping us a note. — Michael McCarthy, Editor
Source: mylocalhealthguide.com

Choosing Medicare Supplemental Insurance

If you want to create a more comprehensive insurance plan for yourself and your family, it is advisable to purchase Medicare supplemental insurance. Policies are available privately through companies which sell Medigap insurance, but they can only be purchased when the client already has Medicare parts A and B. Each policy is for one person at a time. Medigap will not cover long term dental, vision, or hearing problems and accessories, but there are other ways in which a policy can be of practical help to a consumer.
Source: npanday.org

Does Medicare Supplemental Insurance Pay For Hearing Aids?

The Medicare insurance program available to those 65 and older is where the confusion starts. Medicare insurance is not all inclusive on in its own right, and includes several “parts” to which the applicant must decide which is best for them. These parts are listed and identified by letters that represent the coverage offered in each of these parts or plans. Seniors must decide which plan is most appropriate for them by looking at each individual plan to decide if the coverage optional available in that plan is required for their personal health situation. Clients that have reduced hearing capacity should pay special attention to Medicare Part B. The Part B plan clearly states that routine hearing exams and hearing aids are not covered under this plan except for specific diagnostic hearing exams and then if only ordered by your doctor.
Source: seniorcorps.org

Should Medicare’s Eligibility Age Be Raised?

With tens of millions of baby boomers heading into retirement,Medicare’s long-term financial prognosis is grim. One proposed solution is to raise the eligibility age gradually to 67 from 65. What do you think? Health Blog
Source: knowledgeofmedicine.com

Savvy Senior: How to find help paying for your hearing aid

Lions Affordable Hearing Aid Project: Offered through some Lions clubs throughout the United States, this program provides the opportunity to purchase new, digital hearing aids manufactured by Rexton for $200 per aid, plus shipping. To be eligible, most clubs will require your income to be somewhere below 200 percent of the federal poverty level which is $22,340 for singles, or $30,260 for couples. Contact your local Lions club (see lionsclubs.org for contact information) to see if they participate in this project.
Source: pomeradonews.com

TX Register Updates: 10/29 Forum, 11/14

Repeal of §371.1000, Provider Re-Enrollment or Provider Contract Modification; §371.1621, Provider Enrollment; §371.1623, Criminal History Checks; §371.1625, Use of Criminal History Information; and §371.1627, Administrative Review of Rejection of Provider Enrollment by Reason of Criminal History, and new §§371.1001, 371.1003, 371.1005, 371.1007, 371.1009, 371.1011, 371.1013, and 371.1015, Provider Disclosure and Screening Requirements for Medicaid and other HHS Programs in Texas. Among the changes to implement ACA: describes the screening levels that may apply to provider applicants and provides that applicants with certain histories may be categorized as a higher risk for screening purposes.
Source: garloward.com

The Left’s False Alternative on Health Care

ObamaCare does empower a “government takeover of health care,” through virtually complete control of health insurance. One example of this is Obama’s controversial birth control mandate, which compels all health insurance plans—including employer-provided plans—to include women’s contraceptive coverage, at no out-of-pocket cost to women, for all related FDA-approved products, including sterilization and “morning after” abortion pills. Another is the pre-existing conditions mandate, which “necessitated” the individual insurance mandate, which requires every individual to purchase a government-approved health insurance policy or face a special “tax” (i.e., a fine). As Scott Gottlieb recently noted, “ObamaCare empowers a host of new boards and committees to arbitrate over what insurance will pay for, and what remains uncovered. They’ll rule over not just health plans sold inside the ObamaCare exchanges, but even private insurance.”
Source: theobjectivestandard.com

Free hearing aids given out in the Bronx ::
Pavement Pieces

9/11 2011 ING New York City Marathon Arizona arrest Border Brooklyn business Chinatown Crime Detroit East Village economy Education food Ground Zero Harlem homeless Illegal Immigration Immigrants Immigration Manhattan Marathon Memorial Mexico Music New York New York City NYPD obama occupy wall street OWS Philadelphia Police Protest protestors Queens Rally religion Romney runners September 11 super bowl xlvi Wall Street World Trade Center zuccotti park
Source: pavementpieces.com

