Medicare agrees to pick up the tab for obesity counseling — Health — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

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 CareUnfortunately, those best prepared to provide obesity counseling will not be able to bill directly to do so. CMS has limited who is able to bill for those services to primary care physicians and practitioners, including nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and physician assistants. Those with expertise in the field, such as registered dietitians, are not eligible to bill directly. Medicare will cover services from “auxiliary” providers only if the service is provided in a physician’s office suite and the physician is immediately available to provide assistance and direction.
Source: bangordailynews.com

Video: Medicare Australia and Seeing a Doctor: nib Health Insurance Explained

CMS Announces 2013 Medicare Premiums and Deductibles

When making its calculations, CMS maintained a contingency margin in the event that actual costs surpass anticipated costs. This year, CMS found that the two most important factors affecting its calculation of the contingency margin were the impending changes to the physician fee schedule that are scheduled to result in a nearly 30 percent reduction in physician fees; and anticipated sequestration, mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-125), that could decrease benefit payments by up to 2 percent and result in a $4.3 billion reduction in expenditures. CMS explicitly stated that the Secretary of HHS directed the agency, when calculating the contingency margin, to assume that Congress would change the physician fee decrease to 0 percent. In making its calculation, CMS also assumed that the sequestration requirements would be either reduced or postponed. Although far from controlling, the agency’s assumptions could be cause for cautious optimism among providers and beneficiaries who anxious about the potential cuts.
Source: wolterskluwerlb.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

Doctors billing Medicare for patients’ unneeded, expensive tests

(NaturalNews) With all the outcry by politicians and the public over skyrocketing healthcare costs, maybe it’s time to take a look at how some doctors are running up patients’ bills for unneeded tests. A new study just published in Online First by Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication, concludes that diagnostic tests are frequently repeated on Medicare beneficiaries when there’s absolutely no compelling medical reason. It seems obvious the only other explanation is for physicians to make more money by billing Medicare numerous times for repeated tests for the same patients. H. Gilbert Welch, M.D., M.P.H., of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and colleagues looked at patterns of repeat testing in a longitudinal study of Medicare beneficiaries. In all, they picked five percent of patients’ records at random from the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas. “We examined repetitive testing for six commonly performed diagnostic tests in which repeat testing is not routinely anticipated. Although we expected a certain fraction of examinations to be repeated, we were struck by the magnitude of that fraction: one-third to one-half of these tests are repeated within a three-year period. This finding raises the question whether some physicians are routinely repeating diagnostic tests,” the authors noted in their paper. For example, among Medicare beneficiaries undergoing an echocardiography to examine their hearts, over half — 55 percent — had a second test within three years. Nearly half of imaging stress tests were also repeated in fewer than three years and so were about 50 percent of pulmonary function tests. About 46 percent of those having CT scans of the chest were repeated, 41 percent of bladder examinations by cystoscopy. About 35 percent of the beneficiaries were subjected to repeat upper endoscopies (exams of the digestive tract with a tube) within three years, too. So what’s so bad about this? Frequently repeating these high tech, expensive diagnosis tests in situations when there is no medical need, drives up Medicare costs (although, of course, it can put more money in the pockets of doctors.) But there’s also a health risk to patients subjected to over-done testing. “This has important implications not only for the capacity to serve new patients and the ability to contain costs but also for the health of the population,” the authors of the paper concluded. “Although the tests themselves pose little risk, repeat testing is a major risk factor for incidental detection and over-diagnosis.” That means people with no health problems can end up being subjected to anxiety over a diagnosis they should never have been given — to say nothing of potentially dangerous side effects from treatment for a “condition” that is harmless or non-existent. In an accompanying commentary, Jerome P. Kassirer, M.D., of Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, and Arnold Milstein, M.D., M.P.H., of Stanford University School of Medicine stated: “After decades of attention to unsustainable growth in health spending and its degradation of worker wages, employer economic vitality, state educational funding and fiscal integrity, it is discouraging to contemplate the fresh evidence by Welch et al of our failure to curb waste of health care resources.” The new report is more evidence of a phenomenon Natural News has reported on in the past — doctors subjecting patients to inappropriate and downright unnecessary tests, apparently for money. For example, a study by University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) researchers found unneeded, expensive mammograms are being pushed on elderly women who are incapacitated from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, especially if the women have savings or assets of $100,000 or more. Sources: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1392496 http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1392495 http://www.naturalnews.com/028095_mammograms_Alzheimers.html
Source: naturalnews.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

Eagle Pass Business Journal

We hear a lot of back and forth about the Affordable Care Act — the federal health care law — but not much about how it affects people with Medicare. When you sort through all the rhetoric, one thing is clear: The 2-year-old law contains some real benefits for those who get their health insurance through Medicare. Take the “doughnut hole” in Medicare’s prescription drug program. During the first few years of the drug benefit, many seniors had to bear the full cost of their prescriptions once they reached this gap in coverage. It was a burden for most. But under the Affordable Care Act, seniors who fall into the hole are getting bigger and bigger price breaks on their drugs each year. By 2020, the gap will disappear. This year, for instance, you get a 50 percent discount on your brand-name drugs and a 14 percent discount on your generics while you’re in the doughnut hole. Those savings have added up to $197 million for almost 300,000 Texans with Medicare over the last year. That’s an average savings of $661 per person.
Source: epbusinessjournal.com

Medicare open enrollment: Can I put my wife and 20

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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

Video: Stop! In the Name of Health, Don’t Cut My Medicare

Brad DeLong: David Cutler: Hey Republicans! Stop Misusing My Medicare Study!

