How Medicare Advantage Works

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Rogue Magazine (October 1964)  Volume 9 Number 5 - Water Balloons ...item 1.. routinely use devious devices -- wears us down like rabid trial lawyers until we give in (August 15, 2011 / 15 Av 5771) ... by marsmet542American 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

Video: How Medicare Works

Daily Kos: Open thread for night owls: Raising Medicare eligibility age would hurt minorities most

un-Constitutional, since illness and injury are not age-dependent. Separating populations by age and income is little more than a sop to segregationist sentiments — sentiments which, in turn, merely satisfy an ideological commitment to hierarchy as a fundamental principle of society. Ranking humans in order to give some more or less authority over others is not natural. If humans are equal, admittedly an ideological commitment, but one that is enshrined in our organizing document, then hierarchy is in basic conflict. Insisting on it merely serves to undermine our democracy. Of course, we have a long history of not living up to our aspirations. But, that’s what moving forward is about. If we are going to make progress, then irrelevant distinctions have to be removed. Medicare should be an option for all, especially now that all income earners are paying into it. Money, btw, is a social utility. People who use it incur some obligations for our communal certification that their IOUs are good. If some people get along with handshakes, more power to them. We won’t expect them to pay in.
Source: dailykos.com

What will Medicare pay for a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF)?

Their doctor has determined that the patient needs daily skilled care and/or rehabilitation care. • The treatment can only be provided in a nursing facility on an inpatient basis. • The skilled services are necessary and reasonable to treat or diagnose the patient. • The facility is Medicare-certified. • The condition the patient is getting treated for was the reason for the hospital stay or began during the stay at the facility. The patient must enter the nursing facility within a relatively short time period after leaving the hospital (usually within 30 days).
Source: howmedicareworks.com

5 mistakes retirees make choosing a Medicare plan

It’s also easier to find quality plans this year, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which has beefed up its star ratings system to alert consumers to the best-performing plans and remind those stuck in continuously low-performing ones that they can switch plans. Beneficiaries have 127 four-star or five-star Medicare Advantage plans from which to choose, up from 106 during open enrollment for 2012. And those in original Medicare have 26 high-performing prescription drug plans at their disposal, up from 13 last year.
Source: sltrib.com

Baby Boomers and Medicare Myths

enroll in Medicare any time after you turn 65, without penalty – Medicare has a seven month “Initial Enrollment Period” (IEP) when people first become eligible to enroll into Medicare Part A and B, either based on a disability or when they “age in” to Medicare at age 65. IEP starts 3 months prior to the month of Medicare eligibility and ends 3 months after the month of eligibility. There are some exceptions, for instance, if you’re still working and covered by an employer. But, generally people who miss the IEP could be required to pay late enrollment penalties.
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

Why Medicare Part D Works [VIDEO]

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

Deadline Looming for Medicare Open Enrollment

          Morning Classical           Maine Things Considered           Maine Calling           Speaking in Maine           Down Memory Lane           Friday Night Jazz           In Tune by Ten           Prime Cuts           Something Else           Additional MPBN Programs        Morning Classical Music with Suzanne Nance        PLAYLISTS           Classical 24        Radio & TV Stations        Car Talk Vehicle Donation Program        Down Memory Lane Television        TV Schedule           Holiday Programs on MPBN        Sustainable Maine        Holiday Programs on MPBN        Video On-Demand        Local Television Programs           Maine Watch           Basketball              Basketball Schedule              Tournament Scores                 2011 Tournament Scores                 2010 Tournament Scores              Basketball DVDs              Tournament Brackets                 Class A Boys Bracket                 Class A Girls Bracket                 Class B Boys Bracket                 Class B Girls Bracket                 Class C Boys Bracket                 Class C Girls Bracket                 Class D Boys Bracket                 Class D Girls Bracket              Basketball FAQ           Maine Arts!            Sustainable Maine              Archived Programs              Saving Our Lakes              Basket Trees              Pools, Policies and People           Making Our Way: Autism (Featuring Temple Grandin)              What is Autism?              Making Our Way:Autism Resources                 Occupational Therapy                 Autism Screening Tools                 Speech Therapy & Augmentative Communication                 Read Articles on Autism              Reach Out & Find Support              About “Making Our Way: Autism”           Conversations with Maine           Maine Experience               Maine Experience Full Programs           Making $ense New England           Broken Trust           Easing the Burden: Parkinson’s Disease           Caring for the Caregiver/Dementia and Alzheimer’s               Dementia & Alzheimer’s Disease Basics              Resources for Caregivers              If You Have Dementia              Quality Care              Safety Issues for Caregivers              Financial/Legal Topics                 Starting the Search for Long Term Care Insurance              Find a Support Group               Caring for the Cargiver: Contact Information              Share Your Story                 Losing my father a piece at a time.                 All Shared Stories                 Being a Caregiver for a Loved One with Alzheimer’s                 Our Journey with Early On-Set Alzheimer’s Disease              Watch Caring for the Caregiver Online           A Downeast Smile-In           Incredible Maine           Fresh to Flavorful        MPBN Community Films           The Films           Contact MPBN Community Films        “Natural Maine Minute”        TV Programs A-Z        Kids’ TV Schedule        TV & Radio Stations        PBS Digtal Studios Remixes
Source: mpbn.net

How Medicare Advantage Works

I pose that the main reason this result occurs is “upcoding” by MA plans. Medicare bases MA beneficiary health status on the diagnosis codes submitted by MA plans. FFS providers typically have less of an incentive to extensively document all of a beneficiary’s health conditions…MA plans, on the other hand, receive more money the more diagnosis codes they document. Thus, when FFS beneficiaries switch to MA plans, their risk scores increase even if their true health status changes little or not at all.
Source: healthworkscollective.com

Listen Up, White House! Take Medicare Eligibility Age Off The Table NOW.

