Medicare Plan Finder for Health, Prescription Drug and Medigap plans

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

3.27.06 Los Angeles Times 1 by Korean Resource Center 민족학교The 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 Part D and Prescription Drugs

Seniors have until Friday to change Medicare drug plan

North Carolina Health News is an independent, not-for-profit, statewide news organization dedicated to covering health care in North Carolina employing the highest journalistic standards of fairness, accuracy and extensive research. NCHN seeks to become the premiere source for health reporting in North Carolina. Visit NCHN at northcarolinahealthnews.org.
Source: carolinapublicpress.org

State announces changes to prescription drug plans for retirees, pensioners

Some individuals qualify for extra help to pay for prescription drug premiums and costs. Those who want to see if they qualify can call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) any time (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048); the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday through Friday (TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778); or the state Medicaid office.
Source: udel.edu

How To File A Medicare Appeal

Beneficiaries in Medicare Advantage plans follow similar appeals procedures, except the initial appeal must be made within 60 days of the denial. Information can be found at http://www.medicare.gov/claims-and-appeals/file-an-appeal/medicare-health-plan/medicare-health-plan-appeals.html. If a service or treatment has been denied, an expedited appeal can be requested from the plan if waiting for a regular appeal decision could jeopardize the member’s health. Expedited appeals are not permitted solely for payment denials. For more details about expedited Medicare Advantage appeals, see section 50 of the Medicare Managed Care Manual at http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Manuals/Downloads/mc86c13.pdf .
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Are you ready for 2013? 4 questions to ask yourself

Don’t forget, if you have Medicare Part B and are in Original Medicare, you’ll have to meet your deductible before your Medicare coverage pays for services and supplies. Next year, the Medicare Part B deductible will be $147. Make sure to plan your health care budget to account for the increased cost of doctor visits for the time that it will take to cover your deductible.
Source: medicare.gov

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

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

What To Do When Your Medicare Drug Plan Doesn’t Cover Your Prescription

We also offer a FREE prescription drug savings card which you can download and print here.  It is accepted at over 62,000 participating pharmacies nationwide and helps you save on both brand name and generic drugs- ALL prescription drugs are eligible for savings.  There are no monthly or ongoing fees, no limits on usage and no income or age restrictions!  Savings average 32-50%.  If you have Medicare and are enrolled in a Medicare Part D plan, use your ScriptSave® card for everyone in your household and for any prescriptions that are EXCLUDED by Medicare Part D law. In conclusion, seniors, it is important that you ask yourself these questions now, before the Open Enrollment Period closes and you will have to wait to make any needed changes.
Source: medicareecompare.com

Analysis Of Medicare Prescription Drug Plans In 2012 And Key Trends Since 2006

This report presents findings from an analysis of the Medicare Part D marketplace in 2012 and changes in drug coverage and costs since 2006. It presents key findings related to Medicare drug plan plan availability, premiums, cost-sharing, the coverage gap and availability for low-income beneficiaries, the coverage gap, benefit design and cost sharing, formularies, and utilization management, based on data from CMS for all plans participating in Part D. The analysis was conducted jointly by researchers at Georgetown University, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago.   
Source: kff.org

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 Part D – the Prescription Drug Plan – is Working for Seniors

Guest opinion: Medicare drug benefit works – leave it alone

The drug benefit – known as Medicare Part D – works because it’s simple. Beneficiaries choose among a variety of drug plans, just as they do in the traditional insurance market. Private insurers compete against one other for a piece of the large Medicare market; that competition drives prices down. Next year, Part D’s monthly premiums are expected to average just $30 – for the third consecutive year.
Source: spokesman.com

Seniors have until Friday to change Medicare drug plan

North Carolina Health News is an independent, not-for-profit, statewide news organization dedicated to covering health care in North Carolina employing the highest journalistic standards of fairness, accuracy and extensive research. NCHN seeks to become the premiere source for health reporting in North Carolina. Visit NCHN at northcarolinahealthnews.org.
Source: carolinapublicpress.org

Saving money on health costs: Extra Help program

monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription copayments in your Medicare drug plan. Did you know that the Extra Help program is estimated to be worth about $4,000 dollars per person, per year? Even if you’re not sure you’d qualify, it’s worth filling out an application to see.
Source: medicare.gov