Canadian and American Healthcare Comparison ‹ Social Justice Solutions

Where else can a woman get pregnant, be followed by a physician or Ob/Gyn, obtain any needed tests or exams, ultrasounds, give birth to a baby and there are no additional fees attached? Yes, if one is working is is required that we obtain additional or supplemental health insurance, through our employer, but it is for things not covered by Medicare like, Dental, private Physical Therapy, private Occupational Therapy, Osteopath, Therapeutic Massage, Acupuncture, tests not covered by Medicare, glasses, or expensive hearing aids that are above what Medicare deems as necessary. Plus some of us have access to a Health Spending Account through our supplemental health insurance to cover orthodontics and the like. We also pay close to 15% tax on everything to help pay for all this.
Source: socialjusticesolutions.org

Blue Care Network expands Medicare Advantage service area, Blue Cross and Blue Care Network add plan options

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

32.Detroit by Tomato GeezerIn addition, BCN Advantage members will now be able to “buy up” to more comprehensive dental and vision benefits for a modest additional premium. Members will receive partial coverage on restorative services such as fillings, root canals, crowns and crown repairs. They’ll also get an allowance for frames and lenses to improve their vision health.
Source: hcwreview.com

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

Romney Campaign Focuses On New Trio Of States

The Washington Post: Ad Watch: Pro-Obama Group Ties Romney To Medicare Fraud What it says: “[Rick] Scott ran a company that paid a record fine for committing Medicare fraud. Then, as governor, Scott cut millions from health care. Romney was director of a company that stole millions from Medicare. Now, Romney’s plan would end Medicare as we know it.” What it means: A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll finds that Romney is closing the gap with President Obama on who would better handle Medicare. This ad seeks to widen it by linking Medicare cuts to Medicare fraud (Weiner, 10/31).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Medicare changes: What seniors need to know

Co-pays can change This expanded drug coverage, along with the screenings that will be covered now for mental health, alcohol misuse and sexually transmitted diseases, are the sort of services that not only thread through a senior’s daily quality of life, they have deep impact on long-term mental and physical health, said Dr. Gwendolyn Graddy-Dansby, a geriatrician and the medical director of the Henry Ford Center for Senior Independence, a Medicare- and Medicaid-funded center that helps seniors avoid nursing homes and remain in their homes as long as possible.
Source: flcourier.com

Medicare Part D Notice Required Before October 15

This is a reminder that the deadline to distribute the Annual Notice of Creditable Coverage required under Medicare Part D is less than a week away. This notice informs participants whether the prescription drug coverage offered under your health plan constitutes creditable or noncreditable coverage. As the Medicare Part D annual enrollment period now runs from October 15 to December 7, you must distribute the notices before October 15. Employers who sponsor a health plan offering prescription drug benefits must provide an annual notice to all Medicare-eligible participants that explains whether the prescription drug benefits offered under the plan are at least as good as the benefits offered under the Medicare Part D plan. The only employers exempt from this requirement are those that establish their own Part D plan or contract with a Part D plan. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has posted forms and instructions for providing this notice. The forms were last updated in 2011. They are available, both in English and Spanish, through the following links:
Source: jdsupra.com

Michigan doctor charged with $40M Medicare fraud

If you enjoy the content on the Crain’s Detroit Business Web site and want to see more, try 8 issues of our print edition risk-free. If you wish to continue, you will receive 44 more issues (for a total of 52 in all), including the annual Book of Lists for just $59. That’s over 55% off the cover price. If you decide Crain’s is not for you, just write “Cancel” on the invoice, return it and owe nothing. The 8 issues are yours to keep with no further obligation to us. Sign up below.
Source: crainsdetroit.com