…with the electorate. Act 1. A disaster scenario (created by the WH & Congress) aptly named a ‘fiscal cliff’ MUST be solved by Dec. or we’ll all die. Both parties posture and pose and pretend to hold out for a deal their base supports. Act 2. Media run non-stop stories about the fiscal cliff ‘disaster’. Theme: If no compromise is reached before (artificial) deadline life will end for us all. Good cop, bad cop drama ensues. Act 3.The WH/Congress leak Pete Peterson’s plan to a couple of insiders to float. Outrage from both bases. Media frenzy. WH/Congress wait out the storm. Act 4. Float a slightly more palpable plan with “tweaks”. Media insiders in both parties give it a tepid thumbs up claiming it was the best they could do given the intransigence of the other party. Act 5. Tweaked entitlement “reform” bill gets bipartisan support. Act 6: The public finds out 9 mos later about the poison pills lobbyists for Pete Peterson wrote into the bill. Act 7. Medicare age raised to 67. SS cola ‘tweaked’. Taxes raised 2% on millionaires. Captial Gains tax untouched. Defense cuts- not so much.
Source: crooksandliars.com

Maryland Medicare waiver plan still unresolved

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

New Online Rx System Makes UM Student 'Top Entrepreneur' Finalist by University of Maryland Press ReleasesThanksgiving is just a day away, and you know what that means: Food, football and mall stampedes. Oh, and one other thing: Barbara Mikulski is due for a letdown. The Democratic U.S. senator said in October that she wanted to see a plan for revising the state’s Medicare waiver by Thanksgiving. Health officials say they’re still working on it, but won’t have before Turkey Day. The waiver is that integral piece of Maryland’s health care system that allows the state to set its own Medicare…
Source: ewallstreeter.com

Video: Maryland Medigap Insurance aka Medicare Supplements

Maryland Seeks A New Balance In Its Unique Hospital Payment System

The debate is part of a larger discussion about saving Maryland’s oft-praised price-setting regime while maintaining the state’s leadership in developing an insurance exchange and other components of the health act. One idea is to have HHS judge Maryland according to the total cost of care for Medicare and not just inpatient cases, according to a presentation given by a top HHS official to the hospital association earlier this summer, according to people who were there. That raises the possibility of cost controls (although not necessarily rate setting) on physicians. “Obviously, it’s something we’re watching closely,” said Gene Ransom, chief executive of MedChi, Maryland’s state medical society.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Ethics Opinions Underscore Problems That Medicare Liens Create when Negotiating Settlements

In the absence of an agreement to indemnify from the plaintiff’s attorney, another alternative would be that the defendant/insurer would distribute the money to the plaintiff’s attorney, and the plaintiff’s attorney would agree to maintain an amount equal to or greater than the full amount of the lien until the final lien amount is negotiated.  In this scenario, the attorney is not taking on the client’s obligations, but rather is being held to his word that the lien will be protected, assuming the plaintiff consents to the withholding of some funds.  The plaintiff can receive some of the settlement funds immediately, but the defendant/insurer is assured that a sufficient amount will be held back to guarantee that the asserted lien is protected.  It is seemingly a better solution to the problem.  However, as may be evident, similar ethical concerns are raised by this scenario as well, and the MD Committee on Ethics has also had occasion to address it.  According to the Committee, it is questionable whether the plaintiff’s attorney can ethically agree to such an arrangement.  The Committee, in reviewing this practice, has expressed concerns that the plaintiff’s attorney would be violating the aforementioned ethical rules regarding the safekeeping of property of the client and/or a third party.  Under these ethical rules, the settlement funds belonging to a party may be placed in an interest bearing account, where the interest must be provided to the party.  However, the funds belonging to one person may not be placed in an interest bearing account where the interest will be credited to someone else.  The question, then, as the Committee sees it, is who do the funds belong to at the time they are given to the plaintiff’s attorney: the plaintiff, the third-party, or both?  Keeping in mind that the assertion of a lien is not the same thing as a ruling that the lien is valid, the Committee has decided that the plaintiff’s attorney must consider the legal question of when a lien holder has “ownership” of the funds.  Given the Committee’s Opinion on this matter, plaintiff’s attorneys are left to analyze when and whether the lien holder becomes the owner of the funds.  If it is the owner of the funds, then the attorney cannot ethically hold it.  Given this dilemma, and absent a controlling opinion from Maryland appellate courts, one would think that most plaintiff’s attorneys will be cautious and decline to agree to maintain the funds for “safe keeping” in order to avoid the risk of committing an ethical violation.
Source: mdliability.com

Annapolis Estate Planning: Medicare Coverage Skilled Nursing Qualifications May Be Eased

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: holdencampbell.com

Maryland Has a Four Part Medicaid Program

Medicaid can cover people who fit into the following groups: low income families, children, pregnant women, and aged, blind, or disabled adults. The specific benefits that are offered, and the details about the eligibility requirements, are standard across the state of Maryland. A person can be covered by another form of health insurance and still be eligible for coverage through Medicaid.
Source: families.com

CareFirst BCBS’s Medicare plan gets high ranking from CMS

The ranking is for Medi-CareFirst’s BlueRx standard and enhanced prescription drug plans (Part D), and is an improvement over last year’s 4-star ranking. The CMS Medicare program each year rates all health and prescription drug plans in four categories, with ratings of up to five stars.
Source: ifawebnews.com

How health care price fixing works in Maryland : Covering Health

Maryland’s system is what health care economists call all-payer rate-setting. The cost-containment board looks at services and hospital needs and then selects a uniform menu of prices for all payers. In most states, prices for the same procedure vary. Some payers, usually the public ones such as Medicaid, get a steep discount, while others pay more to make up the difference. (The country’s most expensive CT scan of the head is $1,545, according to the international health-plan study.) In Maryland, Medicare, Medicaid, private insurers, and patients who pay cash all get the same bill for a CT scan. It means that bigger, more powerful hospitals can’t demand higher prices from insurers. It also means that hospitals that treat Medicaid patients don’t get bankrupted by skimpy reimbursement rates.
Source: healthjournalism.org

Nursing Home Could Lose Medicare and Medicaid Funding Due to Multiple Alleged Deficiencies :: Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog

CMS reported that it had conducted three surveys of the facility in response to complaints in the past fifteen months. It compared the total number of deficiencies in the facility, twenty-four, to the national average of 7.5. The average number of deficiencies for facilities in Mississippi is six. The most recent survey of the nursing home, conducted on February 10, 2012, identified deficiencies in eight broad categories based on the regulatory requirements for participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs: 1. Privacy and confidentiality of residents’ personal and medical information and records; 2. Provision of care that maintains “dignity and respect of individuality”; 3. Adequate housekeeping and maintenance; 4. Safety and cleanliness in food handling; 5. Labeling of drugs and maintenance of drug records in accordance with professional standards; 6. Effective planning to control the spread of infections; 7. Monitoring of nurse aides to ensure they can provide for resident needs; and 8. Recordkeeping on individual residents that meets accepted professional standards.
Source: marylandnursinghomelawyerblog.com