State announces changes to prescription drug plans for retirees, pensioners

Some individuals qualify for extra help to pay for prescription drug premiums and costs. Those who want to see if they qualify can call Medicare at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) any time (TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048); the Social Security Office at 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday through Friday (TTY users should call 1-800-325-0778); or the state Medicaid office.
Source: udel.edu

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

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 Drug Use and Medical Spending: Increased Rx Drug Use Reduces Medical Costs

Prescription drugs often play an important role in keeping people healthy, especially for people with chronic conditions. Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes or asthma, for example, might take regular medicines to prevent emergencies that would put them in the hospital. Hospital stays, doctor’s appointments, and other medical services covered under Medicare Part A and Part B tend to be far more expensive than prescription drug therapy, so Medicare could save money if clinically appropriate prescription drug use were to increase.  That was one of the arguments made by the Bush Administration for the creation of the Medicare Part D outpatient drug benefit.
Source: piperreport.com

Do You Qualify for Medicare's Extra Help Program?

Every individual who qualifies represents an important potential benefit to our tribal communities. Social security is responsible for implementing that benefit; we call it “extra help.” Many Medicare beneficiaries won’t have to file for assistance because they’ll automatically get it based on benefits they receive.
Source: indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com

MyRightWingDad.net: Fw: Medicare Advantage

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Watch this short 2 minute video and pass it on to all the seniors you know. Medicare Advantage cuts begin in mid-October of this year. Seniors vote, and they need to know this cut is coming before the election. Time is running out for seniors unaware of this.
Source: blogspot.com

Video: Medicare Part C Defined: Medicare Advantage Plans — UHC TV

Medicare: Definition from Answers.com

Program enacted in 1965 under Title XVIII of the Social Security Amendments of 1965 to provide medical benefits to those 65 and older. The program has four parts in 2007: 1. Part A, Hospital Insurance, contributes to the payment of inpatient hospital, skilled nursing expenses, hospice, and other ancillary expenses. The deductible is $992 for 60 or less days in a benefit period. For days 61–90, the deductible is $248 per day, and for more than 90 days, the deductible is $496 per day up to the lifetime maximum days. No premium is paid if the beneficiary has at least 40 quarters of Medicare covered employment. 2. Part B, Medical Insurance, provides coverage for medical services that Part Adoes not cover for a premium and subject to a deductible ($93.50 per month standard premium and a deductible of $131 per benefit payment in 2007). Coverage includes ambulance services, ambulatory surgery center, blood, bone mass measurement, cardiovascular screenings, limited chiropractic services, clinical laboratory services, clinical trials, colorectal cancer screenings, diabetes screenings, diabetic supplies, doctor services, durable medical equipment, emergency room services, limited eyeglasses, flu shots, foot exams and treatment, glaucoma tests, hearing and balance exam, Hepatitis B shots, home health services, kidney dialysis services and supplies, mammograms, medical nutrition therapy services, outpatient mental health care, occupational therapy, outpatient hospital services, outpatient medical and surgical services and supplies, pap test and pelvic exam, one-time physical exam within the first six months, physical therapy, pneumococcal shot, practitioner services, limited prescriptions (injectable drugs), prostate cancer screenings, prosthetic/orthotic items, second surgical opinions, smoking cessation, speech-language pathology services, surgical dressings, telemedicine, tests (X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, EKGs, and other diagnostic tests), transplant services, and urgently needed care (nonmedical emergency illness or injury). The initial enrollment period for Medicare Part B begins three months before age 65 and continues for the next seven months. If enrollment is not effected in this time period, there is a waiting time until the general enrollment period from January 1 through March 31 every year. Coverage then begins the following July 1. 3. Part C, Medicare Advantage, provides for individuals with Part A and Part B coverage to receive all of their health care coverage through a single health care provider. See also medicare plus choice (medicare part c). 4. Part D, Prescription Drug Insurance, contributes to the payment of medication/prescription expenses as prescribed by a physician. Coverage added for drugs by joining a Medicare Prescription Drug Plan through private insurance companies. A separate monthly premium (varies by plan) is required. Each plan must cover at least two drugs in all of the classes of drugs that are the most commonly prescribed. For those people covered under Medicare A, coinsurance or copayment is required and a yearly deductible may be in force. Retired workers qualified to receive Social Security benefits, and their dependents, also qualify for the hospital insurance portion. The program is paid for by payroll taxes on employees and covered workers. Parts B, C, and D insurance provides additional coverage on a voluntary basis for physician services. The Prescription Drug Plans are optional and can be added by paying an additional premium. Those enrolled in the program pay a monthly premium. Coverage is also available to persons younger than 65 who are disabled and have received Social Security disability benefits for 24 consecutive months.
Source: answers.com

