Why Medicare Part D Works [VIDEO]

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

The Catalyst provides news and commentary on access to life-saving treatments, America’s biopharma industry and researchers’ progress in developing new medicines. The Catalyst is edited by Kaelan Hollon, communications director at PhRMA. Contributors include PhRMA staff and leaders from the industry.
Source: phrma.org

Video: Medicare Part D

Open Enrollment 2013: Medicare Part D Benefits Improve but Premiums an…

While Medicare Part D prescription drug plan premiums are generally expected to remain steady in 2013, this PPI Fact Sheet by Leigh Purvis and Lee Rucker finds that premiums for many popular plans will actually be considerably higher than they were in 2012. Many plans are also increasing cost-sharing and their reliance on utilization management tools for covered prescription drugs. Medicare beneficiaries should closely examine their 2013 prescription drug plan choices during open enrollment for Part D.
Source: aarp.org

Medicare Part D Counseling Offered

“The amount of coverage offered for medications and medical services varies from company to company.  It is to your benefit to subscribe to a plan that covers those medications and services you need.  Since the Area Agency on Aging of Deep East Texas (AAADET) does not offer or sponsor any plan, we are one of the few independent sources of information and counseling available in the region,” said AAADET Program Director, Holly Anderson.  AAADET Benefits Counselors will ask questions about your health and prescriptions.  Based on the information you supply, they can tell you which program would benefit you the most.
Source: countylifeonline.com

Medicare Part D Premiums Holding Steady

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

Choosing a Medicare Part D Prescription Plan

People with arthritis are typically prescribed medications to control symptoms and progression of the disease. For arthritis patients who have qualified for Medicare benefits, there are Medicare Part D prescription plans available. Open enrollment for Medicare plans started October 15, 2012 and ends on December 7, 2012. What does this mean for you? It’s time to review your options, even if you already have a Medicare Part D prescription plan. If you have started new drugs or stopped any that you were taking last year, or if your insurer changed their drug formulary list, you may no longer have the best Medicare Part D plan for you.
Source: about.com

Avoid A Costly Medicare Part D Mistake Right Now

Many Medicare beneficiaries are not aware that the open enrollment period for the Medicare Part D Drug plans is happening right now. You have until December 7th to determine if it is to your benefit to change plans, which could save you money. There are many reasons you cannot assume that the plan you are on now will be the best one for you in 2013 including:
Source: ewallstreeter.com

Making Sense Of Medicare Part D Open Enrollment

Each year, plan premiums, deductibles, prescription co-payments and annual out-of-pocket expenses can change. When considering what plan works best for you in terms of cost, it is important to consider all these elements (premiums, deductibles and co-payments) in order to calculate the total cost of the plan. Drugs covered under Medicare Part D may also vary from plan to plan and from region to region. It’s important to re-evaluate your plan if your prescriptions have changed, you’re traveling more frequently or have moved. Selecting the right plan can save you money and put you on a path to better health.
Source: rivernewsnow.com

Top Medicare Part D Plan Costs Spike in 2013

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

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

Lord of the (Medicare) Rings: One price to rule them all, and in the federal register bind them.

Since premium support is likely off the table for the time being, there are still many other things that Medicare can do to improve care coordination and value. We should bundle Medicare services by putting Parts A&B together, with one premium for seniors, which would encourage providers to better coordinate care. We should allow administrative services organizations (ASOs), widely used by large private employers, to set up networks of preferred providers in Medicare, and offer seniors incentives – through reduced co-pays or enhanced benefits – to utilize low-cost, high quality providers. ASOs could also represent an appealing ideological mid-point between premium support, traditional Medicare FFS, and Medicare Advantage plans. The key would be to bundle payments and have all providers “go naked” on their outcomes data so we have some correlation between the money spent and actual performance. Additional, web-based tools could then help seniors find the providers who offered the best care at the lowest cost. Indeed, this apporach is already being tested by United Healthcare at a number of oncology centers around the country. In an effort to control costs of cancer treatment, the insurer will provide up-front payments for a typical 6 to 12 month course of treatment, and allow the oncologist to determine the specifics, rather than paying by volume of care. An earlier study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice found evidence to support this type of approach, identifying some $9,000 in savings for patients on evidence-based pathways in the treatment of lung cancer, with little change in 12 months survival rate. Studies like this can provide a benchmark for weighing how different treatment strategies and practice designs affect the cost of care and health outcomes and – most importantly – inform patient choice in the oncology setting.
Source: medicalprogresstoday.com

Medicare Part D: What You Need To Know

There are some things that you will be financially responsible for. First of all, there is a premium to be paid monthly for the cost of Part D. This will usually be automatically deducted from your monthly social security check. Depending on which coverage level you choose, you will also likely have to pay a co-pay for each of your prescriptions. This amount depends on the type of prescription and its cost. There will also be a deductible that you will have to meet before your coverage kicks in. Even if you haven’t met your deductible, always use your card so that your purchase will be recorded and subtracted from your deductible. These amounts can vary depending on the coverage you choose.
Source: skillednursingfacilities.org

Medicare Part D Presentation : HeartlandBeat

 at 3 p.m. A presentation will be given in the chapel by Haili Kreifels. Medicare Open Enrollment is your opportunity to make changes to your Medicare coverage for the 2013 calendar year. Open Enrollment 2012 began on October 15, 2012, and ends on December 7, 2012. Any changes that you elect during Open Enrollment will take effect on January 1, 2013. Feel free to contact Kristi Walters at 402-723-5301 if you have questions.
Source: heartlandbeat.com