Greenbelt Explorations Unlimited Explores Medicare Supplements

On Friday, Sept. 21, Explorations Unlimited welcomes Mr. Greg Markomanolakis, who will be talking about the differences in Medicare plans and pricing, Medicare Extra Help and the Maryland Senior Prescription Drug Assistance Program that a lot of seniors aren’t aware of. He will also touch briefly on the importance of having burial plans established through an irrevocable funeral trust that is Medicaid waived.
Source: patch.com

Geographic payment adjustments: Medicare’s disputed borders

However, there is a second force affecting geographic adjustments, Zuckerman said — Congress. Lawmakers in recent years have adopted Medicare payment legislation to change the geographic indexes and prevent them from decreasing rates by the full amount in areas deemed to be low-cost. Since 2004, the adjustment for work has been raised to 1 for all locales with index values below that floor. The provision, which costs about $500 million a year, expires Dec. 31. If Congress extends it, North Carolina’s work GPCI would be raised from 0.971 to 1 in 2013, almost the same as Portland’s 1.005 figure.
Source: nebraskaruralhealth.org

Brad DeLong : The Political Medicaid Expansion Wars Begin…

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

'The election of Obama would, at a stroke, refresh our country's spirit' by Renegade98Let Fifty Flowers Bloom: Health Care Federalism after National Federation of Independent Business V. Sebelius by Ann Marie Marciarille :: SSRN: Conventional wisdom is that the American public does not want to think too long or too hard about Medicaid. Medicaid’s reputation has long been big, complicated, and widely misunderstood…. Medicaid is the budget-buster of government funded health insurance. Its budget busting propensities are most pronounced at the intersection of Medicaid and the government-funded health insurance program we do love to discuss: Medicare…. [E]verything possible will happen: if somebody can imagine it, some state will try it. This paper first looks at the pre-ACA past… considers the past role of Medicaid… and how the Supreme Court has understood that role. It next considers the roles that Medicaid is likely to play in our health care system post-implementation of the Medicaid opt-in in 2014…. It finally considers the implications of transformed health care federalism for the implementation of the ACA….
Source: typepad.com

Video: North Carolina Medicare Enrollment.wmv

N.C. Groups Hold Vigil To Oppose Budget Cuts

Bishop Hope Ward will lead the vigil at sunset Monday at the office of Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan in downtown Raleigh. In addition to the UMC, other organizers of the vigil are the N.C. Justice Center, the N.C. State AFL-CIO and MoveOn.org
Source: cbslocal.com

AFLAC Medicare Supplement Insurance Plans Now Available for Sale in 27 States

All states except NY and FL are now available for recruiting. The final states recently added are WI, MN and MA. If you plan to recruit in these states make sure you are appointed. If you are not currently set up for any of these states and would like to be, please forward the State License you would like to be set up in and we will get you set up as quickly as possible.
Source: ihealthbrokers.com

Candlelight Campaign Against Cuts comes to N.C. (12/10)

What: Candlelight vigil against cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and taxes on the rich Where: Senator Kay Hagan’s office, 310 New Bern Ave, Raleigh, NC 27601 When: Monday, December 10, 2012 at 4:30 PM Who: NC State AFL-CIO, MoveOn.org, NC Conference of the United Methodist Church, NC Justice Center
Source: aflcionc.org

Research Roundup: Medicare Advantage Plan Beneficiaries May Get More Appropriate Services; CHIP Participation Grows

Urban Institute/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: Medicaid/CHIP Participation Among Children And Parents – “Despite the economic downturn, most states have maintained or expanded Medicaid and CHIP for children, by expanding eligibility to higher income and immigrant children, undertaking enrollment and retention simplifications, and implementing new policy options,” the authors wrote about coverage rates between 2008 and 2010. The rate of eligible children participating in Medicaid or CHIP grew to 86 percent nationwide and the number of eligible children who were not insured fell by 500,000 in that time, the study found. Participation rates for eligible parents were lower, however. The authors conclude that the 2009 law designed to improve participation of children in the program “may have contributed to increased take-up for Medicaid/CHIP among children, but that additional efforts will be needed, particularly among parents, to achieve high levels of Medicaid enrollment under the Affordable Care Act ACA” (Kenney et al., 12/3).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Medicare Nursing Home Ranking System Under Scrutiny in North Carolina

While not every injury case meets our criteria, we offer free initial confidential injury case consultation, so call us toll free at (800) 752-0042. If you cannot get through due to high call volume, please leave a voicemail so we can return your call.
Source: hsinjurylaw.com

Hospital improvements won’t avoid Medicare penalties

William K. Cors, M.D., is the chief medical quality officer for Pocono Health System, a network based in East Stroudsburg, Pa., that includes the 231-bed Pocono Medical Center and several outpatient facilities. He is the former vice president of medical staff services for Danvers, Mass.-based consultancy The Greeley Company, where he guided hospitals on leadership and governance; credentialing, privileging and peer review; and management of medical staff conflicts.
Source: fiercehealthcare.com

Impact of Medicare Sequester v. Medicaid expansion on providers

Interestingly, the impact of the Sequester on health care providers is beginning to get some news coverage in North Carolina, but there has been very little discussion of the Medicaid expansion choice along the same lines, in the media or in the campaigns for Governor and General Assembly. I assume this means that the Republicans know that we will do the expansion in N.C., and they have wisely not boxed themselves in. It is not as clear to me why none of the Dems running are talking about this issue.
Source: samefacts.com

Romney confronts Ryan's Medicare question in N.C. rally

 I personal do not beleive mr romney about what he is saying with regards to the issue of their passing medicare cuts to the current budget with the help of the democrats not a true democrat anyway maybe with the help of some right winged winged nut of a democrat that is already so closely alinged with the repbulcians that he /she had may as well be a republican in the first place .  just another republican elephant posing as a donkey/ democrat by surely not a true democrat the democratic party in this state is better off with members of this nature for sure. they need to truely change their real registration to  reflect the actuakl way they feel an vote an stop posing as our current governor did as a democrat whenin fact they are republcians in the first place thank you
Source: newsobserver.com

Windsor Medicare Extra Hosts Behavioral …

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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Source: neurophysiologyblog.com

Video: Windsor Medicare Extra – Dually Eligible- Medicare and Medicaid.mp4

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

Patch’s Poll: At What Age Do You Expect to Retire?