Medigap vs. Medicare Advantage Plan

Medicare Advantage comprises a variety of private health plans — most often HMOs and PPOs — that Medicare offers as a coverage alternative to the traditional program. Every plan must cover all the same benefits that traditional Medicare covers. But the plans can charge different copayments (often lower than the traditional program but not always) and offer extra benefits. Most charge a monthly premium in addition to the Part B premium, but some don’t. Most include prescription drug coverage at no additional cost. Some cover routine hearing and vision services, usually as a separate package for an additional premium. Another difference from the traditional program is that most plans require you to go to doctors and other providers within their service network or pay higher copays for going out of network.
Source: aarp.org

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

The Association of Mature American Citizens [http://www.amac.us] is a vibrant, vital and conservative alternative to those traditional organizations, such as AARP, that dominate the choices for mature Americans who want a say in the future of the nation.  Where those other organizations may boast of their power to set the agendas for their memberships, AMAC takes its marching orders from its members.  We act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests, and offering a conservative insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.
Source: amac.us

Using Medicare Advantage to Gain Political Advantage

It is almost certainly true that quality suffers when reimbursement rates are reduced. It is also appears to be true that competition amongst private providers in Medicare Advantage is leading to efficiencies that aren’t present in traditional Medicare, which we should probably take as a lesson. It is also often the case that when the government pays more for something, it spends more, and when it pays less for something, it spends less. But what all this really reveals is the folly of trying to control health spending through government-designed payment schemes. 
Source: reason.com

Medicare Advantage Insurance

By definition Medicare Advantage provides all of your Part A and Part B coverage. A Medicare supplement on the other hand, fills in the gaps of original Medicare and generally pays the hospital deductible and the 20% of Part B charges that would be your responsibility.
Source: affordablemedicareplan.com

Medicare Advantage Special Needs Plans: SNP Enrollment Grows to 1.4 Million in 2012

An expert on Medicaid, Medicare, and health reform, Kip Piper, MA, FACHE, is a consultant, speaker, and writer. Kip advises health plans, hospitals and health systems, states, and pharma, biotech, medical technology, HIT, and investment firms. With 30 years’ experience, Kip is a senior consultant with Sellers Dorsey, top specialists in Medicaid and health reform. He is also a senior advisor with Fleishman-Hillard and TogoRun. For more, visit KipPiper.com. Follow on Twitter @KipPiper, Google +, Facebook and connect on LinkedIn.
Source: piperreport.com

The Dilemma in Choosing A Private Fee

Whether you choose a network based plan or a private fee-for-service Medicare Advantage plan, you have enrolled in the plan for that calendar year. The plans can change from one year to the next and are not required to renew. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan it makes good sense to speak with an independent agent during your Annual Enrollment Period that runs from Nov. 15 to Dec. 31 each year to see if there is a better alternative out there. Its your right and every dollar counts so you can Retire as Planned.
Source: myplannedretirement.com

Hospitals Fear They’ll Bear Brunt of Medicare Cuts

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Newsweek Magazine (February 16, 2009) ... Lenders Add Bigger Fannie, Freddie Fee – Thanks to Payroll Tax Cut (January 15, 2012) ...item 2.. Dupuy: GOP trying to sell pyrmaid scheme to voters (September 3, 2012) ... by marsmet526Although Congress may leave the details of Medicare savings to be worked out next year, there is already discussion of cutting special payments to teaching hospitals and small rural hospitals. Lawmakers are also considering reducing payments to hospitals for certain outpatient services that can be performed at lower cost in doctors’ offices. Medicare pays substantially higher rates for the same services when they are provided in a hospital outpatient department rather than a doctor’s office. The differential added $1.5 billion to Medicare costs last year, and as hospitals buy physician practices around the country, the costs are likely to grow, the Medicare commission says.
Source: nebraskaruralhealth.org