Hospitals Sue HHS Over Alleged Unfair Medicare Practices

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has filed suit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over its alleged refusal to meet its financial obligations for hospital services provided to some Medicare patients. The AHA was joined in the suit by four hospital systems: Missouri Baptist Hospital, a critical access hospital in Sullivan, Mo.; Munson Medical Center, a 391-bed hospital in Traverse City, Mich.; Lancaster General Hospital, a 631-bed facility in Lancaster, Pa.; and Trinity Health Corporation, which owns 35 hospitals.
Source: healthcare-informatics.com

Fausone Bohn, LLP: Michigan Medicare Fraud Strike Force

The investigation was triggered by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. Since its inception in March 2007, the strike force has charged more than 1,330 defendants who collectively have fraudulently billed Medicare for more than $4 billion. Working in conjuncture with the FBI and HHS, the strike force hopes to increase accountability and decrease the presence of fraudulent providers.
Source: blogspot.com

New Ad From Democrats Attacks Michigan Lawmaker on Medicare

The attack ad represents part of a larger strategy by Democrats to make a prominent issue of Medicare, which they perceive as a major political weakness of Mr. Ryan’s budget plan. That tack has already extended to some Congressional races, including ones in Montana and Florida.
Source: nytimes.com

Dispelling Some Rumors About Medicare And The Health Law Limiting Care

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Medicare for All by juhansoninMedicare Part D prescription drug plans vary widely, both in terms of which drugs are covered and in how much beneficiaries must pay out of pocket for them. But Medicare drug plans must cover at least two drugs in each drug class or category, such as cardiovascular agents, which would include cholesterol-lowering medications, and blood- glucose regulators such as oral anti-diabetes drugs. In addition, the plans must cover nearly all the drugs in six protected classes, including cancer drugs, HIV/AIDS drugs, antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants and immunosuppressant drugs.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Kaiser Medicare Part D Insurance – Compare to over 180 Comp

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

Kaiser study: Romney’s Medicare plan raises costs

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

Kaiser Study on Medicare Premium Support Assumes Seniors Would Not Choose Lower Prices

The authors of the Kaiser study assume that zero beneficiaries would switch from traditional Medicare to a cheaper plan, despite cost increases. Part of the gain from competition is that health plans must compete for beneficiaries in order to retain or gain market share. They have to secure high satisfaction, as they do today, for example, in Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage. To create a scenario that simply ignores the gains of market competition grossly misrepresents the economic impact of any consumer-driven market, including a health care market with premium support. The study’s headline is that 53 percent of enrollees in traditional Medicare would pay more, but within the study, when benificiaries respond to higher premiums, the number falls to as low as 33 percent.
Source: heritage.org

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

Romney Camp Dismisses Kaiser Study On Medicare Vouchers

This study should not, however, be interpreted as an analysis of any particular proposal, including the Romney-Ryan proposal, because such an analysis would require additional, more detailed policy specifications than are currently available, and would also require assumptions about future shifts in demographics, spending, and enrollment, nationally and by local markets, which would occur regardless of policy changes. Additionally, this analysis assumes full implementation of a premium support system in 2010, whereas other proposals would gradually phase-in a premium support system over time, and apply the premium support system to new enrollees rather than all beneficiaries (e.g., current seniors).
Source: talkingpointsmemo.com

Kaiser named top rated Medicare plan in Hawaii

big island biif billy kenoi daniel akaka dlnr dui stats earthquake election 2012 fire gov linda lingle halemaumau hawaii hawaii volcanoes national park hhsaa high surf advisory hilo hvo ironman kailua-kona ka‘u keaau kilauea Kohala kona lava mauna kea mauna loa missing neil abercrombie nws pahoa parker school police puna recalls traffic triathlon tsunami uh-hilo usgs volcano volcano watch waiakea waikoloa waimea
Source: hawaii247.com

The Recent Medicare Plan by the Kaiser Family Foundation

According to a study published on Monday by the Kaiser Family Foundation, if a similar reformed Medicare structure would have performed in 2010 to that of what Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have proposed, then nine in ten Massachusetts seniors would have been forced to pay higher health insurance premiums that time.
Source: topnews.us

Kaiser Permanente Receives Highest Rating for Medicare Plan in Mid

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 careproviders 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.
Source: seniorlivingcare.com

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

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

KAISER PERMANENTE’S MEDICARE PLANS GARNER 5 STAR RATING FOR 2ND STRAIGHT YEAR.