The Harvard researchers looked at the (limited and constricted) private-plan option already operating in Medicare today—a program called Medicare Advantage … and found that, on average, the Medicare Advantage plans cost far, far less than federally run fee-for-service Medicare. This is the opposite of what Democrats were saying a year ago. Then, they were touting a Congressional Budget Office study that estimated the private plans offered to Medicare beneficiaries in the system Ryan envisions would cost much more than traditional fee-for-service Medicare, and thus require higher premiums—$6,400 higher in 2022—to be paid by beneficiaries. This new study shows otherwise, and proves the very point that champions of premium support have been making for years.
Source: typepad.com

“Keep Guvmint Hands Off My Medicare!” (Or Why Paul Ryan Is a Really Stupid Choice for VP)

For me, the Ryan plan is exactly the point where theory bumps against reality. In theory, Libertarians and conservative Republicans would say that providing medical insurance is not a proper role for government. They are willing, however, to acknowledge that the government does have a duty to provide a safety net. So the theoretical solution would be for the government to provide a voucher to pay for some (or all, if it is cheap enough) of the medical insurance costs for a person who could not generally acquire medical insurance on their own. Doing so would be perfectly consistent with their principles. If you want medical insurance, then buy it. If you really can’t afford it, then the government will help you buy it, but the government shouldn’t be providing it. I totally get that and I totally agree with the idea. But we don’t live in an ideal world. We live in a real world full of squishy, fleshy, emotional human beings who don’t necessarily make rational choices and who suffer from various weaknesses. The reality of the medical insurance marketplace presents, on one hand, the greed, rapacity and collusion of medical insurance companies, and, on the other hand, the dire consequences of going un-insured. It is not a fair market with a willing buyer and a willing seller. Think of this: suppose that you had a disease and you would die if you didn’t get a big, orange pill. Now, how much will you pay for that big, orange pill? You would pay all that you have and all that you could borrow, wouldn’t you? Does it matter how much it cost to produce that pill? No. Not at all. What matters is that you cannot produce that pill. That’s not a fair market. That’s why every industrialized nation (except this one) has created a government medical insurance plan. Even here, in the land of “I got mine, Fuck you.”, we provide it for folks over 65 – who would be the most expensive to insure and who want the insurance most desperately. So all that the Obama campaign will need to say is this: “Mr. Ryan wants to take away your Medicare and replace it with a voucher that you can use to go out and try to buy medical insurance. The voucher will pay for only a shrinking fraction of the cost of insurance. People who cannot pay, will die.” And then run the scene from the Republican debate when the crowd cheers the death of the hypothetical person who didn’t have health insurance. “That’s the way that Mr. Ryan designed it.”
Source: thestranger.com

Medicare fees rise for 2013

After putting in some of my hard earned wages and our goverment “at work” borrowing it, Social Security should not be cut. Our president and congress continue getting their same salary for life while some of us are barely keeping our heads above water. These politicians should only be paid when they are in office and limited to the time they are working for us. They miss votes, get paid for public appearances, write books, campaign, travel all over, appear on TV shows and we are paying those costs plus their salary. Even with my 401K, it is a struggle. I was a casualty of the crash. Too young to afford to retire and too old to find another job in a difficult market. I had to go on Social Security as soon as I was eligible. My $950 a month doesn’t cover my expenses but I can’t do without it. Gas, groceries, taxes, have all gone up but my benefit keeps shrinking. Being a woman and being paid less than my male counterparts hurts me more now than it did when I was working. Change was for the worst and I’m certainly not moving forward!
Source: bankrate.com

Daily Kos: Obama: Paul Ryan Has Endorsed My Medicare Reforms

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don’t fit in any of these tags. Don’t worry if yours doesn’t.
Source: dailykos.com

Do I Need To Change My Medicare Supplement During The Annual Election Period for Medicare Part D?

Our experience with My Part D USA was very helpful, courteous and answered our questions effectively. It helped so much to narrow down our choices to get the right coverage. We appreciate the personal message in our packet from Karyn Blake, the founder and writer of the blog. Everyone we dealt with and the impression all contact with your company left us with is that you CARE about helping your clients get the right coverage for their needs.  The info on your website is also very useful. – Michael & Jane Harris, Ohio
Source: mypartdusa.com

CMS Announces 2013 Medicare Premiums and Deductibles

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

CMS Innovaiton Center's Rick Gilfillan MD 2559 by tedeytanWhen making its calculations, CMS maintained a contingency margin in the event that actual costs surpass anticipated costs. This year, CMS found that the two most important factors affecting its calculation of the contingency margin were the impending changes to the physician fee schedule that are scheduled to result in a nearly 30 percent reduction in physician fees; and anticipated sequestration, mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 (P.L. 112-125), that could decrease benefit payments by up to 2 percent and result in a $4.3 billion reduction in expenditures. CMS explicitly stated that the Secretary of HHS directed the agency, when calculating the contingency margin, to assume that Congress would change the physician fee decrease to 0 percent. In making its calculation, CMS also assumed that the sequestration requirements would be either reduced or postponed. Although far from controlling, the agency’s assumptions could be cause for cautious optimism among providers and beneficiaries who anxious about the potential cuts.
Source: wolterskluwerlb.com