OMG, a Maria comment that I can actually identify with! Will wonders never cease to amaze me. If you’ve paid Medicare taxes your whole life, then you are absolutely entitiled to receive Medicare at age 65, PERIOD! It is YOUR money, not the Federal government’s money, just like with Social Security. If they want to change the laws for those coming into the system, then fine, but for those who have been paying into the system their whole lives, then it is their money, NOT THE GOVERNMENT’S money. It is too bad that those in Washington have already liquidated the trust funds and turned these programs into ponzi schemes, which of course makes it difficult to change the laws since those younger workers are, of course, funding the system (due to the system’s ponzi scheme status).
Source: patch.com

Windsor medicare drug prior authorization form :: Jamal’s blog

How much does Medicare Advantage cost?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Old people read alone... by Ed YourdonPlans with $0 Monthly Premiums: Among the 43,306 plans available in 2013, 13,741 plans (32 percent) will be offered at a cost of $0 above what a Medicare beneficiary already pays for Medicare Part B. By comparison, 14,297 plans (33 percent) were available with a $0 monthly premium in 2012 and 13,821 plans (35%) were available in 2011.
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

Video: Compare 2011 Medicare Advantage Plans Online – 5 Easy Steps

ICYMI: Health Affairs Article: Medicare Advantage Provides Higher

A recent article in the latest edition of Health Affairs provides further evidence that Medicare Advantage plans are delivering higher-quality care to seniors and people with disabilities than the fee-for-service (FFS) part of Medicare.  Data from the article show that Medicare Advantage beneficiaries utilize some health care services, such as the emergency department and ambulatory surgery or procedures, at a rate 20-30 percent lower than those in FFS Medicare.  This data suggests that Medicare Advantage enrollees “might use fewer services and be experiencing more appropriate use of services than enrollees in traditional Medicare.”
Source: ahipcoverage.com

WellPoint Q1 2011 Results: Medicare Advantage Growth & Online Sales

Interestingly though, there are only a couple mentions of WellPoint’s Medicare (Senior) business on their most recent earnings call.  First, WellPoint saw higher than expected growth in their Medicare Advantage enrollments.  For those of you who sold their plans, WellPoint’s enrollment growth was probably a no brainer.  Their Medicare Advantage plans were extremely competitive in states like California, Ohio, Virginia, and New York.  Below is a quote from the call:
Source: wordpress.com

Insurer halts Medicare Advantage sales in Georgia

Public HealthHealth InsuranceHealth CostsHospitalsHealth ReformMedicaidDelivery of CareChildren’s HealthMental HealthPhysiciansSafety NetDisabilitiesCaregivingMedicareUninsuredHealth DisparitiesPrescription DrugsLong-Term CareNursesHealth QualityQuality of CarenursingRural Healthhospital
Source: georgiahealthnews.com

Medicare Advantage Grows; But Not Without Government Help

The net result, encouraging more plans to compete in the Medicare market, is not actually in the best interest of seniors. In a study published last month in Health Affairs, researchers found that too many choices with too little guidance can be overwhelming for Medicare enrollees, especially the growing proportion that is experiencing cognitive difficulties. “Our study suggests that the Medicare Advantage program presents an overabundance of choices for many elderly beneficiaries,” the researchers write. “Medicare Advantage plans currently compete for enrollees through the benefits they offer and the premiums they charge, but elderly beneficiaries with low cognitive function were not responsive to changes in these features.” The implication, according to Health Affairs, is that these “unresponsive” seniors may buy into plans not well suited to their needs, allowing private insurers to profit “by offering less-generous coverage or reducing benefits while still attracting or retaining enrollees with limited cognitive abilities.”
Source: healthbeatblog.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

Medicare Advantage 2011 Data Spotlight: Medicare Advantage Enrollment Market Update

This data spotlight examines enrollment trends in Medicare Advantage plans in 2011 and finds that despite concerns about the effects of the 2010 health reform payment reductions on private Medicare Advantage plans, enrollment continued to rise this year.  Additionally, Medicare Advantage enrollees are paying lower premiums, on average, than they did in 2010. Preferred Provider Organizations gained more enrollees than any other plan type, while enrollment in Private Fee-for-Service plans continued to decline. A companion issue brief examines firm perspectives on the Medicare Advantage marketplace.  The analysis was conducted by a team researchers at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. and the Kaiser Family Foundation. 
Source: kff.org

Medicare Advantage Annual Election Period Creates Opportunities for Seniors to Earn Extra Income via Mystery Shopping with TrendSource

?CMS recommends that insurers develop their own surveillance programs,? Cannataro said ?in order monitor agent performance and correct issues before they are detected by CMS auditors.? As a result, many insurance companies contract with firms like TrendSource that specialize in planning and carrying out these programs. ?We recruit people to meet with sales agents or attend marketing events and report back to us on their experiences. This creates thousands of part-time job opportunities for seniors across the country as they are recruited to carry out surveillance assignments,? Cannataro explained. ?Another benefit for the people who take on these assignments is that they are paid to learn about Medicare Advantage Plans.?
Source: myuniversalhealthinsurance.com

Medicare HMOs reduce utilization, researchers say

“Although we could not assess the appropriateness of services, some of our findings suggest that the use of services may be more appropriate within Medicare Advantage HMOs,” the researchers said. “For instance, relative to beneficiaries in traditional Medicare, Medicare Advantage HMO enrollees are more commonly treated with cardiac bypass surgery, in accord with current guidelines. Additionally, lower rates of emergency department use suggest that Medicare Advantage HMOs may be treating patients in less costly primary care or urgent care settings.”
Source: lifehealthpro.com

Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage Changes for 2013

The Affordable Care Act includes provisions that, over time, are reducing the cost of prescription drugs for people who fall into the coverage gap, or “donut hole.” In 2011 and 2012, the discount for brand name drugs was 50%; in 2013 and 2014, it will increase to 52.5%, and will grow after that until it reaches 75% in 2020.
Source: wordpress.com