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

Poll: Romney pulls even with Obama on Medicare

If Obama loses this election, you can blame/thank the Right for bamboozling him. How is it ethical that an entire news network questions the President’s citizenship for four years to create doubt in voters while a fringe element of the far right demonizes and degrades him? Most of this is financed by the rich who want to keep their stranglehold on the flow of wealth in our country. Watch the white hands apply the Blackface to our first African-American President at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/10/bamboozling-obama.html
Source: unitedliberty.org

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

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Medicare Supplement Plan

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Medicare Supplement Insurance in Texas, like all other traditional forms of coverage does have rate increases and I dislike them as much as you do. BCBS seems to have some of the most stable rates in the industry, where some carriers have pounded the rates some 10 and 12% these guys have not exhibited that type of behavior. They actually experienced a rate decrease this last October which was a pleasant surprise to most seniors. Of course there is no way of knowing what may or may not happen from one year to the next so yes, they could raise rates soon, but so far so good.
Source: medicareinsurancetexas.com

Video: Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement-Compare 180 Comp

Florida Blue Is New Name for BCBS of Florida

They are also trying to decrease or hold steady their Medicare supplement rates while competitor AARP is increasing their supplement rates by 5%.  This new approach is a welcome change from the old BCBS of Florida who seemed to rely on their name recognition and less on robust benefits or a value based approach.  In less than a week the new benefit information for 2013 will be released.  Starting on October 15th you will be able to enroll into one of the Florida Blue plans if you want.  I will have updated information on this site so check back regularly.  If you have not already, sign up for my free mini-course in the upper right hand corner!
Source: medicare-plans.net

Blue Cross bills pass Senate, with changes; House panel is next

If you enjoy the content on the Crain’s Detroit Business Web site and want to see more, try 8 issues of our print edition risk-free. If you wish to continue, you will receive 44 more issues (for a total of 52 in all), including the annual Book of Lists for just $59. That’s over 55% off the cover price. If you decide Crain’s is not for you, just write “Cancel” on the invoice, return it and owe nothing. The 8 issues are yours to keep with no further obligation to us. Sign up below.
Source: crainsdetroit.com

Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plans: Under age 65 « Insurance News from Crowe & Associates

United/AARP will offer plans to those under age 65 as well but only down to age 50. For those on Medicare age 50 to age 64, AARP will offer plan A, B and C.   Plan A has the exact same benefits as the Anthem plan A discussed above.  Plan B covers the same thing as plan A supplement but also will cover the Hospital Part A deductible.  Plan C covers Basic benefits, 20% coinsurance, Part A and B deductibles and skilled nursing facility.  With the extra coverage comes additional cost as plan C with AARP costs over $230.00 a month
Source: croweandassociates.com

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota sponsoring free Medicare workshops for seniors

The workshops will be held in Grand Forks on Oct. 15, Bismarck on Oct. 17, Fargo on Oct. 18 and Minot on Oct. 23. The workshops are free and open to all North Dakotans who are eligible or soon to be eligible for Medicare. Seniors are encouraged to register for one of the free workshops online at www.medicareworkshopsnd.com or by calling 1-888-235-3905. The first 25 to register for one of the workshops will receive a free pedometer.
Source: bcbsnd.com

Choosing The Right Medicare Supplement Company

A Medicare supplement company provides insurance plans that help cover some or all of a person’s medical needs. They help an individual cover or limit their out-of pocket costs. For example, it can help cover out-of-pocket costs for medications that you will first have to pay, and then after you have met your deductible, they will begin to cover all of the expense of your medications. It is advantageous that a person who is insured by Medicare should get or consider enrolling with a Medicare supplement company.There are some Medicare supplement companies that are rated as being the best.
Source: seniorcorps.org