Video: Promotores de Salud: How to Help People with Medicare During the Open Enrollment Period

Medicare agrees to pick up the tab for obesity counseling — Health — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Unfortunately, those best prepared to provide obesity counseling will not be able to bill directly to do so. CMS has limited who is able to bill for those services to primary care physicians and practitioners, including nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists and physician assistants. Those with expertise in the field, such as registered dietitians, are not eligible to bill directly. Medicare will cover services from “auxiliary” providers only if the service is provided in a physician’s office suite and the physician is immediately available to provide assistance and direction.
Source: bangordailynews.com

CMS rule creates reimbursement opportunities for RNs

The American Nurses Association touted a new Medicare rule that calls for paying advanced practice RNs for primary care services intended to effectively manage patients

Top Medicare Part D Plan Costs Spike in 2013

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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

Video: The Last Word – Romney-Ryan Medicare challenge

eResource News: Medicare Drug Plan Info

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

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

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

Medicare Drug Premiums to Go Up in 2013

The seven plans announced with double-digit premium increases were: the Humana Walmart-Preferred Rx Plan (23 percent); First Health Part D Premier (18 percent); First Health Part D Value Plus (17 percent); Cigna Medicare Rx Plan One (15 percent); Express Scripts Medicare-Value (13 percent); the HealthSpring Prescription Drug Plan (12 percent); and Humana Enhanced (11 percent). Another two plans in the top 10 also had single-digit increases. They were the SilverScript Basic (8 percent) and WellCare Classic (3 percent).
Source: firstseniorfinancialgroup.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

LTCI: Top 6 Medicare myths

5) The Medicare supplement plan won’t cover my drugs. The good news is that most drugs are covered through prescription drug plans, reports Stapleton. But the insureds need to check with the plan to ensure the drug is covered and know what the co-payments are. While that’s not an issue with generics, it can be with brand-name drugs. Because financial advisors can’t spend their time researching each plan’s drug coverage, Stapleton suggests getting a sense of which Medicare-approved pharmacy providers are competitive in their area. “There are some great options out there,” he says. “CVS has a great plan. First Health Coventry has a great plan. Humana Walmart has a great plan. There are some really good (vendors) to choose from.”
Source: wordpress.com

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

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

Medicare and ambulance services

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Deal 3, Table 7: Initiation enter Trick A~ contract taker leads King of Risks by KevinHutchins314It is important to remember that the decision letter you receive at each level of appeal will explain additional appeal rights you may have. You should read these decision letters carefully.   If you have questions about a Railroad Medicare claim, you can call a toll-free customer service line at (800) 833-4455, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. Eastern time. For the hearing impaired, call TTY/TDD at (877) 566-3572. This line is for the hearing impaired with the appropriate dial-up service and is available during the same hours customer service representatives are available.
Source: utu.org

Video: Medicare Fundamentals

What’s The Difference Between Medicare and Medicaid?

Medicare and Medicaid are both government-sponsored programs designed to help cover healthcare costs. Because the programs have similar names, people are often confused about how the programs work and what coverage they offer. While both were established by the U.S. government in 1965 and are taxpayer funded, they are actually very different programs with differing eligibility requirements and coverage. In the most basic sense, Medicare is designed to help with long-term care for the elderly, while Medicaid covers healthcare costs for the poor, but there is much more to it than this.
Source: socyberty.com

More Problems for Medicaid Enrollees Under the Affordable Care Act

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

How to Prepare for Medicare Decisions

Consider cost and coverage.  Some Medicare Advantage Plans (Medicare Part D) cover much of your overall health care costs and some even have exceptional medication programs to suit your needs.  If you are happy with your current Medicare coverage, make sure that the benefits for 2013 are what you need and can afford.  Ask your doctor what health plans they like and how satisfied are their enrollees.
Source: patch.com

Ask The Experts: Retirement

Q. My husband retired in CSRS at age 55. He will turn 62 in January and plans to collect his Social Security benefits then. He has BCBS federal basic family plan, which includes me. Is he required to accept Medicare Part A? If so, how does that affect my coverage? I am not collecting any retirement or Social Security benefits at this time, as I am just now 60.
Source: federaltimes.com

Medicare Open Enrollment Ends Soon

“A lot can happen in a year,” says Linda F. Fitzgerald, state president of AARP Massachusetts, which represents more than 800,000 members age 50 and older in the commonwealth.  “You may have been diagnosed with a new medical condition, changed medications, or moved.  There may also be changes to your Medicare plan.  Now is the time to take a close look at your medical needs – including prescription drugs – and make sure you have the Medicare plan that’s best for you.”
Source: patch.com

Medicare Fee Schedule, Payment and Reimbursement Benefit Guideline, CPT Code Billing: Medicare ambulance transportation coverage and guidelines

A doctor does not have to certify that your health requires ground ambulance transportation if it is an emergency. For non-emergency ground transportation, doctor certification may be needed, but it depends on your circumstances. If you want to schedule regular ambulance trips, your doctor must send the supplier a written order ahead of time. The order can be dated no earlier than 60 days before the trip. For irregular or unscheduled or trips, your doctor must send a written order to the supplier within 48 hours if you are in a SNF and are under the care of a doctor. If you are at home or in a facility where you are not under the direct care of a doctor, a doctor certification is not required. 
Source: medicarepaymentandreimbursement.com

Medicare Coverage: Does Medicare Pay for Ambulance Service?