Video: SHIIP Medicare Premiums.flv

Using FSA funds for Medicare premiums

Yes, you can pay your Medicare Part B or Part D premiums using funds from your Flexible Spending Account (FSA).   Yours is an unusual situation.  Most people who have an FSA would not need Medicare Part B and Part D, since the employer plan covers hospital services and prescription drugs. Nevertheless, it is an allowable expense.  See IRS Publication 502 for a complete list of expenses that an FSA can pay.
Source: bangordailynews.com

Medicare premiums to increase in January

As for Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage, premiums vary among plans. But the Affordable Care Act requires Part D beneficiaries whose modified adjusted gross income exceeds $85,000 ($170,000 for married couples) to pay a monthly adjustment amount. They will pay the regular plan premium on their Part D plan and pay an income-related adjustment.
Source: utu.org

Study Finds Premium Support Plan Could Raise Medicare Premiums In Many Parts of Country

The study modeled the impact of a generic version of premium support, under which beneficiaries would receive a defined subsidy, or voucher, to buy health insurance in a competitive market instead of getting a guaranteed set of benefits as Medicare has traditionally provided. That payment would be tied to the second lowest cost plan offered in an area or traditional Medicare, whichever is lower. This kind of a change is a central part of the House Republican budget written by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, now the GOP’s vice-presidential candidate, and it has also been embraced by GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Even a few Democrats have flirted with such a plan as a way to leverage market efficiency to rein in the spiraling cost of Medicare.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Medicare Advantage 2013 Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums

This data spotlight report examines trends in the Medicare Advantage marketplace, including the choices available to Medicare beneficiaries in 2013, premium levels and other plan features. It finds almost all plans offered this year will be available again in 2013, despite concerns that reductions in payments to plans under the Affordable Care Act would result in widespread pullouts from Medicare Advantage plans. If all beneficiaries choose to remain in their current plans, monthly premiums would increase about 10 percent, or $4, on average. The analysis also examines the types of plans available (HMOs, PPOs, etc.), changes in out-of-pocket limits, and the availability of special needs plans.
Source: kff.org

Aging & Law in West Virginia: Medicare Premiums and Deductibles 2013

Part A generally pays inpatient hospital, skilled nursing facility, and some home health. Most beneficiaries do not pay a premium for Part A since they have at least 40 quarters of Medicare-covered employment. Part B generally pays a portion of the cost of physician services, outpatient hospital services, certain home health services, durable medical equipment, and other items. Here below are the premiums, deductibles, and copays for Medicare Parts A and B for 2013:
Source: blogspot.com

Medicare Premiums Going Up $5 a Month for 2013

Part B pays for office visits to doctors, preventive services and medical equipment. It’s a good deal by any measure, since 75 percent of the cost is borne by taxpayers, with premiums set to cover the remaining 25 percent. Still, many beneficiaries are on tight budgets so the monthly premium is a closely watched indicator.
Source: floridahomecare.net

SSA Announces COLA, Hike in Medicare Premiums

Many are concerned that their Social Security will not be sufficient to support them let alone finance the type of retirement that they would like to enjoy.  Social Security payments are minimal, with the average monthly benefit being less than $1240 as of this writing.  Someone who retired this year having paid the maximum amount into the program over 35 years would receive $2513 per month.  Even this maximum benefit is relatively modest when you consider the cost-of-living.
Source: wealth-counselors.com

Deductibility of Medicare premiums as Self Employed Health Insurance Deduction

Background Prior to 2010, self-employed individuals were not allowed to take an above the line self-employed health insurance deduction under Section 162(l) for Medicare premiums. Health insurance is only considered deductible under the statute if it is established by your trade or business.  The purpose of the health insurance deduction is to equalize the treatment of owners of corporations who are allowed to exclude health care benefits as a fringe benefit and self employed individuals who cannot. Since Medicare is established by the Federal government the IRS did not consider Medicare premiums deductible as self employed health insurance. Recently the IRS reversed their opinion on the matter referencing Notice 2008-1. Notice 2008-1 states that as long as the self employed individual’s business ultimately pays for the health insurance and follows certain reporting requirements, the health insurance premium payments are deductible as above the line for the self employed individual. The Office of Chief Counsel IRS Memorandum extended Notice 2008-1 to apply to self employed individuals who pay Medicare premiums. Now all Medicare premium parts-A, B, C and D-paid by the self-employed individual for themselves, their spouse and dependents are deductible as self employed health insurance. The premium payments need not be paid directly by the self-employed individual. For example, the S corporation of a more-than-2% shareholder can make the payments directly and the self-employed individual is entitled to the deduction. 
Source: marcumllp.com