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

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 marsmet481As 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

Video: How to Understand Medicare Plans

Medicare Trying To Nudge Seniors Out Of Plans With Low Ratings

Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry trade group, said the letter to beneficiaries is “premature” because the ratings system is flawed.  It is based on measures that do not sufficiently take into account, for example, plans serving a disproportionate number of beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions or special needs, or who live in medically underserved areas.  “These are unique challenges to providing care to those populations,” he said.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Fox Still Misleading On Medicare To Promote Romney

Under premium support, traditional Medicare would tend to attract a less healthy pool of enrollees, while private plans would attract healthier enrollees (as occurs today with Medicare and private Medicare Advantage plans). Although the proposal calls for “risk adjusting” payments to health plans — that is, adjusting them to reflect the average health status of their enrollees — the risk adjustment process is highly imperfect and captures only part of the differences in costs across plans that stem from differences in the health of enrollees. 
Source: mediamatters.org

Ryan's Medicare Plan: How Big a Factor in Florida?

As Obama for America’s Florida press secretary, Eric Jotkoff, put it: “If the headlines don’t tell the story, then certainly Floridians can say that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are simply out of touch and have no idea what’s important to the people of Florida. Whether it’s a budget that could end Medicare as we know it forcing Florida seniors to pay $6,350 a year out of their pockets or a tax hike which would burden hard-working middle-class families, Romney and Ryan’s campaign is toxic in the Sunshine State, and they will have a hard time convincing voters to choose them in November.”
Source: realclearpolitics.com

Rubio: Ryan’s Medicare Plan Helps Romney in Florida

When Mitt Romney tapped Paul Ryan to be his vice presidential running mate, conventional wisdom dictated that Romney had put himself at a distinct disadvantage in the key battleground state of Florida, where Ryan’s controversial plan to reform Medicare wouldn’t sit well with millions of government-dependent seniors. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio isn’t buying it. In an interview with National Journal, Rubio argued that Ryan’s proposal will help — not harm — Romney’s chances of winning the Sunshine State. He predicted that older voters will support Romney and Ryan because they are trying to “save Medicare” instead of pretending that nothing is wrong with the fiscally unsustainable program. “Look, you have three million people in the state who are on Medicare — one of whom is my mom, one of whom is Paul Ryan’s mom,” Rubio said. “These are people who understand the reality of Medicare: that it’s spending more money than it takes in; that anyone who’s in favor of leaving it the way it is is in favor of bankrupting it.” Rubio praised the GOP ticket for tackling the hot-button topic of entitlement reform at a time when many politicians won’t acknowledge the problems facing the Medicare program. “They’re looking for real solutions on how to solve this,” Rubio said. “Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are offering a way to save Medicare that doesn’t change it at all for current beneficiaries. And I think people here are going to be excited about that.”
Source: nationaljournal.com

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

Obama Ad Attacks Romney’s Medicare Plan In Florida

The Obama campaign is attacking Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan for wanting to turn Medicare into a voucher system in a new ad running in Florida, reports the Tampa Bay Times. The ad also defends actions taken by the Obama administration to strengthen Medicare and lower premiums, including cracking down on fraud and cutting payments to providers.  
Source: talkingpointsmemo.com

Senior Care in Gulf Breeze, FL: Open Enrollment for Medicare –Now through Dec 7, 2012

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

Settlement May Bring Easier Qualifications for Medicare

The Medicare board has had a longstanding practice to require a likelihood of medical or functional improvement before a beneficiary could receive coverage for skilled nursing or therapy services, whether institutional or home-based. That left many care recipients in a lurch. If this settlement goes through and becomes practice, then the requirement is no longer “improvement” but “maintenance.” Accordingly, Medicare will provide services if they are needed to “maintain the patient’s current condition or prevent or slow further deterioration.”
Source: kaneandkoltun.com

Virginia Senate Candidates Face Tough Issues Beyond Medicare, While Key California House Races Are Shaped By It

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Gang of Six - Cartoon by DonkeyHoteyPolitico (Video): Baldwin Raises $4.6M In Third Quarter, Attacks Thompson For HHS Role Wisconsin Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin took in just under $4.6 million for her campaign during the third quarter of 2012, a campaign source tells POLITICO… Baldwin’s Republican opponent, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, hasn’t yet released his most recent fundraising information, though his campaign told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he has raised between $2 million and $3 million since the primary. Balwin is putting some of her cash toward attacking the Republican on the airwaves for his role in the Bush-era Medicare Part D law. In an ad set for release today, Baldwin says that as secretary of health and human services, Thompson “cut a sweetheart deal with drug companies while working for George Bush, making it illegal for Medicare to negotiate lower prices. Then Tommy made millions at a DC lobbying firm working for drug companies.” That’s of a piece with the messaging Democrats have used to tear down Thompson since he entered the general election as a perceived front-runner over the summer (Burns, 10/15).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Vice President Joe Biden on Medicare – Blacksburg, VA

Renate Pore: Health Reform Helps Thousands of West Virginia Seniors

In 2003, Congress and the Bush administration passed Medicare Part D, adding prescription drugs as a benefit. Adding prescription drug coverage to Medicare was the right thing to do. From the very first, however, the law was flawed. Fearing run-away drug costs, the law created a gap in benefits. Before the 2010 health reform law, Medicare paid for prescription drugs up to approximately $2,900. Thereafter the benefit ceased until the senior spent a total of $4,700 in out-of-pocket costs, at which point the benefit kicked in again. The law did not permit Medicare to negotiate with the pharmaceutical industry over prescription drug costs nor did the law include a mechanism to pay for the new benefit. Consequently Medicare Part D added billions to the deficit.
Source: wvpolicy.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