Most people want to know if their Medicare coverage will cover ambulance service long before they are even put onto a stretcher and wheeled into such a vehicle. In fact, most people do not worry about whether or not their insurance policy will pay for any of the cost of being transported in an ambulance until well after they have received needed treatment and have found themselves swallowed up by a month of bills. A person’s Medicare coverage may pay for ambulance services as long as certain conditions are met. A person must have original Medicare for the information listed below to apply to them.
Source: seniorcorps.org

Medicare Coverage in PA, part A

• Semi-private room (a room you share with other patients) • Meals • Skilled nursing care • Physical and occupational therapy* • Speech-language pathology services* • Medical social services • Medications • Medical supplies and equipment used in the facility • Ambulance transportation (when other transportation endangers health) to the nearest supplier of needed services that aren’t available at the SNF • Dietary counseling
Source: healthandbenefitsasap.com

Decision to Expand Medicaid Coverage in New Jersey is Christie’s Call

From 2014 to 2016, the federal government would cover 100 percent of the cost of expanded eligibility. After that, the state would be required to pick up part of the cost, with the level increasing from 5 percent in 2017 to 10 percent in 2020. The level would then hold steady at 10 percent, with the federal government picking up 90 percent of the cost.
Source: patch.com

Medicare Plan Finder for Health, Prescription Drug and Medigap plans

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

MORE DIRTY TRICKS FROM YOUR SOCIALIST/MARXIST   PRESIDENT AND HIS NASTY LITTLE ADMINISTRATION HACKS by SS&SSThe 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: Medicare Plan Finder Lesson 5: Comparing Plans

Medicare Open Enrollment: What’s your back

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

Comparing Medicare prescription drug plans

Also, be aware that if you’re a low-income beneficiary and your annual income is under $16,755 or $22,695 for married couples living together, and your assets are below $13,070 or $26,120 for married couples, you may be eligible for the federal Low Income Subsidy known as “Extra Help” that pays Part D premiums, deductibles and copayments. For more information or to apply, call Social Security at 800-772-1213 or visit socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp.
Source: pomeradonews.com

Medicare Open Enrollment Ends Soon

“A lot can happen in a year,” says Linda F. Fitzgerald, state president of AARP Massachusetts, which represents more than 800,000 members age 50 and older in the commonwealth.  “You may have been diagnosed with a new medical condition, changed medications, or moved.  There may also be changes to your Medicare plan.  Now is the time to take a close look at your medical needs – including prescription drugs – and make sure you have the Medicare plan that’s best for you.”
Source: patch.com

Medicare: Save Money on Premiums and Copayments in 2013

More plans offer lower copays at "preferred" pharmacies: In 2013, for example, more than half the 32 Part D plans in California will charge lower copays at preferred pharmacies than at regular network ones — with savings of between $2 and $28 for the same prescription. Sounds like a deal, but be careful: If a plan’s preferred pharmacies aren’t within a convenient distance, you may be better off in another plan.
Source: aarp.org

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

Comparing Medicare plans? Ratings show some policies better than others — Health — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

The site will still be viewable but certain elements might display incorrectly. In order to enjoy all the features of our site, we recommended you upgrade to a newer, more secure browser. Read more ». If you don’t have administrator privileges for your computer, you can still take action. Google has developed a free plugin for Internet Explorer called Google Chrome Frame. You can install it on any computer, even if you can’t install applications, and it will ensure your computer stays secure and that you can still visit our website. Enable Google Chrome Frame now »
Source: bangordailynews.com

GRAY MATTERS: How to find the best Medicare prescription drug plan

There are 32 different prescription drug plans for 2013. Monthly premiums range from $15 to $118. Eighteen plans have higher premiums next year, eight have decreased premiums. Fourteen plans will charge a $325 annual deductible, three plans charge a partial deductible and 15 plans do not charge any deductible. Twenty-one plans do not offer any coverage in the gap in coverage. Eleven plans offer some coverage in the gap. Some plans change from one name or company to another, and most have changes in drug coverage or costs.
Source: times-standard.com

[Reblog] Rising Medicare Part D Drug Premiums & How to Compare Plans

Biomedical Research Resources Consumer Health Consumer Safety Educational Resources (Elementary School/High School) Educational Resources (Health Professionals) Educational Resources (High School/Early College( environmental health Finding Aids/Directories health health AND statistics health care Health Education (General Public) Health News Items Health Statistics Historical Collections Librarian Resources Medical and Health Research News Nutrition Professional Health Care Resources Psychiatry Psychology Public Health Reference Service statistics Tutorials/Finding aids Uncategorized Workplace Health
Source: wordpress.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

Medicare Plan Finder for Health, Prescription Drug and Medigap plans

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

meds: it's obscene by fallsroadThe 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: Medicare Drug Coverage

Medicare Drugs Should Cost A Little Less Next Year – The Consumerist

According to Reuters, the Department of Health and Human Services projects the average monthly premium for Medicare Part D should slide to $30 from $30.76. The drop is thanks in part to more generic drugs on the market.
Source: consumerist.com