Health Care Organizational Ethics: Politics vs Rational Medicare Reform

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Sheriff Andy on Health Care Reform by Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.comI’m a staunch New England liberal/yellow dog Democrat. And I support Howard Dean’s organization – Democracy for America. But I shuddered when I received this message in a fund-raising email: Republicans lost big in the election, but John Boehner is trying to force his right-wing agenda on the American people anyway. Republicans in Congress are taking advantage of the fiscal showdown and trying to jam through massive cuts to Medicare that would be devastating to America’s seniors. (emphasis in the original) Republicans, occasionally joined by renegade Democrats, have plenty of bad ideas about Medicare, like raising the age of eligibility (see here) and turning Medicare into a voucher program (see here). But experts agree that at least 30% of what we spend on health care is waste. I’ve talked with lots of practicing physicians about this. No one has ever estimated waste at less than 25%, and many have estimated it at 50%. The threat to Medicare is dumb ideas like vouchers and raising the age of eligibility, not the idea of reducing the trend line of cost increases. Doing that is an economic necessity for a thriving economy and a moral necessity on behalf of future generations and other social needs. Dumb cuts “would be devastating to America’s seniors.” Clinically guided waste reduction would be a positive service, not a devastation. I hope that behind closed doors and away from sloganeering, our leaders – Democrats & Republicans – will move beyond demagoguery to consider how the federal government can promote prudent waste reduction in the Medicare program.
Source: blogspot.com

Video: Health Reform Explained Video: “Health Reform Hits Main Street”

Medicare Reform: Not So Toxic After All?

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

Medicare Reform Debate Ongoing

As President Obama and House Republicans tussle over a debt reduction deal, Medicare reform is back in the spotlight. The health insurance program forThe post Medicare Reform Debate Ongoing appeared first on Credit Season .
Source: ewallstreeter.com

AMA committee endorses Ryan

“The [AMA] policy identifies changes that must be made to strengthen the traditional Medicare program (i.e., restructuring beneficiary cost-sharing, including modifying Medigap rules, and changing the eligibility age to match Social Security),” the Council writes, “and expresses support for giving beneficiaries a choice of plans for which the federal government would contribute a standard amount (i.e., a ‘defined contribution’) toward the purchase of traditional fee-for-service Medicare or another health insurance plan approved by Medicare. The Council firmly believes that implementing a defined contribution system, with strong regulatory protections for patients, is a responsible and feasible approach to strengthening the Medicare program.”
Source: hotair.com

Will Republicans Bargain Away Entitlement Reform in the Fiscal Cliff Deal?

More to the point, the possible savings from reducing Medicare spending on the wealthy are quite slim. According to Reynolds, denying Medicare benefits to the top 1 percent of earners would save just 1 percent, at most, out of Medicare’s budget. And if the wealthy were denied benefits entirely, Medicare would actually lose the money raised from their higher premiums. At best this sort of meaningless means testing would provide Republicans with a fig leaf to cover a deal to raise tax revenues. But it wouldn’t fix Medicare. It wouldn’t fix the budget. It wouldn’t fix much of anything.
Source: reason.com

Common Sense Family Doctor: Lockboxes, Medicare reform, and the myth of “free stuff”

Recently, I had an interesting conversation with my dad about the current policy debates involving the Medicare program. Since he, along with my mother, is one of the two most important Medicare beneficiaries in my life, hearing his perspective was immensely valuable. Essentially, my dad said that what really upsets him when politicians describe Medicare is the use of the term “entitlement,” which implies that people like my parents who paid Medicare taxes for several decades doesn’t deserve to reap the full benefits of that investment. I pointed out that the reason Medicare is running out of money is that the dollar value of health benefits that seniors use today far exceeds the amount they paid in to the system thirty, twenty, or even ten years ago, since Medicare only began to pay for prescription drugs in 2006 and annual increases in the cost of health care have exceeded inflation since, well, forever. He countered that it was totally appropriate for retirees to get back more than they put in, since all good investors expect their money to grow over time. He’s right. The problem with this argument isn’t his fault: the federal government doesn’t put revenue from Medicare payroll taxes into the stock market, a savings account, or even the “lockbox” that Al Gore made famous during the 2000 presidential campaign. It spends those dollars, immediately, often on programs that have nothing to do with health care for seniors. As a nation, we can and should debate the best ways to keep Medicare solvent for my generation and my children’s generation. The President and Congress could, for example, turn the program into one with fixed costs but not necessarily fixed benefits. They could agree to large increases in the payroll tax that funds the program, rather than continuing the temporary payroll tax holiday put in to place to cushion families from the worst of the recession. They could cut Medicare payments to doctors by 30 percent, cross their fingers, and hope that at least a few of us would continue to see Medicare patients anyway. They could do some or all of these things at the same time. What we as citizens cannot do is allow them to continue to point fingers at each other and, for purely political  reasons, avoid the question of what to do. Which brings me to one of my pet peeves about health reform in general, and the Affordable Care Act in particular: the selling of reforms as good because they provide people who already have health insurance with more “free stuff.” Thanks to the ACA / Congressional Democrats / President Obama, a typical political ad will say, women can now get free mammograms, Pap smears, cholesterol tests, and birth control pills! Isn’t that great? This kind of ad is misleading because none of the preventive health services defined by the bill have suddenly become free. In fact, some cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Instead, the costs of these (often but not always worthwhile) services have just been shifted – into higher insurance premiums, on to an employer, or to the federal government (and therefore the individual taxpayer or an international investor that holds some portion of the U.S.’s $16 trillion national debt). The above discussion notwithstanding, my fellow blogger Josh Freeman recently made the very good point that health should generally not be considered a commodity, but a social good. I supported most provisions of the Affordable Care Act because its implementation will eventually allow millions more Americans to more reliably access health care, especially primary care, when they need it. As a family physician, I do not believe that any group of people “deserves” health care any more than others. My dad and mom deserve their health care. But so do I, so do my wife and kids, and so do you and your loved ones. And our country will never have an honest debate about health reform as a social good and a shared sacrifice if we let politicians of both parties, only concerned about the next election, portray it as a false choice between rationing and free stuff.
Source: blogspot.com

Medigap: Sacramento, Placer Medicare Supplement Rates

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Independent agent for health and life insurance in northern California. CA LIC. 0H12644. Focusing on families, individuals, self employed and small business. Representing several insurance carriers including Medicare Advantage and Part D Plans. Life insurance, final expence and funeral trusts. My pledge to my clients: 1. I respect your time and decisions. 2. I will not try to sell you something you do not want or need. 3. I will not call you after 5pm unless you ask me to.
Source: insuremekevin.com

Video: Medicare Supplement Comparison

What Is The Best Way To Make A Medicare Supplement Comparison?