More Time to Enroll in Medicare If You Live in Storm Areas

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

Obama Would Better Handle Medicare, Swing State Voters Say in Polls

According to “The Caucus,” the challenge for Obama is that Medicare is a stronger motivator for older voters than for younger voters. Medicare was chosen as the top campaign issue by 20% of Florida voters over age 65, compared with just 3% of voters under age 55 (Cooper/Kopicki, “The Caucus,” New York Times, 11/1).
Source: californiahealthline.org

DECISION VIRGINIA: Ryan defends Medicare stance

Before Ryan became a vice-presidential candidate, he was a House budget architect and drew up a controversial budget that called for similar growth reductions to Medicare. A fact Democrats like Rep. Bobby Scott (R-Newport News) often point out.
Source: nbc12.com

ACLU must want Social Security and Medicare shut down, too.

The right wants to jeer him. The left wants to censor him. Moderates usually want both. Brian Kirwin is a political consultant and public relations strategist in Virginia Beach with a lightning-rod flair. Brian also serves on the VB Arts & Humanities Commission and frequently appears on Hampton Roads theatrical stages, if only to prove that all actors aren’t liberals. Kirwin’s columns stir up debate and hit the political scene with no punches pulled.
Source: bearingdrift.com

Preventive & screening services

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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

Video: 090924 Dems say no to posting healthcare plan and cost estimate and protecting Medicare benifits

Obama Administration To Relax Medicare Benefit Rules

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

Philadelphia Social Security Disability Attorneys

If you are receiving long-term disability benefits, the Philadelphia Social Security attorneys at Silver & Silver can answer all your questions about the Medicare plans offered and what benefits you are entitled to receive.  Our law offices are located in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, and are easily accessible from communities throughout the Philadelphia area and its surrounding suburbs of Delaware County, Montgomery County, Bucks County, Chester County, and Berks County, as well as in the South Jersey communities of Camden, Burlington, Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Haddonfield, Moorestown, Mt. Laurel, Gloucester, Atlantic County and others. Call us at 1-800-94SILVER (1-800-947-4583) to schedule a free consultation or contact us online.
Source: silverandsilver.com

Open Enrollment 2013: Medicare Part D Benefits Improve but Premiums an…

While Medicare Part D prescription drug plan premiums are generally expected to remain steady in 2013, this PPI Fact Sheet by Leigh Purvis and Lee Rucker finds that premiums for many popular plans will actually be considerably higher than they were in 2012. Many plans are also increasing cost-sharing and their reliance on utilization management tools for covered prescription drugs. Medicare beneficiaries should closely examine their 2013 prescription drug plan choices during open enrollment for Part D.
Source: aarp.org

Medicare Benefits Restored Because of Clark v. Astrue

Thanks to the efforts of NSCLC, class members in the Clark v. Astrue case who lost their Medicare Part B benefits when their Social Security benefits were stopped and they could no longer pay the premium will be able to have their Medicare Part B benefits restored without having to pay the lifetime premium penalty.  They will be able to choose between reinstatement for future months only or full reinstatement back to the date their coverage stopped.  If they choose retroactive reinstatement they will be required to pay the premiums for that period, but will be able to arrange for affordable payment plans.
Source: nsclc.org

The View from Hospital Hill: Medicare and Medicaid Explained at Forum

Toni Browning and Poppy Foddrell, from the Rappahannock-Rapidan Community Services, will speak on: Medicare A and B basics; differences between Medicare Advantage and supplement (Medigap) plans; Medicare Part D prescription details; Medicaid eligibility for those older than 65 or those receiving Social Security disability benefits; and long-term care Medicaid benefits.
Source: viewfromhospitalhill.org

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

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

In 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: Differences between Medicare PPO & HMO Plans

Medicare Advantage Plan or Medicare Supplement with Part D Drug Plan

•Each plan has a list (called a “network”) of doctors, specialists, hospitals, and other providers that you may go to• Each plan gives you flexibility to go to doctors, specialists, or hospitals that aren’t on the plan’s list, but it will usually cost more.• You may get care from specialists without a referral or prior authorization from another doctor. If you use plan specialists ,your costs for covered services will usually be lower than if you use non-plan specialists.• Each plan may choose to offer a discount to members if they voluntarily use preauthorization or if they pre-notify the plan when getting out-of-network services.• You get all services covered under Medicare Part A and Part B, although the amount you pay for these services might not be the same as under Original Medicare.• Medicare PPO Plans usually offer extra benefits than Original Medicare but you may have to pay extra for these benefits.• Each plan can charge you a monthly premium amount above and beyond the Medicare Part B premium.• Each plan can charge deductible and coinsurance amounts that are different from those under Original Medicare.• In a Regional PPO Plan, you have an added protection for Medicare Part A and Part B benefits. There is an annual limit on your out-of-pocket costs. This limit varies depending on the plan.• Medicare PPO Plans operate like Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) with the following two exceptions:–In HMOs, you generally can only go to doctors, hospitals, and specialists that are part of the plan’s network.–Often, HMOs require referrals and pre authorizations.
Source: indoamerican-news.com