GRAY MATTERS: How to find the best Medicare prescription drug plan

There are 32 different prescription drug plans for 2013. Monthly premiums range from $15 to $118. Eighteen plans have higher premiums next year, eight have decreased premiums. Fourteen plans will charge a $325 annual deductible, three plans charge a partial deductible and 15 plans do not charge any deductible. Twenty-one plans do not offer any coverage in the gap in coverage. Eleven plans offer some coverage in the gap. Some plans change from one name or company to another, and most have changes in drug coverage or costs.
Source: times-standard.com

Researcher: Older Medicare drug plans cost more

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

Medicare 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

Medicare: Save Money on Premiums and Copayments in 2013

More plans offer lower copays at "preferred" pharmacies: In 2013, for example, more than half the 32 Part D plans in California will charge lower copays at preferred pharmacies than at regular network ones — with savings of between $2 and $28 for the same prescription. Sounds like a deal, but be careful: If a plan’s preferred pharmacies aren’t within a convenient distance, you may be better off in another plan.
Source: aarp.org

Comparing Medicare prescription drug plans

Also, be aware that if you’re a low-income beneficiary and your annual income is under $16,755 or $22,695 for married couples living together, and your assets are below $13,070 or $26,120 for married couples, you may be eligible for the federal Low Income Subsidy known as “Extra Help” that pays Part D premiums, deductibles and copayments. For more information or to apply, call Social Security at 800-772-1213 or visit socialsecurity.gov/prescriptionhelp.
Source: pomeradonews.com

Seniors satisfied with Medicare prescription drug program

With 90 percent beneficiary satisfaction and average monthly premiums remaining virtually unchanged over the past three years, Medicare Part D is working for seniors and helping our government control costs by reducing healthcare system spending. More than 40 million people with Medicare (90 percent of all beneficiaries) now have the option of comprehensive prescription drug coverage, which helps provide high-quality and high-value healthcare for America’s seniors.
Source: azhealthconnections.com

Medicare Open Enrollment: Be a smart shopper

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

GAO Praises Upgrades to Medicare Eligibility Transaction System

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

The letter referenced complaints from health care providers and beneficiaries about “unusually long wait times while trying to affirm eligibility.” In addition, they wrote that health care providers have not been able to get support through a secondary telephone line (iHealthBeat, 9/22/11).
Source: ihealthbeat.org

Video: EHR: Medicare Incentive Program Attestation Webinar for Eligible Professionals

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

Issue Worth Exploring: Raising the Medicare Eligibility Age May Harm Minorities

Candidate Position, Quotation, Person Career, Social Issues, Federal assistance in the United States, Healthcare reform in the United States, Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson, Medicare, Paul Ryan, United States National Health Care Act, The Path to Prosperity, Economy of the United States, Social Security, Politics of the United States, Government, Medicaid, J. Duncan Moore Jr., Congressional Budget Office, WIS, Mitt Romney, Republican Party, purchase insurance, media coverage, congressman, co-founder, The Medicare NewsGroup, Association of Health Care Journalists, substitute insurance, health insurance, chair, Washington, Maya Rockeymoore, National Committee, presidential race
Source: reportingonhealth.org

G4 approach recommended by CMS

Medicare providers use the Common Working File (CWF) ELGB query to obtain Medicare beneficiary information. However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) must eliminate this query capability because the ELGB query is not HIPAA compliant. CMS is required by HIPAA to use the proper format when exchanging this information with any covered entity, which applies to all users of this query. As a result, CMS is eliminating this query. They can no longer support the approach of allowing providers online access to CWF non-HIPAA compliant data.
Source: g4healthsystems.com

Daily Kos: Tell Congress: No Benefit Cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid

JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, paradox, coral, Bill in Portland Maine, scribeboy, filkertom, ferg, dalemac, slinkerwink, glitterscale, alisonk, whataboutbob, emal, superfly, Pescadero Bill, ChicDemago, Calee4nia, eeff, TX Unmuzzled, recentdemocrat, RFK Lives, MarkInSanFran, exNYinTX, Creosote, thepook, geordie, Dumbo, NoisyGong, bronte17, Zinman, missLotus, TracieLynn, cyberKosFan, susakinovember, joe pittsburgh, boadicea, chuckvw, markmatson, bincbom, Miss Blue, ornerydad, Nate Roberts, ctsteve, splashy, Cedwyn, aitchdee, Arrow, wader, Quege, scorpiorising, Getreal1246, fight2bfree, MrSandman, Farugia, eggowar, 2laneIA, coldwynn, ranger995, duncanidaho, potatohead, Bluehawk, hazzcon, Timbuk3, lcrp, Brian82, Sophie Amrain, inclusiveheart, dkmich, Oaktown Girl, zett, zerelda, marvyt, Out There, xyz, vacantlook, sebastianguy99, Gowrie Gal, sb, rapala, Skennet Boch, humphrey, marina, 3goldens, PAbluestater, ichibon, T Rex, LarisaW, democracy inaction, irate, KnotIookin, grimjc, basquebob, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, EJP in Maine, Laurence Lewis, ratzo, SaraBeth, Dem Beans, lotlizard, skyounkin, deep, Tool, SBandini, Aint Supposed to Die a Natural Death, churchlady, peacestpete, JanF, mightymouse, Jim R, Jim P, kovie, golem, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, Medium Head Boy, vigilant meerkat, cybersaur, edwardssl, Russgirl, The Wizard, kck, Lefty Coaster, blueoasis, triv33, praenomen, funluvn1, gooderservice, el cid, sceptical observer, BlueMississippi, profh, Timothy J, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Dreaming of Better Days, blueoregon, nannyboz, shaharazade, Bernie68, AllanTBG, sea note, markthshark, Little, Quicklund, liberaldemdave, Aaa T Tudeattack, ammasdarling, One Pissed Off Liberal, bear83, FoundingFatherDAR, Cronesense, Loudoun County Dem, tgypsy, Deadicated Marxist, puakev, la urracca, Blue Waters Run Deep, dclawyer06, aliasalias, rivamer, jedennis, jnhobbs, uciguy30, leonard145b, janatallow, cacamp, TomP, Zacapoet, jwinIL14, MKinTN, CroneWit, revm3up, mconvente, Justus, condorcet, gfv6800, zerone, Foundmyvoice, Involuntary Exile, elwior, VA gentlewoman, jamess, monkeybrainpolitics, here4tehbeer, tofumagoo, smartdemmg, Jeff Y, catly, Horsefeathers, petulans, Notreadytobenice, sewaneepat, BlueStreak, suesue, priceman, JamieG from Md, Robobagpiper, David Futurama, maggiejean, enemy of the people, Rhysling, McGahee220, J M F, Throw The Bums Out, litoralis, ceebee7, divineorder, lostinamerica, The Dead Man, lilsky, cantelow, Mislead, maryabein, notrouble, jennylind, earicicle, shopkeeper, JesseCW, DefendOurConstitution, dskoe, asym, papahaha, Shelley99, metro50, realwischeese, sfarkash, mdmslle, nancat357, futureliveshere, joe from Lowell, Randtntx, jpmassar, Larsstephens, Words In Action, Amber6541, smileycreek, Arlene Holt Baker, p gorden lippy, indie17, estreya, Johnnythebandit, brunoboy, Crabby Abbey, LOrion, Progressive Pen, legalchic, gougef, gulfgal98, Puddytat, Egalitare, DiegoUK, sharonsz, SoonerG, petesmom, wwjjd, stevenaxelrod, cany, translatorpro, no way lack of brain, Onomastic, Mike08, TAH from SLC, allenjo, spooks51, ban nock, slowbutsure, implicate order, henrythefifth, princesspat, smiley7, molunkusmol, PedalingPete, PorridgeGun, thomask, FistJab, leftymama, tardis10, antooo, Square Knot, FreeWoman19, peregrine kate, zapus, poliwrangler, cailloux, ratcityreprobate, Sunspots, Mentatmark, allergywoman, DawnN, A Runner, KansasNancy, Liberal Granny, anodnhajo, Williston Barrett, pistolSO, We Won, IndieGuy, LefseBlue, Eric Nelson, Joieau, a2nite, 2thanks, Trotskyrepublican, Ginger1, congenitalefty, CA ridebalanced, Lorinda Pike, This old man, Mr Robert, Mike RinRI, Frisbeetarian, MartyM, Brown Thrasher, wxorknot, tytalus, james321, arizonablue, splintersawry, Glen The Plumber, catchy, George3, wasatch, Marjmar, CalBearMom, Hammerhand, The Geogre, nuclear winter solstice, Chaddiwicker, nomandates, DamselleFly, jbob, remembrance, quince, poopdogcomedy, gypsytoo, motherlu, emorej a Hong Kong, Aunt Pat, Jacoby Jonze, Hey338Too, rigcath, JTortora, night cat, shinobi9, Liz Shuler, Fleet
Source: dailykos.com

Daily Kos: Wall Street Journal says Democrats are in disarray on entitlements

GainesT1958, JekyllnHyde, Sylv, Ducktape, RF, PrahaPartizan, copymark, slinkerwink, Gooserock, PeterHug, bosdcla14, karlpk, billlaurelMD, kpardue, Vico, jdld, eeff, MarkInSanFran, geordie, opinionated, missLotus, boadicea, retLT, jalbert, PeteZerria, CocoaLove, aitchdee, Getreal1246, Nag, annan, Miss Jones, 2laneIA, Kentucky DeanDemocrat, flatford39, defluxion10, Calidrissp, riverlover, walkshills, Steven D, Sybil Liberty, sebastianguy99, la motocycliste, maybeeso in michigan, Ckntfld, ichibon, qofdisks, Russron, irate, ZappoDave, citizenx, basquebob, Brooke In Seattle, Dobber, eru, owlbear1, Overseas, skyounkin, Ice Blue, blue jersey mom, Steve in Urbana, sunbro, Tool, Jim R, ThatSinger, begone, Mother Mags, irishwitch, profundo, HoundDog, victoria2dc, sailmaker, blueoasis, megisi, bren, praenomen, real world chick, JVolvo, el cid, middleagedhousewife, Pilgrim X, democracy is coming, doingbusinessas, ms badger, sea note, markthshark, Pandoras Box, BentLiberal, One Pissed Off Liberal, phonegery, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, tgypsy, camlbacker, Deadicated Marxist, offgrid, gloriana, grassofleaves, DvCM, LillithMc, suejazz, newpioneer, bnasley, HCKAD, jedennis, theChild, jnhobbs, millwood, gchaucer2, OIL GUY, uciguy30, conniptionfit, BasharH, South Park Democrat, W T F, JDWolverton, TruthFreedomKindness, misterwade, HappyinNM, Sixty Something, Involuntary Exile, elwior, filby, treesrock, jamess, tofumagoo, RandomNonviolence, Snarky McAngus, Gemina13, Troubadour, HarpboyAK, priceman, dmhlt 66, watercarrier4diogenes, Leftleaner, J M F, divineorder, maryabein, MKSinSA, realwischeese, stevenwag, nancat357, mahakali overdrive, MizKit, Larsstephens, Words In Action, Just Bob, Crabby Abbey, Progressive Pen, ItsSimpleSimon, Benintn, sharonsz, MsGrin, ericlewis0, Floande, cany, Actbriniel, annieli, yellow cosmic seed, I love OCD, ardyess, Teiresias70, Alice Olson, smiley7, zukesgirl64, thomask, merrily1000, MRA NY, Vatexia, cactusgal, ratcityreprobate, SteelerGrrl, allergywoman, No one gets out alive, wolf advocate, quill, jacey, anodnhajo, Catskill Julie, pistolSO, Mindful Nature, IndieGuy, The Lone Apple, a2nite, Trotskyrepublican, This old man, cherie clark, radical simplicity, whizdom, MartyM, Vote4Obamain2012, arizonablue, George3, Sue B, BobTheHappyDinosaur, nuclear winter solstice, DamselleFly, AppleCider, Illinois IRV, remembrance, poopdogcomedy, weck, motherlu, The Hamlet, howabout, rosarugosa, Icicle68, Smoh, ModerateJosh
Source: dailykos.com