Oklahoma Blue Cross Blue Shield Medicare Supplement Plan Options

You’ve worked hard your entire life to make sure your family was protected with adequate medical coverage. Now that you’re 65, you’re eligible for Medicare and while it helps pay for a significant portion of your health care, it doesn’t pay for it all. Like many Oklahoma residents, you may have decided to purchase Medicare Supplement insurance, also called Medigap insurance to help pay for some of the costs you are responsible for paying for health care coverage. 
Source: oklahomamedicarehealth.com

Medicare Supplement companies

The state of Colorado has already authorized a move with Anthem Azure Cross Blue Shield to keep rates because of its Medicare Supplement plans the same in 2010 as these were in 2009. Appropriately, there appears to be little rate change for Anthem Medicare Supplement plans found in Colorado. However, Anthem Azure Cross Glowing blue Shield does prompt shoppers there is no rate guarantee for unique businesses. More info about rate changes Speed adjustments for Medicare plans are really typical and they are spotted because needed with health insurance services for several factors. The most common grounds for speed adjustments may need to do with the increase in deductibles and coinsurance levels from the Center for Medicare as well as Medicaid Solutions. CMS increased the Medicare Element A deductible from $1,068 to $1,ABSOLUTELY. Element A coinsurance amounts increased from $267 to $275 everyday for medical center remains from the 61st day within the medical center through the 90th day within the hospital. The coinsurance speed increase from $534 to $550 a day for the 60 lifetime reserve day. Moreover, coinsurance for Skilled Breastfeeding Facility Proper care increased from $133.50 daily to $137.50 per day for days 21 through 100. There had been also changes to Medicare Piece B deductibles; the deductible amount will increase from $135 to $155 per month and then the premium pace definitely will increase from $96.40 to $110.50 per month. There appears to be no corresponding increase in Personal Security benefits in 2010 to help cover the price of the increased rates. Additionally, based upon money submitting status, the CMS has poised a higher Medicare Piece B premium pace for higher-income participants and partners. Once again, Anthem Blue Cross Azure Protect customers might have the same rates because of Anthem’s choice to forgo the rate increase. According to Blue Cross Blue Shield, rather of increasing cost of coinsurance and also deductibles to customers, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Protect plans will take care of these increases because long as the program already covers deductibles and also coinsurance amounts. Since a happen, the amount of money that Anthem pays out to health related services in advantages because of its participating subscribers definitely will increase. Another cause that many rates for medical insurance plans increase is become of the increased are priced at in providing healthcare solutions. This are priced at correlates to an increase in the quantity of Medicare beneficiaries whom also enroll in Medicare Supplemental insurance plans. According to Anthem Glowing blue Cross Glowing blue Protect, the wellness insurance provider received the cost and employ of its Medicare Supplemental insurance policies advantages and additionally determined that they do definitely not must change the premiums for the plans for Colorado citizens but. The move to keep the rates the exact same since the two were in 2009 can help to save lots of Anthem Medicare Supplemental insurance policies structure customers funds. Medicare Supplemental insurance coverage really helps to cover the doughnut hole coverage difference which applies to many people enrolled in traditional Medicare plans. With Supplemental insurance, players can have increased coverage even if traditional Medicare plans do definitely not offer adequate coverage with regards to their medical solutions or perhaps items. Medicare beneficiaries must work with a great experienced Medicare advisor to learn more info on that Medicare Supplemental insurance plans are appropriate for them. Medicare Supplement companies
Source: bravejournal.com

Medicare Open Enrollment: What’s your back

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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

Video: Medicare Supplement Plans (How to Find)

Democrats vs Republicans on Health Insurance

Baronius – The only reason why Boxer’s statement was rated half true was because she overstated the amount of admin overhead of private insurers…but their overhead is STILL over five times that of Medicare: We won’t settle this question, but we will point out evidence that even when you control for the differences, Medicare is still considerably more cost-efficient. In one study, CBO found that privately run Medicare plans had 11 percent overhead, compared to 2 percent for traditional Medicare. And I have to look at all your statements with a jaded eye ever since you claimed that if Romney takes the oath of office in January, that he’ll inherit a worse mess than Obama did in January 2009. That in and of itself showed you incapable of objective observation. I recommend you take a look at Chris Christie, who is now reviled by the Republican media because he had the guts – and the honesty – to praise Obama for his response to Sandy. By doing so, Christie earned the respect of a lot of liberals (including myself), because he had the courage to violate the First Rule of the Republican Party: Thou Shalt NOT say anything good about Obama ever! But at least you yourself are sticking by that rule….
Source: blogcritics.org