Start by asking your current medical providers if they are providers under the plan. If they are not, then you have the choice of changing doctors and other medical facilities, or looking at another plan for a medicare supplement comparison. You want to make sure that any medical support services you use are also providers. When you find a supplement plan that covers your providers you can now review the services they cover, the deductibles, and the co-pays. By reviewing this data you can determine if the plan is right for you. Almost any supplement plan is worth the cost.
Source: seniorcorps.org

What is the Cadillac Medicare Advantage plan

A plan’s network of providers: People often think Medicare Advantage plans are only offered as part of healthcare management organizations (HMOs), but many are also preferred provider organizations (PPOs). With HMOs and PPOs, insurance companies typically have a list doctors, specialists and hospitals that are preferred so when you go to those providers, you presumably pay a lower price for care. Either that, or the insurer covers more of your out of pocket costs, or both. Your costs typically differ if you get “in network” care versus “out of network” care. You’re more likely to think of a plan that includes your doctors, specialists and hospitals at a lower price to be a Cadillac plan.
Source: ehealthinsurance.com

Medicare Open Enrollment is October 15th through December 7th

The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the developments referred to in this material. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any information is not a complete summary or statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision and does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Medicare.gov and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.
Source: formanis.com

Things to know about Medicare Supplement and Health Insurance

Medicare supplement and health insurance is a remarkable resource for individuals of different backgrounds who desire to have financial well being after they retire from their jobs. Supplemental insurance comes into picture along with your regular health insurance plan to fill in the gaps wherever you would or else have to pay through your pocket. Medicare supplement health insurance becomes important for you since your regular medical insurance can take care of nearly 80% of your total medical costs. This leaves a significant 20% cost, which you have to arrange for, from your savings. Having a supplement medical insurance can lower your out-of-pocket expenses significantly without replacing the primary plan. This simply adds to your original plan making you fully covered and filling the gaps. These plans are often called Medigap plans and you have number of options when it comes to choosing the right for you.
Source: wordpress.com

Has Your Medicare Supplement Gone UP in Price?

During this time of year we can help you make sure you have the best price and coverage for your doctor and hospital care.  Many people think all they need is a Part D comparison, but why pay more for your Medicare Supplement than you have to?  Medicare only pays 80% of your doctor and hospital costs.  If you are turning 65 and in your open enrollment, you cannot get turned down for coverage during those months no matter what kind of health issues you may be experiencing.  That is why it is so important NOT to get a Medicare Advantage Plan!!!  Start off with the BEST coverage available!!
Source: mypartdusa.com

Compare Medicare Supplement Plans Side By Side

As you can see, comparing plan benefits from one company to the next is mostly a non-issue. Although some companies such as United Healthcare seem to offer small benefits such as vision and prescription drug discounts, this is actually a benefit of being an AARP member.
Source: alabamamedicaresupplement.com

Will Obama Cave On Medicare? : One Penny Sheet

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

It received 61 votes in the Senate – a clear majority – however treaty ratification requires a two-thirds majority and 38 Republicans, including Senators Jim DeMint, Mike Lee, and Marco Rubio, joined together to block it out of fear that it threatens the sovereignty of the United States even though – again – the treaty would require no changes to U.S. law since our nation has already passed laws to assist the disabled. Rather than doing what’s right for the nation and the entire world, Republicans in the Senate used this treaty to scare the hell out of their base and warn of a nameless, faceless global government that is trying to take over the United States.
Source: onepennysheet.com

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

Raising the Medicare Eligibility Age: A Costly and Dangerous Proposal 

[1] Congressional Budget Office: Raising the Ages of Eligibility for Medicare and Social Security, January 2012. Available at http://www.cbo.gov/publication/42683. [2]Center for Budget and Policy Priorities: Raising Medicare’s Eligibility Age would Increase Overall Health Spending and Shift Costs to Seniors, States, and Employers, August 2011.  Available at http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3564. [3] Henry J. Aaron, Ph. D, The Brookings Institution for AARP Public Policy Institute, Perspectives: Reforming Medicare: Option-Raise the Medicare Eligibility Age, available at http://www.aarp.org/content/dam/aarp/research/public_policy_institute/health/option-raise-the-medicare-eligibility-age-AARP-ppi-health.pdf. [4] Center for American Progress, The Senior Protection Plan, available at http://www.americanprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/SeniorProtectionPlan.pdf. [5] Kaiser Family Foundation: Raising the Age of Medicare Eligibility: A Fresh Look Following the Implementation of Health Reform, July 2011, available at http://www.kff.org/medicare/8169.cfm. [6] Ibid. [7] Kaiser Family Foundation, Health Reform Subsidy Calculator, available at http://healthreform.kff.org/subsidycalculator.axpx [8] Ibid. [9] United States National Vital Statistics System. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss.htm. [10] Health Affairs, Raising the Medicare Eligibility Age: Effects on The Young Elderly, July/August 2003, available at http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/22/4/198.full. [11] Medicare Rights Center, Paying More for Less: Raising the Eligibility Age, available at http://www.medicarerights.org/pdf/Paying-More-For-Less-Raising-Medicare-Age.pdf. [12] ABC News/WashingtonPost Poll, Langer Research Associates, November 2012, available at http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/11/among-cliff-avoidance-options-most-favor-targeting-the-wealthy/. [13] Center for Medicare Advocacy, Deficit Reduction and Medicare: Saving Money without Harming Beneficiaries, available at http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/2012/11/15/deficit-reduction-and-medicare-save-money-without-harming-beneficiaries/ [14] MRC. [15] Center for Medicare Advocacy, Investing in Our Future: Strengthening Medicare in 2012 and Beyond, available at http://www.medicareadvocacy.org/2012/02/09/investing-in-our-future-strengthening-medicare-for-2012-and-beyond/.
Source: medicareadvocacy.org