Election Impact: States Now Face a Tight Deadline for Implementing Health Insurance Exchanges

Once the healthcare reform-related deadline passes, there are a bunch of new kinds of eligibility verification that have to be determined, with the full implementation of the ACA. And there are all kinds of new eligibility verification rules that come into play in 2014; and they’re really around eligibility for all the health insurance subsidies. Medicare eligibility is pretty much at CMS [the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services]. But with Medicaid eligibility, some of it will be at CMS, some will be at the state level. And the subsidy verification level will be really complicated, but there’s an additional player that comes online—actually, two of them—the Department of Labor, and the Internal Revenue Service, per the income requirements. So now the challenge for the states is not just to create an online, portal-based marketplace; they also have to be able to catch all those data feeds from the feds and the states, all those different agencies, and send information back as well; and it’s not well-defined yet. And the effective date of coverage is January 1, 2014; and just as in the private marketplace, they really have to be ready in the fall of 2013 to be prepared for open enrollment. So they really have just a year. And these deadlines were really aggressive when they were passed in 2010; and they’re terrifying now.
Source: healthcare-informatics.com

Obama v. Romney Election 2012 Fact Check: Medicare and Medicaid

President Obama does not propose fundamental change to Medicare. He’s been attacked for cutting $716 billion from the program, though none of those savings come from reduced benefits for seniors. Instead, that number reflects changes to Medicare Advantage, reduced payments to hospitals, and fees on drug companies. Medicare Advantage is the part of Medicare that lets seniors enroll in private health insurance, and President Obama has proposed limits on those insurance companies’ profits and administrative costs. Such changes could result in fewer private health insurance companies participating in Medicare Advantage.
Source: nationalpriorities.org

2013 Medicare Annual Enrollment Period: eHealth Identifies Eight Costly Mistakes for Medicare Supplement Insurance 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

Informational Medicare Meeting

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Providence RI Tax Day Teabagging event by kd1sAnnual election period (AEP) for Medicare plans begins October 15th and ends December 7th.  During this time Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (Blue Cross) will host informational and free meetings to educate individuals about their options for Medicare.  These meetings are ideal for individuals who want to learn more about AEP and the general Medicare process.  
Source: patch.com

Video: Senate Hearing: Medicare.avi

Hospital Receives Extra $1.3M in Medicare

The final regulation, issued on August 1, 2012, establishes a new hospital wage index for the Newport, Kent, South County, and Westerly Hospitals, which have consistently been reimbursed based on a lower wage index than every other hospital in the state.  Due to Rhode Island’s size, this has resulted in a severe payment disparity among hospitals located in close proximity to each other.  This new wage index will help ensure that patients in Kent, Newport, and Washington counties continue to have access to high quality health care services and that these hospitals remain a source of sustainable jobs in the state.
Source: patch.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

Are RI Republicans listening?

Yet, despite the master lever, Rhode Island political history is replete with voters splitting tickets. In 1964, Democrat Lyndon Johnson won a presidential landslide while Republican John Chafee was easily chosen governor. Richard Nixon was Rhode Island Republican choice for president in 1972, the same year Democrat Claiborne Pell was reelected senator. In 1988, our state supported Democrat Mike Dukakis for president and Republican Claudine Schneider for U.S. House. The 2000 election saw Rhode Island strongly backing Democrat Al Gore for president while sending then-Republican Linc Chafee to the U.S. Senate. And in 2006, Republican Don Carcieri was reelected governor and Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse won for U.S. Senate.
Source: wordpress.com

Registration Due for Medicare Seminar

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

The program, titles “Welcome to Medicare” will be presented by Crossroads’ SHIPP volunteers. The program will cover Medicare Parts A, B, and D, as well as Medicare Advantage plans and Medicare supplemental insurance. Registration for the September 22nd program is required by next Tuesday.
Source: kniakrls.com