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

Baicker: The insurance value of Medicare

Beneficiaries without any supplemental coverage thus do not have enough insurance and face too much risk. This risk is one reason that 90% of beneficiaries obtain some other type of insurance (e.g., retiree health benefits, Medigap, Medicare Advantage, or Medicaid). But beneficiaries with generous supplemental coverage probably have too much insurance. “Too much insurance” may seem like a nonsensical concept, but there is ample evidence that when copayments are lower, patients consume more care, much of which is of questionable benefit to health. The systemwide effects are considerable: the increasing prevalence of health insurance in the United States is estimated to be responsible for about half the increase in per capita health care spending between 1950 and 1990. Having little or no cost sharing may lead enrollees to consume low-value care and drive up the cost of Medicare for everyone.
Source: pnhp.org

Choosing a Health Insurance Plan?

You should take advantage of a new consumer benefit to help you compare health insurance plans. Beginning September 23, 2012, all private insurers must describe their health policies in a same way. Here’s an example of the first page of this description, so you know what to look for.
Source: consumersunion.org

Fed Budgetary Experts Demolish CBO Health Cost Model, the Lynchpin of Budget Hysteria

Long-run projections of the U.S. federal budget have played a prominent role in discussions about fiscal policy and the design of major transfer programs for several decades. The projections typically show large fiscal imbalances owing to ramping up of retirement and health care costs relative to GDP. Health care costs are the key factor in these projections for two reasons. First, in current projections they are the prime source of growth of spending as a share of GDP. Second, they are the most uncertain part of the forecast. For example, the Congressional Budget Office’s most recent long run outlook shows spending on Medicare and Medicaid, the governments health programs for the old and poor, respectively, rising from 4.1 per cent of GDP in 2007 to 19.1 per cent of GDP in 2082.1 By contrast, Social Security benefits (the government’s main old-age pension program) increase only 2 percentage points, from 4.3 per cent of GDP in 2007 to 6.4 per cent in 2082. Another analysis by CBO suggests that an 80 per cent confidence band around the Social Security projection would be from 51⁄2 to 91⁄2 per cent of GDP.2 CBO did not present similar calculations for health spending; instead, they projected health spending under three different assumptions about the rate of growth of age-adjusted health care spending in excess of per capita income. Their projections show health spending ranging from 7 to nearly 40 per cent of GDP by 2082.
Source: nakedcapitalism.com

How To Know If You Need Medicare Supplemental Insurance

If you require a lot of medical attention, getting the most coverage you can afford makes sense. Whether you have cancer, chronic illnesses, a major health condition, or regular visits to hospitals and specialists, supplemental insurance will help ensure that everything you need is covered and affordable. Getting Medicare supplemental insurance is also a good idea if your regular Medicare policy does not cover something specific that you need, such as a prescription medication, a certain type of service, or additional medical care that you need. Talk to your doctors and healthcare providers about your current health and the steps you will need to take in order to stay healthy. This will give you a good idea of what you need, and whether Medicare will cover it. If not, seek out a supplemental insurance plan.
Source: dzida.org

Obamacare ‘Surprise’ Threatens Access to Medicare Advantage Coverage, AMAC Charges

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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

Video: Dental Insurance Commercial for Folks on Medicare

Dental Patients Experience Total Convenience Through Medicare Dental Surgery

People 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

Penalties can occur if you don’t sign up for Medicare Prescription Drug Plans when you are first eligible