Medicare Advantage PPO Plans

These plans may or may not have a plan premium whereas several more of the HMO types hove none other than your normal Part B premium to Medicare. Also there will be both an in network out of pocket and an out of network out of pocket if you choose a provider not in network. The out of network providers must agree to accept the terms and conditions of the plan in order to get covered treatment; generally look for providers that accept Medicare on assignment.
Source: medicareinsurancetexas.com

Health plan summaries, Benefit Renewal mailing , Medicare RX

Here are the Health Plan Summaries and other benefit information that I want to get out fast.  I will be getting the information in some sort of organization as to who will need what, but for the time being these are summaries of some of the changes.  Please follow the story as we organize these in list for specific members, ie..active, retiree, retiree with medicare.  We will also be placing these on the site in permanent areas so as they will always be available.
Source: ibew827.com

Insurance Quote Free: Aetna Medicare Health Insurance Plans

The Aetna Medicare Advantage programs cover basic hospital and doctor bills as well as vision and hearing expenses. Additional prescription drug coverage can be added. Aetna offers four types of coverage, HMO, PPO, Private, and Special Needs. Let’s take a closer look at each of these plans: The Aetna Medicare HMO plan grants you access to thousands of doctors in the Aetna network. Before choosing this option, you should check the directory to make sure your doctor participates in the network or you will have to change doctors. The HMO plan offers several advantages. You will have predictable medical costs that are no cost or flat fee. You won’t need referrals to other doctors in the network and will also have coverage for most prescription drugs covered by Part D. Your copay for preventative care may be as low as $. The benefits also include gym memberships at no cost and allowances for glasses and hearing aids. The Aetna Medicare PPO plan offers many of the same advantages as the HMO in that you have predictable costs, drug coverage, fitness benefits, and $ copays on routine office visits. The PPO plan also allows you the flexibility of choosing a primary care physician outside of the network. The Aetna Medicare Open or private pay plan is similar to the PPO plan in that you can visit any doctor or hospital that takes Medicare and agrees to the terms of the plan. This allows you to travel around and receive insurance coverage nationwide yet manage predictable costs. The Aetna Medicare Special Needs plan is available for certain suitable participants who are qualified for both Medicare and Medicaid. This requires residence in a particular service area and offers flat rate copayments and drug coverage. To be eligible for Aetna Medicare health plans you must first be eligible for Medicare. That means you must be 65 years old, or younger with a qualifying disability. You must also live in an area of the country that Aetna currently services. You can only change Medicare health plans during certain times of the year which is usually November through December for the following year. The exception is if you lose coverage because you move or if you are new to Medicare because you just turned 65. Under those circumstances, you can apply for Aetna Medicare throughout the year. If you are trying to decide upon an insurance company to go with, keep in mind that Aetna has been a major presence in the industry for over 150 years. They offer services nationwide and cater to over 30 million customers. They have ample experience and offer many valuable perks to supplement their insurance coverage making them a solid choice.
Source: blogspot.com

Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees (formerly DP3 VEBA Trust)

The Board of the Voluntary Benefit Trust for Airline Retirees   (formerly DP3 VEBA Trust) is pleased to announce we have a new name   that will more clearly define the eligibility of Retirees eligible to   participate in this Trust in the future.  Effective January 1, 2013, the   Trust will be expanded to include Retirees from ALL Airlines.    This enhancement will provide access to healthcare benefits to Retirees of   all US Airlines that can show proof of at least 5 years of service with their   respective Airline.  The Trust will offer plan options to retirees who   are eligible for Medicare as well as plan options for retirees who are   between the ages of 55-64 and eligible for the Health Coverage Tax Credit   (HCTC) 72.5% Subsidy available through the IRS.  Please help us   spread the word to your other airline friends about this exciting new   opportunity!
Source: wordpress.com

Seniors forced to choose between doctor and health plan

"We cannot allow United to continue to deny claims for services that your physician feels are best for your health,” Kazmierski’s letter states. “You deserve better. We encourage you to let United know that your doctor is the one who makes decisions about your care, not them, and that you will switch to a different insurance since BayCare will no longer be included in their network.”
Source: healthnewsflorida.org

Medicare Advantage: Anthem Medicare PPO Alternative in Las Vegas, NV

The second option is to upgrade to a Medicare Supplement.  Because your plan is not renewing, you have the guarantee issue right to a supplement.  You cannot be denied for health history.  The monthly cost will be higher than that of the PPOs, but a supplement will give you freedom to see any doctor that accepts Medicare and you will no longer have co-payments if you select a Medicare Supplemental Plan F.
Source: suncityfinancial.com

WellPoint Program for Medicare Advantage Members Earns URAC Gold Award in Consumer Empowerment and Protection

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

At WellPoint, we believe there is an important connection between our members’ health and well-being—and the value we bring our customers and shareholders. So each day we work to improve the health of our members and their communities. And, we can make a real difference since we have approximately 34 million people in our branded health plans, and approximately 65 million people served through our subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint’s plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). WellPoint also serves customers across the country through our UniCare subsidiary and in certain California, Arizona and Nevada markets through our CareMore subsidiary. Our 1-800 CONTACTS, Inc. subsidiary offers customers online sales of contact lenses, eyeglasses and other ocular products. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.
Source: scrubsandsuits.com

Video: Angela Braly: How Is WellPoint Innovating to Provide Better Care to Medicare Advantage Members?