Daily Kos: Raise rates, Medicare age; truce on Obamacare incl. subsidies 65

Getting Repubs to capitulate on rates will effectively shatter the one ironclad plank holding the conservative coalition together. It is absolutely essential to breaking the Republican fever. A present vote on the Senate middle class tax bill won’t be good enough; we need a substantial number of Republicans on record with a yes vote for a package to effectively include tax hikes on high earners. We already see cracks forming in the GOP coalition. This would be the fatality. Thenceforth, the GOP might be a party that can govern once again. (Their House majority will stand, probably for several election cycles to come, but I’m more interested in bringing the current GOP leadership to a position of reason and good governance than I am with undoing their majority, at least for now.)
Source: dailykos.com

Romney Narrows Gap With Obama On Medicare Issue

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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

Video: Avoid the Donut Hole Coverage Gap in Medicare

What Gaps in Medicare Mean To You

This post was written by Jim Blazer, Executive V.P. of Bermel, Inc.  Since joining Bermel, Inc. 18 years ago, Blazer has led the company in its steady expansion. He is recognized for managing one of two major US hospital networks for Medicare Select. Bermel, Inc’s Medicare Select Supplements significantly reduce the premium outlay for policyholders.
Source: medicareecompare.com

Medicare Eligibility Age Increase Rejected By Obama Allies

DURBIN: I do believe there should be means testing. and those of us with higher income in retirement should pay more. That could be part of the solution. But when you talk about raising the eligibility age, there’s one key question. what happens to the early retiree? What about that gap in coverage between workplace and Medicare? How will they be covered? I listened to Republicans say we can’t wait to repeal Obamacare, and the insurance exchanges. Well, where does a person turn if they are 65 years of age and the medicare eligibility age is 67? They have two years there where they may not have the best of health. They need accessible, affordable medical insurance during that period.
Source: firedoglake.com

Antidepressant Use Among Seniors: Falling Through Medicare’s Doughnut Hole?

Philadelphia Inquirer/HealthDay News: Medicare Coverage Gap May Cause Seniors To Forgo Antidepressants The Medicare Part D drug plan’s gap in coverage — often referred to as the “donut hole” — has long been a concern, and a new study links it to cutbacks by seniors in the use of antidepressants and other medications. An estimated 13 percent of seniors aged 65 and older suffer from depression, experts say. Antidepressants can stop depression from returning, but the Part D benefit — especially the coverage gap — “imposes a serious risk for discontinuing maintenance antidepressant pharmacotherapy among senior beneficiaries,” the study authors found (Dotinga, 7/2).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

What Is Medicare Gap Insurance?

A lot of senior citizens do not realize that not all states carry Medicare gap insurance. You can consult an expert on the subject to know if you are eligible for such insurance, and if the state you are in is also carrying such insurance. Different states have different laws when it comes to Medicare supplemental insurance, an example is that some states allow you to apply for gap insurance on a limited window, and if you have already a Medicare part B. Again, it is best to consult with a professional to avoid confusion and headaches, and also speed up the whole process.
Source: seniorcorps.org

Listen Up, White House! Take Medicare Eligibility Age Off The Table NOW.

…with the electorate. Act 1. A disaster scenario (created by the WH & Congress) aptly named a ‘fiscal cliff’ MUST be solved by Dec. or we’ll all die. Both parties posture and pose and pretend to hold out for a deal their base supports. Act 2. Media run non-stop stories about the fiscal cliff ‘disaster’. Theme: If no compromise is reached before (artificial) deadline life will end for us all. Good cop, bad cop drama ensues. Act 3.The WH/Congress leak Pete Peterson’s plan to a couple of insiders to float. Outrage from both bases. Media frenzy. WH/Congress wait out the storm. Act 4. Float a slightly more palpable plan with “tweaks”. Media insiders in both parties give it a tepid thumbs up claiming it was the best they could do given the intransigence of the other party. Act 5. Tweaked entitlement “reform” bill gets bipartisan support. Act 6: The public finds out 9 mos later about the poison pills lobbyists for Pete Peterson wrote into the bill. Act 7. Medicare age raised to 67. SS cola ‘tweaked’. Taxes raised 2% on millionaires. Captial Gains tax untouched. Defense cuts- not so much.
Source: crooksandliars.com

What you need to know about Medicare

A word of caution here: There are a few things you can’t do during the six-week disenrollment period. You can’t switch from one Medicare Advantage plan to another. Nor can you switch from the traditional Medicare program to an Advantage plan. Most people will need to wait until the annual enrollment period in the fall to make either of those changes.
Source: demingheadlight.com

EILIYAH: low income, disabled & Medicare recipient : HIV Health Reform

ADAP aids.gov AIDS2012 Bridge to 2014 California Healthcare Reform Case Stories comments to HHS Congress Deficit Reduction Dual Eligibles Election 2012 essential health benefits exchange fact sheet featured federal budget federal implementation healthcare reform health care reform & prevention health home health reform & HIV 101 HHCAWG HLS/TAEP Illinois Medi-Cal Questions Medicaid Medicare National HIV/AIDS Strategy private insurance public input regulations reimbursement rates Ryan White CARE Act Sebelius seniors SHARP sign-on letter Spanish Speaking Resources state advocates state implementation Super Committee supreme court toolkits webinar women
Source: hivhealthreform.org

Medicare Open Enrollment: last chance to review and compare plans

With the holiday season upon us, it’s easy to get busy this time of year. Some pretty important tasks can get left to the last minute. One of those important tasks is ensuring you are in the right health insurance plan in Medicare.  Selecting the right plan is a personal choice, and a lot of thoughtful consideration goes into finding the right match.  But just like the holidays, those key dates come whether or not you are ready.
Source: medicare.gov