Terri Trepanier is the Owner of Balanced Care and a licensed insurance broker in New Hampshire and Maine.  Located in Rochester, NH, she specializes in helping individuals and businesses with their Health Insurance, Dental Insurance, Life Insurance, Disability Insurance, Long Term Care Insurance, Medicare Supplemental, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, Accident, Critical Illness, and Cancer Plans.    Terri knows the importance of insurance products and how they help individuals and families.    She continually strives to give her clients the Peace Of Mind that each of us deserves.
Source: balancedcarehealth.com

5 Services Medicare Won’t Pay For

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

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 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

Saving on Dental Expenses Without Dental Insurance

For readers from the US or Canada, you may consider Costa Rica as a viable alternative. You can save lots of money and still have a premium experience in certified clinics that use cutting edge technology and materials. Aside from that, Costa Rica is a great place to visit and can accomodate any budget.
Source: worldental.org

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

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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

Video: Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, Fox 11 News

Navigating Medicare's Open Enrollment Period

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

Health Premiums Could Wipe Out Social Security Boost; Medicare Enrollment Begins

Miami Herald: Marketing Medical Insurance To Individuals This time of year is a hectic, marketing-intensive period for Florida Blue and other insurers that sell Medicare policies. During the federal program’s annual election period, this year from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, seniors can switch to a new underwriter of Medicare policies for their 2013 coverage. So, insurers are anxiously courting the Medicare population to keep current policyholders and add new ones…That kind of consumer marketing may become much more common in the under-65 market as healthcare reform unfolds, especially the individual mandate to obtain medical insurance or pay a penalty, starting in 2014. So next year, visitor traffic at the Florida Blue Centers in Miami, Fort Lauderdale and other locations around the state may increase substantially to include not only Medicare beneficiaries but also younger people shopping for individual health insurance (Seemuth, 10/14).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Medicare 102: Understanding Medicare Enrollment Periods

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

NFCC Financial Education Blog

Eligibility. Medicare provides health care benefits to people age 65 and older and those under 65 with certain disabilities or end-stage renal disease. For most people, the initial enrollment period is the seven-month period that begins three months before the month they turn 65. If you miss that window, you may enroll for the first time between January 1 and March 31 each year, although your coverage won’t begin until July 1. To apply for Medicare online, visit this site.
Source: nfcc.org

Enrollment Period For Medicare Open Through Dec. 7

“Medicare beneficiaries have the option every year to review the coverage that’s right for them, depending on their health-care needs,” McDaniel said. “As with any insurance product, it’s always good practice to shop around for the best plan.”
Source: arkansasbusiness.com

Medicare open enrollment period starts today : The Bay View Compass

Additionally, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, coverage for both brand name and generic drugs in the Part D “donut hole” coverage gap will continue to increase until 2020, when the donut hole will be closed. This year, people with Medicare received a 50 percent discount on covered brand name drugs and 14 percent coverage of generic drugs in the donut hole. In 2013, Medicare Part D’s coverage of brand name drugs will begin to increase, so people with Medicare will receive approximately 53 percent off the cost of brand name drugs, and coverage for 21 percent of the cost of generic drugs, in the donut hole.
Source: bayviewcompass.com

What seniors should know about Open Enrollment period

Perhaps one of the most important factors contributing to your Medicare coverage decision is which plan your doctor takes. Choosing a Medicare Advantage plan does not mean leaving your doctors. Southern Nevada is undergoing a transition in access to care. Many doctors recognize the benefit of Medicare Advantage plans to their patients. In an effort to ensure patients maximize these benefits and receive the best care, local physicians are joining Independent Physician Associations (IPAs). This collaborative structure allows each participating physician to maintain his or her medical autonomy in private practice while offering patients the option for affordable coverage.
Source: nevadabusiness.com

Medicare 2013 Annual Enrollment Period

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Source: independenceadvisors.com

Help available for seniors during Medicare open enrollment period

Gross said two other important changes are coming to Medicare Part D next year. The "donut hole" or "coverage gap" will continue to close. In 2013, individuals will pay 47.5 percent for brand-name drugs covered by the plan and the cost of generic drugs will be reduced from 86 percent to 79 percent. Each year these costs will drop until the donut hole is closed.
Source: newtonindependent.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