WellPoint Bets On Medicare And Medicaid

WellPoint should be able to leverage (CUT) some SG&A expenses and benefit from increased negotiating power with hospitals. The firm has already announced that it expects the Amerigroup acquisition to be accretive to earnings in 2013 (assuming the deal closes in the first quarter) and to add at least $1 per share in earnings in 2014. Though the transaction faces regulatory approval, the current administration will likely be in favor of anything that could lower healthcare costs.
Source: seekingalpha.com

WellPoint reorganization will help integrate Amerigroup, expand in Medicaid market

The Indianapolis insurer agreed to buy Amerigroup in July for $4.9 billion, a move that will boost its presence in the Medicaid market. Bloomberg reported that interim CEO John Cannon sent a memo to employees Thursday that said the reorganization would create business units for Medicare, Medicaid, commercial and individual insurance, and specialty insurance including dental, vision and disability.
Source: medcitynews.com

Stockholders approve $5B sale of Amerigroup to WellPoint

“The acquisition of Amerigroup expands our scale and further diversifies our business mix by deepening our investment in the high growth Medicaid marketplace,” said Wayne S. DeVeydt, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Indiana-based WellPoint, when the acquisition was announced in July.
Source: medicarebyphone.com

Who Wins With Medicare Advantage?

Over the past several years, the largest insurers — Unitedhealth, WellPoint, Aetna, Cigna and Humana — have reported record profits, even during the quarters when enrollment in their employer-based and individually purchased health plans declined because of the recession. They’ve been able to do this in two ways: by taking in significantly more in premiums from their commercial customers than they have paid out in medical claims, and by persuading increasing numbers of retirees to enroll in their Medicare Advantage plans. If you enroll in one of their plans, the government sends a check to the insurance company you choose for your coverage. The amount varies depending on where you live. You might have to pay an additional premium out of your own pocket for better drug coverage, a broader network of providers, reduced copayments and discounts on gym memberships.
Source: wendellpotter.com

WellPoint 3Q profit up, stock down after election

WellPoint had not recorded a quarterly increase in earnings compared to the previous year since the first quarter of 2011, and the insurer’s performance had frustrated several large shareholders. Chairwoman and CEO Angela Braly abruptly resigned with about a month left in the third quarter, and the company named John Cannon, its executive vice president and general counsel, to serve as interim CEO.
Source: seattletimes.com

Medicare Targets Health Plans With Low Ratings

Medicare officials are encouraging 525,000 beneficiaries to switch out of these 26 Medicare Advantage and drug plans that have received low ratings for three consecutive years and enroll in better plans for next year. The poor performing plans will have this warning symbol next to their names on Medicare’s plan finder website to steer shoppers to other plans.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Wellpoint Shares Rise Despite Rising Medical Costs and Membership Decline; Managed

“Our third quarter results compared favorably to our expectations and reflected more consistent execution across our businesses. We are preparing for a successful Amerigroup integration and have recently taken steps to better align business level leadership to execute on the growth opportunities before us,” said John Cannon, interim president and chief executive officer, in a press release posted on the company’s site.
Source: latinospost.com

WellPoint Affiliated Plans That Offer Healthways SilverSneakers® Fitness Program Extend Contract

At WellPoint, we believe there is an important connection between our members’ health and well-being—and the value we bring our customers and shareholders. So each day we work to improve the health of our members and their communities. And, we can make a real difference since we have approximately 34 million people in our branded health plans, and approximately 65 million people served through our subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint’s plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). WellPoint also serves customers across the country through our UniCare subsidiary and in certain California, Arizona and Nevada markets through our CareMore subsidiary. Our 1-800 CONTACTS, Inc. subsidiary offers customers online sales of contact lenses, eyeglasses and other ocular products. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.
Source: gymrat-fitness.com

Best Idaho Medicare Plans

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Gang of Six - Cartoon by DonkeyHoteyThe federal government sponsored Medicare program has helped in providing millions of Americans with the security and peace that comes with knowing that you are protected. It is natural to suppose that old age requires more medical attention as it is often accompanied by a host of ailments. It is not fair to have to get stressed for medical expenses at a time of life which you should be enjoying otherwise. The US government started the Medicare scheme with a view to help people organize their retirement planning as far as medical expenses go.
Source: ezinemark.com