Daily Kos: Open thread for night owls: Raising Medicare eligibility age would hurt minorities most

un-Constitutional, since illness and injury are not age-dependent. Separating populations by age and income is little more than a sop to segregationist sentiments — sentiments which, in turn, merely satisfy an ideological commitment to hierarchy as a fundamental principle of society. Ranking humans in order to give some more or less authority over others is not natural. If humans are equal, admittedly an ideological commitment, but one that is enshrined in our organizing document, then hierarchy is in basic conflict. Insisting on it merely serves to undermine our democracy. Of course, we have a long history of not living up to our aspirations. But, that’s what moving forward is about. If we are going to make progress, then irrelevant distinctions have to be removed. Medicare should be an option for all, especially now that all income earners are paying into it. Money, btw, is a social utility. People who use it incur some obligations for our communal certification that their IOUs are good. If some people get along with handshakes, more power to them. We won’t expect them to pay in.
Source: dailykos.com

I’m an MS Activist: REMINDER: MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS DEC. 7TH

If you are a Medicare beneficiary who was impacted by Hurricane Sandy, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is making accommodations to ensure that all Medicare beneficiaries can enroll in the health and drug plans that are best for them.
Source: blogspot.com

State insurance chief offers tips to consumers weighing Medicare options — Health — Bangor Daily News — BDN Maine

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Medicare for All by juhansoninThe 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

Video: Medicare Options – Making Sense of Them All!

Help with the Medicare options

The MedicareStore is holding an informational open house 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. An audiologist from hi Healthinnovations and a representative from SilverSneakers fitness program will be on hand, and there will be a SilverSneakerod demonstration at 1 p.m. The store is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and is in the Golf Acres Shopping Center at 1412 N. Hancock Ave. For more information, call 357-1281.
Source: gazette.com

Medicare Open Enrollment: last chance to review and compare plans

With the holiday season upon us, it’s easy to get busy this time of year. Some pretty important tasks can get left to the last minute. One of those important tasks is ensuring you are in the right health insurance plan in Medicare.  Selecting the right plan is a personal choice, and a lot of thoughtful consideration goes into finding the right match.  But just like the holidays, those key dates come whether or not you are ready.
Source: medicare.gov

Navigating Your Medicare Options

Alaska Andrew Schorr Awards BCBSA Blood pressure Corporate Citizenship Cost containment Coverage basics Customer service Diabetes Doctors Federal healthcare reform Fitness tips Food Health screenings Health tips Healthy Eating Holidays Home Visit Program ID theft Immunizations Lean process improvement Medicaid Medical Home Medical Loss Ratio Medication Safety Nursing Nutrition Pharmacy Playmakers Premera Cares Premera Employees Premera in the Community Premera members Preventive Providence Health & Services Recipes Saving money Seahawks Social media State Insurance Exchange Step Out Walk United Way Wellness Women’s health
Source: premeranews.com

Jehlen: Review Your Medicare Options, Save Money

The full implementation of Obamacare over the next couple of years makes reevaluating your Medicare options even more important.  You will notice many positive changes and reviewing options will maximize your savings.  Most notably, Obamacare will close the Medicare Part D “donut hole.”  Currently, if your yearly prescription drug costs exceed a certain amount ($2,930 in 2012), but your out-of-pocket costs have not reached the point where you qualify for “catastrophic coverage” ($4,700 in 2012), you fall into the donut hole.  Starting in 2012, seniors got a 50% discount on brand-name prescription drugs and 14% discount on generic prescriptions.  These discounts will increase incrementally until 2020, when 75% of prescription drug costs for people in the donut hole will be covered by Medicare.
Source: patch.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

Daily Kos: Dear Rep. Cleaver, Medicare is already means tested

are raking it in. Medicare is not a high payer to doctors. My husband, who doesn’t make anything close to the figure you mention, said that if they lower Medicare payments, he won’t be able to afford to take Medicare patients anymore.  They already don’t pay all that well. If you figure in his time filling out forms for his patients with Medicare, he makes less per hour from Medicare than the per hour of people with good union jobs. And he went to 4 years of medical school, 3 years of residency, 2 years of fellowship, is board certified in both adult & child psychiatry, and came out of his education owing a hell of a lot of money. Doctors used to be some of the wealthiest people, but that’s changed drastically. The big money in health care is with the insurance company executives, doctors who own high volume operations or do lots of routine surgeries, not the individual doctors who actually see and care for patients in an ongoing way. Insurance companies screw the doctors just as much as they screw the patients, believe me. (we have double reason to hate them after dealing with a disabled child — they managed to underpay or not pay at all for a lot of caring services delivered to our child).
Source: dailykos.com

Maplewoodian: MEDICARE OPTION INFO

Medicare Options for You  The Medicare open enrollment period ends on December 7. Do you have questions about plans and products? Are you aware that New Jersey offers State Pharmaceutical Assistance Plans to those who qualify? Join us for an educational seminar given by Senior Health Care Consultants from ADP/Statewide Insurance Agencies, Inc.  Be prepared to make the right decision concerning your healthcare!  Sponsored by the Maplewood Senior Club and Maplewood Library.  Free and open to the public.  Wednesday, November 28  10:30 am at Main Library 
Source: blogspot.com

Caregiving & Medicare Open Enrollment: It’s Time, But Not For Long!

Will Medicare pay for a home-health care worker if I am unable to continue caring for my loved one? Some home health care services are paid for by Medicare. However, if the only care your loved one needs falls under basic home help or “homemaker services” like bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, shopping, cleaning, and laundry, Medicare will not pay for these services. If a doctor certifies that your loved one is homebound, Medicare will cover the expenses of a home health aid. If your loved one is eligible for this type of care and you are considering using a home health service in 2013, be sure your loved one is enrolled in a plan that will cover these expenses. Click here for more information.
Source: nhcoa.org

The Future of Medicare: 15 Proposals You Should Know About

Here are summaries of 15 options being talked about in Washington. Each summary is accompanied by two opinions that AARP commissioned from experts whose views typically represent different sides of the issues.
Source: aarp.org

NEW TO MEDICARE!! WHAT IS MY BEST OPTION? » Toni Says

**There is an important disclaimer at the bottom of page 57 of the handbook and it states:  ‘If you join a Medicare Advantage plan, you don’t need a Medigap/Medicare supplement policy and if you already have a Medigap/Medicare supplement, you can’t use it to pay the out of pocket or co pays for the Medicare Advantage plan’.  It also states that “if you already have a Medicare Advantage plan, you can’t be sold a Medigap/Medicare supplement policy.”** 
Source: tonisays.com