Video: Medicare Part D and Pharmaceutical Advertising

Capitol Hill Hears Message from Independent Clinical Laboratory Owners: Additional Medicare Cuts in 2013 Can Be Financially Devastating

Last week, members of the National Independent Laboratory Association (NILA) visited Senators and Representatives on Capitol Hill. The objective was to educate their elected officials about the impact that recent multiple cuts to the Medicare Part B Clinical Laboratory Test Fee Schedule is having on community-based laboratory companies. Pictured above are: (left) Dark Daily Editor Robert Michel, (center) Texas Senator John Cornyn, (right) Deborah Michel, R.N., during their meeting with the Senator. NILA members hit Capitol Hill with high energy and determination. Mark S. Birenbaum, Ph.D., and his staff at NILA helped to arrange meetings with more than 70 Senators and Representatives, or their staffs.
Source: darkdaily.com

Medicare Seminar October 30 2012 @ 7 PM

Dear Friends: Please join me for a United Health Care Seminar at my office on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 7 PM. I will give everybody the 2013 view of the Medicare Advantage Plans, the Medicare Supplements and the various Drug Plans. There will be no selling of plans on that evening. There will be coffee, cookies and soft drinks. The goal here is to understand what to do at age 65. Questions will be answered. Looking forward to seeing you. Please RSVP @ 386 860 0001 X7 and ask for Ron Silverman
Source: silvermaninsurance.com

Sharp Offers Free Seminars to Help Seniors Understand Medicare Options

Do you have a friend or family member who’s turning 65 this year? Or do you know someone who is already a Medicare beneficiary? This is the time of year that Medicare-eligible seniors can choose or modify their health insurance plan for 2013. The enrollment period for Medicare in 2013 begins on Oct. 15 and ends on Dec. 7, 2012.Making decisions about Medicare coverage can sometimes be confusing. That’s why you’re invited to attend one of Sharp’s neighborhood meetings to learn about Medicare.
Source: sandiegobargainmama.com

‘Understanding Medicare’ seminar is Oct. 6

FARMINGTON – There will be an educational seminar, “Understanding Medicare & Your Options”, held on Saturday, Oct. 6 from 9:30 am until noon at the North Dining Hall in the Olsen Student Center at UMF. The seminar is a must for anyone approaching age 65 and for those who wish to learn more about the Medicare system and the options available to you.
Source: dailybulldog.com

Medicare Orientation Seminar at the Starr

This two-hour seminar is a basic overview of Medicare and what it covers for people approaching the age of 65 and their caregivers. Also Covered: Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, EPIC, and Medicare Advantage Plans.
Source: wordpress.com

HIPAA/COBRA/MEDICARE *Upcoming Seminars*

Kate Bardsley, Association Manager of MAIA’s sister association MassAHU, came to me this morning with some information for MAIA members. Actually, she must have been in early, because she tracked me down in the hallway while I still had my coat on. But that’s the way Kate is…she gets things done, no matter the time or place!
Source: wordpress.com

Free Seminar Thursday on Medicare Perscription Drug Coverage

A share of your prescription costs: Once you’ve satisfied the annual deductible, if any, you’ll generally need to pay 25% of the next $2,610 of your prescription costs (i.e., up to $652.50 out-of-pocket) and Medicare will pay 75% (i.e., up to $1,957.50). After that, there’s a coverage gap; you’ll need to pay 100% of your prescription costs until you’ve spent an additional $3,727.50. (Some plans offer coverage for this gap.) However, once your prescription costs total $6,657.50 (i.e., your out-of-pocket costs equal $4,700–you’ve paid a $320 deductible + $652.50 + $3,727.50 in drug costs–and Medicare has paid $1,957.50), your Medicare drug plan will generally cover 95% of any further prescription costs. For the rest of the year, you’ll pay either a coinsurance amount (e.g., 5% of the prescription cost) or a small co-payment for each prescription.
Source: patch.com

Medicare Advantage Future

It appears that the Advantage plans eventually will be limited to lower incomes where it will be based on people on medicaid or dual eligible. It simply can’t go to the way of having one area in the country offer it and not in others. Can this be unconstitutional? Insert from the congress blog:The candidates’ positions on Medicare Advantage – The Hill’s Congress Blog "Medicare Advantage plans are paid based on a legislative formula, and any payments they receive above what is necessary to provide the basic Medicare benefit must be provided to the beneficiaries of the plans in the form of expanded benefits, such as lower deductibles and copayments for services. Once the election is over and the artificial and temporary bump-up in payments is terminated, as it inevitably will be, the Medicare Advantage plans will be forced to pare back benefits, and enrollment in the plans will drop." "This should not be surprising. The traditional Medicare fee-for-service insurance is an extremely inefficient model. There is no incentive for either the providers or the enrollees (most of whom have supplemental coverage beyond Medicare) to control the use of services. Thus, the volume and intensity of service use rises dramatically each year. Moreover, there is no coordination among those providing medical services to the patients, which leads to fragmented and low-quality care in too many instances." Since traditional med sups are considered inefficient in controlling costs and the fact the president wants to cut spending on advantage plans it leaves a big gap of uncertainty of which way we go with medicare. I would hope we get rid of the political animal and try to come up with the most efficient way to run medicare for future generations to come as the country ages. What is your take?
Source: insurance-forums.net