Video: Idaho Medicare Supplements

Joe Biden Courts Seniors, Blasts Romney

(BOCA RATON, Fla.) — Vice President Joe Biden tried to court the senior vote Friday afternoon and draw a contrast between how President Obama and GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney approach two issues of great concern to senior citizens — Social Security and Medicare. The vice president, speaking at the Century Village retirement community, alleged that Romney’s plan would raise taxes on Social Security and the Republican presidential ticket would turn Medicare into “vouchercare.” “If Gov. Romney’s plan goes into effect, it could mean that everyone, every one of you, would be paying more on taxes on your Social Security,” Biden said. “The average senior would have to pay $460 a year more in taxes for their Social Security. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s … while these guys are … hemorrhaging tax cuts for the super wealthy.” Biden’s allegation is based on a Tax Policy Center analysis that tried to explain some of Romney’s economic goals — cutting taxes by 20 percent, closing undisclosed loopholes and balancing the budget. Romney’s plan does not specify that he would achieve such goals by raising taxes on Social Security, and Biden has his own history with raising taxes on Social Security. While serving in the Senate, he voted for President Clinton’s 1993 budget, which raised taxes on Social Security benefits. Biden did not mention that vote in his speech Friday, but the Romney campaign later attacked Biden over Social Security taxes. “Vice President Biden is using Social Security to fabricate the Obama campaign’s latest false attacks,” Ryan Williams, a spokesman for Romney, said in a statement. “However, these attacks will backfire when voters learn he has repeatedly supported higher Social Security taxes, and that seniors face a 25 percent across-the-board benefit cut because of President Obama’s failure to lead on this issue. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a plan to save and strengthen Social Security that does not raise taxes and ensures that our middle-class seniors receive all of the benefits they’ve earned.” Biden, calling retirement security a “family affair,” defended President Obama’s Medicare plan, saying it was endorsed by the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and the AARP. He argued that that Romney and his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., would turn Medicare into “vouchercare” and increase the direct costs seniors would have to bear. “Rather than tell you, since their convention or even at their convention, what their position on Medicare is, they’ve gone out of the way and spent tens of millions — I don’t know maybe hundreds, I don’t know how much, millions of dollars — on advertising telling you what they say our position on Medicare is,” Biden said. “All of you in this room know that President Obama has increased the benefits available to people on Medicare today by the action he took.” Biden claimed a federal budget proposal made by Ryan and endorsed by Romney, a plan that later was modified, would have had dire consequences for seniors’ Medicare costs. “Folks, I ask you the rhetorical question: Can you imagine me as vice president, can you imagine the president supporting a plan that would, under any circumstances, would raise the cost for seniors $6,400, your out-of-pocket?” Biden said. Biden previewed a potential attack line he and President Obama could use in their upcoming debates as he argued a federal budget Ryan proposed as a congressman would cut discretionary spending by 19 percent. “The Ryan budget calls for every single program in the government, from the FBI to every program, to be cut by 19 percent, a devastating cut,” Biden said. “Then, whenever we raise this, and I think you’ll see this in the debates, whenever you raise it they say, ‘Oh no, we’re not going to cut that program.’” “Well which one are you going to cut 40 percent?” Biden asked. “Notice they will not name a single program, not a single thing.” Biden also digressed to praise President Obama on Israel, saying the president was working to ensure the U.S. ally’s security is maintained — despite claims to the contrary in Republican attacks. “I’m proud to say that although, as we say in my family, although I was raised by a righteous Christian, my dad, I was raised by an awful lot of folks back home politically who have taught me early on, along with my pop, that we have certain special obligations around the world. And one of those is Israel,” Biden said. “I just want to tell you how proud I am, how proud I am, to stand shoulder to shoulder with a guy who has done more for Israel’s physical security than any president I’ve served with.” Biden, who was accompanied by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is currently on a two-day campaign swing through Florida, his eighth trip to the state this year. Biden told the crowd that he wouldn’t mind making Florida his home. “Hello, Century Village! I’m here and I don’t want to go home,” Biden said to laughs from the older crowd. “We were riding in, the young man in the car with me, riding along as two young children and a very young guy, and he said, you know, God, he said, ‘I’d like to live here!’ I said, ‘You gotta wait 25 years, you don’t qualify!’” Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Source: eastidahonews.com

The Political Game: ACA Already Helping Idaho Seniors

The health care law also makes it easier for people with Medicare to stay healthy. Prior to 2011, people with Medicare had to pay for many preventive health services. These costs made it difficult for people to get the health care they needed. For example, before the health care law passed, a person with Medicare could pay as much as $160 for a colorectal cancer screening.  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, many preventive services are now offered free of charge to beneficiaries, with no deductible or co-pay, so that cost is no longer a barrier for seniors who want to stay healthy and treat problems early.
Source: blogspot.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

Supplementing Your Medicare Coverage With Dental Insurance – PlanPrescriber Provides Seven Recommendations for 2012 / eHealth

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

1pic1thoughtinAug 16 spinach for brains by KatieTTeHealth, Inc. (NASDAQ: EHTH) is the parent company of eHealthInsurance, one of the nation’s leading online source of health insurance for individuals, families and small businesses. Through the company’s website,www.eHealthInsurance.com, consumers can get quotes from leading health insurance carriers, compare plans side by side, and apply for and purchase health insurance. eHealthInsurance offers thousands of individual, family and small business health plans underwritten by more than 180 of the nation’s leading health insurance companies. eHealthInsurance is licensed to sell health insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, making it the ideal model of a successful, high-functioning health insurance exchange. Through eHealth’s technology solutions (www.eHealthTechnology.com), is also a leading provider of health insurance exchange technology. eHealth 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 online tools to help beneficiaries navigate Medicare health insurance options through PlanPrescriber.com (www.planprescriber.com) and eHealthMedicare (www.eHealthMedicare.com).
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

Video: Medicare Doesn’t Cover Dental Work

Is Dental Insurance Medicare Considered Supplemental?

The cost of a supplemental dental insurance plan will depend on the amount of coverage offered. The basic plans will cost between $25 and $50 a month, for which you would be expected to make monthly or biannual payments. More expensive plans can cost between $50 and $100 a month, but include expensive dental procedures and the largest selection of dentists. Knowing what type of care you require will help finding the insurance to fit your budget.
Source: seniorcorps.org

Oral cancer patient fights Medicare for coverage 

alcohol cancer CDC Cervarix cervical cancer cetuximab chemotherapy chewing tobacco cigarettes cisplatin DNA early detection erbitux FDA Food and Drug Administration Gardasil head and neck cancer HPV HPV-16 human papilloma virus human papillomavirus lung cancer mouth cancer National Cancer Institute nicotine oral cancer oral cancer foundation oral sex oropharyngeal cancer radiation radiation therapy radiotherapy smokeless tobacco smokers smoking snus squamous cell carcinoma surgery survival The Oral Cancer Foundation throat cancer tobacco vaccination vaccine xerostomia
Source: oralcancernews.org

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

The Medicare Chronic Disease Dental Scheme Ends November 30 2012

We strongly recommend you contact us today so we can finalise your dental care plan under this scheme.  We encourage you to book your appointment at your earliest convenience to ensure you do not miss this deadline as  we anticipate that demand for dental services will be high. To book your appointment please contact us on 1300 764 537 or click here to request an  appointment online.
Source: com.au

Modern Dental Practice Marketing

Our accounting firm, Goldin Peiser & Peiser, LLP holds information sessions, or Dental RoundTables, for dentists in the DFW area approximately 6 times a year. Topics have ranged from compliance, to marketing, to how to increase revenue. They are quite successful; we have a steady, loyal following with approximately the same number of guests, some new and some repeats, attend each session. However, our RoundTable on Dental Medicaid was something we had never seen before. The session “sold out” in a few days, prompting us to repeat the topic a few months later. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the dental community is nervous about the stepped up efforts by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to audit dental practices for Medicaid fraud. And dentists should be concerned. Since 2010, the federal government has opened over 1000 new criminal cases and 1700 investigations, and is involved in over 900 civil investigations with an additional 1300 cases pending.
Source: moderndentalmarketing.com

CDDS now history » Bite magazine dental news

“Providing patients with only 12 weeks to complete treatment demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding about dental care by the Australian Government” Dr Fryer said in a statement. “Many of the patients being treated under the CDDS require complex care; some of which includes surgical procedures that need to be completed over a series of months, for example periodontal treatment. It is unreasonable to expect patients to now be responsible for the cost of procedures they consented to on the understanding their treatment would be covered by Medicare. Many patients will either abandon treatment or face bills they do not have the capacity to pay. If later treatment is possible the disruption to treatment continuity will lead to much of the treatment needing to be duplicated. Plainly, this is wasteful and could have been avoided with some considered forethought”.
Source: com.au

State Roundup: Ore. Lawmakers Petition For Separate Dental Care

Health Policy Solutions (a Colo. news service): Public Housing Project A National Model For Supporting Health In 2009, when developers from the Denver Housing Authority worked with neighborhood partners, residents and consultants to dream up a new master plan for the Lincoln Park/La Alma neighborhood, they became one of the first 20 or so entities in the U.S. to conduct what’s known as a Health Impact Assessment (HIA). Long popular in Europe but new to the U.S., HIAs aim to identify how a project or redevelopment will impact health. Then in 2010, as reconstruction began, DHA developers ignited another health revolution. They decided to hold themselves accountable for improving health with every decision they made. They wanted to measure their success or failure and became on of the first in the country to use what’s called the Healthy Development Measurement Tool (HDMT) (Kerwin McCrimmon, 10/17).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Medicare Open Enrollment: More is better

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Deputy Administrator and Director for the Center of Medicare at CMS Jonathan Blum visits Christiana Care to speak about accountable care organizations by Christiana CareFor those choosing Original Medicare, the benefit package continues to grow stronger and provide greater value. For example, EVERYONE with Medicare has access to a variety of preventive services and screenings, most at no cost to them when furnished by qualified and participating health care professionals. This includes things like diabetes and cancer screenings, and a yearly “wellness” visit. During the first 9 months of this year, over 20 million people with Original Medicare received at least one preventive service at no cost.
Source: medicare.gov

Video: Medicare Supplement Plans (How to Find)

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

Health plan summaries, Benefit Renewal mailing , Medicare RX

Here are the Health Plan Summaries and other benefit information that I want to get out fast.  I will be getting the information in some sort of organization as to who will need what, but for the time being these are summaries of some of the changes.  Please follow the story as we organize these in list for specific members, ie..active, retiree, retiree with medicare.  We will also be placing these on the site in permanent areas so as they will always be available.
Source: ibew827.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

Q&A: Medicare open enrollment too often overlooked

Medicare does not cover everything. You still have to pay out of pocket. This year, the Part A deductible is $1,156 if you go in the hospital. For Part B, there’s a $140 deductible, plus 20 percent of everything over that. If you have outpatient therapy for cancer, it could be $10,000 a month, so your share would be $2,000. It can really add up to big money.
Source: sltrib.com

Medicare open enrollment: Sandy victims get an extension

If you do want to make a change, CMS would still like you to hit the December 7 deadline if you possibly can. But if you can’t because of the big storm, you can enroll as soon as you’re able by calling 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). Your new coverage will start Jan. 1, 2013 if you sign up before the end of December. If it’s later than that, coverage in most cases will start at the beginning of the next month.
Source: consumerreports.org

Medicare Open Enrollment: Now is the Time to Review your Medicare Plan

Comparing Medicare plans is a relatively simple process, but having a friend or family member review the materials with you may be helpful. The official Medicare website has a tool at that helps you find and compare all of the plans available in your area. This is a great way to get started and at least gives you the overview of what your choices will be. When reviewing the plans, focus on the actual benefits they provide. For example, if you take prescription drugs, you might want to pay particular attention to the coverage offered while you are in the prescription drug coverage gap or “doughnut hole.” If you need help comparing coverage options, you can work with your local Area Agency on Aging for assistance and information. Remember: The open enrollment dates are strict! Oct. 15 – Dec. 7 is your only window of opportunity until 2013.
Source: aarp.org

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

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 Takes Center Stage In Close Pennsylvania Races

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Mitt Mobile in the Final Stretch by DonkeyHoteyThe campaign jockeying over Medicare comes at a time when the program represents a huge fiscal challenge to both parties. With almost 50 million beneficiaries — and growing at the rate of 10,000 baby boomers every day — the entitlement program is one of the fastest-growing portions of the federal budget. Both parties acknowledge the need to curb its growth; both have also used the issue for political gain, casting themselves as the program’s protectors against what they portray as rivals’ threats.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: State Takeover of Harrisburg, Medicare/Medicaid Funding [Pennsylvania Newsmakers]

Ryan Takes to Pennsylvania to Push Medicare Message

Mr. Ryan was extrapolating from a 2010 report from Medicare’s Office of the Actuary. It analyzed the potential impact of lower premium supports paid to private companies that issue Medicare Advantage plans, popular alternatives to traditional Medicare with extra benefits such as gym memberships. To slow the growth of Medicare spending, the Affordable Care Act reduces support for the private plans, which Democrats consider inefficient. Beneficiaries would still be covered under traditional Medicare.
Source: nytimes.com

Pennsylvania Federal Judge: HHS Must Turn Over Medicare Rulemaking Record

PHILADELPHIA – A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Oct. 16 ordered the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to produce the complete administrative record, as well as the rulemaking record, regarding Medicare’s Disproportionate Share Hospital (DSH) regulations. Two Pennsylvania hospitals are challenging whether inpatient hospital services provided under the state’s general medical assistance program are to be counted in Medicare’s DSH calculation (Nazareth Hospital, et al. v. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, No. 10-3513, E.D. Pa.; 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 148745).Full story on lexis.com
Source: lexisnexis.com

Pennsylvania providers already feeling Medicare cuts, worrying about more to come

Among several examples: Hospitals now may lose Medicare money if too many patients are readmitted within 30 days of discharge — for any reason. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services cut home health payment rates by 3.79 percent in 2011 and 2012, and will cut home health by another 1.32 percent in 2013, said Jennifer E. Battista, communications director of the Pennsylvania Homecare Association. Another Medicare program for rural hospitals that serve a high number of seniors also was left unfunded. At Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale, Wayne County, that will cost $1.7 million.
Source: medcitynews.com

“99% VOTERS” CONFRONT A SURPRISED REP. FITZPATRICK: Call for Jobs, Not Cuts

Upon seeing Rep. Fitzpatrick in the hallway, the group gave their congratulations and asked him to explain his stance on Medicare and Social Security by holding public town hall meetings. Rep. Fitzpatrick denied that he had avoided town hall meetings this year, a stance disputed by the Courier Times.
Source: paworkingfamilies.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: cato-at-liberty.org

Medicare Key Issue in Close Pennsylvania Races

In the week since Romney’s announcement, Medicare has been catapulted from an issue that political strategists said could make a difference in close races to a central component of congressional campaigns nationwide — especially in states like Pennsylvania, Florida, Minnesota and Ohio with large numbers of older voters.
Source: aarp.org

What is a Medicare Advantage Plan? : Pennsylvania Law Monitor

A Medicare Advantage Plan is a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private health insurance company that contracts with Medicare to provide Medicare eligible individuals with Medicare Part A (hospital) and Part B (doctor/out-patient) benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs), Private Fee-for-Service Plans, Special Needs Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare services are covered through the plan and aren’t paid for under Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage as well.  Medicare Advantage Plans are often referred to as “Part C” Medicare plans.  
Source: stark-stark.com

More Time to Enroll in Medicare If You Live in Storm Areas

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

2013 Medicare Part D Zero

Specifically, Medicare has approved 38 Prescription Drug Plans for 2013, 14 of which are zero-premium for dual eligibles and other individuals receiving the full low-income subsidy. Select here for a complete listing of the 2013 Medicare Part D Standard Zero-Premium Prescription Drug Plans.
Source: phlp.org

PENNSYLVANIA TRIAL COURTS CONSISTENTLY HOLD THAT LIABILITY SETTLEMENTS MAY NOT BE DELAYED BY A DEFENDANTS REQUEST FOR INFORMATION REGARDING A PLAINTIFFS MEDICARE LIENS

Before resolving liability cases or drafting a settlement agreement, defense counsel and insurers will often request that the plaintiff produce a conditional payment letter or final demand letter from Medicare to show the reimbursement amount owed to Medicare for medical treatment related to the accident.  An ongoing dispute exists with respect to whether letters from Medicare are required before a settlement can be completed, which has resulted in a number of Pennsylvania decisions on the issue. The most heavily cited opinion in this area is Zaleppa v. Seiwell, 9 A.3d 632 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2010), a decision by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, which held that federal law does not permit defendants to assert Medicare’s right to reimbursement as a preemptive means of guarding against their own risk of liability. Click here for a discussion of the Zaleppa decision. Since the issuance of the Zaleppa decision, a series of Pennsylvania trial court opinions have reinforced the proposition that a defendant’s potential liability for a plaintiff’s Medicare lien does not provide authority for a defendant (a private entity) to assert Medicare’s right to reimbursement.
Source: themedicarespa.com