Poll: Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose Raising the Medicare Retirement Age

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Hopefully the combination of the idea being both unpopular and unsound will prevent it from being part of any fiscal cliff deal, but the fact that the idea is still being discussed is a perfect symbol of what is wrong with the current dialog in Washington. Politicians promoting bad and unpopular ideas are treated as serious thinkers instead of psychopaths, because advocating for needlessly hurting poor people is somehow seen as a badge of courage.
Source: firedoglake.com

Video: Touchstone Health HMO 2013 Commercial – Rudy Rubano

New York State Medicaid Redesign Team Accepts Supportive Housing Recommendations : Corporation for Supportive Housing

Early in 2011, Governor Cuomo established a Medicaid Redesign Team (MRT) to devise strategies to reduce costs and improve care in New York State’s Medicaid system. Recognizing that supportive housing can be a significant factor in reducing the cost trajectory among the 20% of high need Medicaid recipients who drive up to 75% of Medicaid expenses, the Affordable Housing Workgroup was convened. Over a six week period, CSH COO Connie Tempel and Director, Diane Louard-Michel, helped evaluate barriers to the efficient use of resources for supportive housing, propose solutions for overcoming those barriers and identify opportunities to invest in the expansion of supportive housing for high need, high cost Medicaid recipients.
Source: csh.org

AIDS Healthcare Foundation

As a result and on the heels of a recent pricing agreement on Gilead’s new four-in-one AIDS tablet that was reached with the ADAP Crisis Task Force (ACTF) of the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) on behalf of the nation’s hard-hit network of AIDS Drug Assistance Programs (ADAPs), officials from AHF pressed Gilead to similarly lower the price for Medicaid, Medicare, private insurers and other payors that otherwise face Gilead’s steep price tag for the new medication. AHF officials also sent letters to private insurers and state health department directors nationwide urging that those programs exclude Stribild from their drug formularies if the drug was not priced price-neutral to Atripla. On September 14, 2012, Janet Zachary-Elkind, Deputy Director, Division of Program Development & Management for the New York State Department of Health responded via letter noting that, “At this time, Stribild is not covered by the Medicaid program,” and that the state is also, “…evaluating coverage options and possible prior authorization requirements to ensure the product is utilized in a medically appropriate and cost effective manner…”
Source: aidshealth.org

ABC Therapeutics Occupational Therapy Weblog: Important information about why your OT is eyebrow deep in paperwork

  These requirements were just recently published and significantly change the coding requirements for Medicare reimbursement.  Again. Other changes that we have this week are more wonderful rules to contend with – this time having to do with complex requirements for what a physician’s referral has to say in order for a school district to bill related services under the Medicaid program.  This NYS Medicaid rule set is not as long as the CMS rules but only covers a very small component of service (what MD scripts have to say) – but it is just as confusing.  I like to think that I am at the least a moderately well educated person and in addition to my doctoral education I also have some measure of common sense – so why is it so challenging to wade through and try to understand these arbitrary rules?  Here are the new NYS Medicaid requirements for scripts. As you can see in the new Medicaid rules they initially tolerated certain language in scripts, then they expressly prohibited that language, and now they are back to accepting that language again (I think).  These are small issues, actually, and have to do with whether or not a physician can write ‘PER THE IEP’ on a script or whether or not frequency, duration, and other factors need to be separately noted. What is most frustrating is that with every rule change comes the accompanying threat (generally not even covert) that if you fail to follow the rules that you are committing Medicaid fraud.  The friendly State reminds us in the memo: 18 NYCRR 515.2(b)(1)(c), Unacceptable practices under the medical assistance program, states that an unacceptable practice is conduct which constitutes fraud or abuse and includes submitting, or causing to be submitted, a claim or claims for medical care, services or supplies provided at a frequency or in an amount not medically necessary. Now no one who is trying to figure out the new rules is purposely trying to commit fraud – but here is a case where there are two conflicting demands.  Medicaid will not pay for a service that is beyond what is written on the script, but at the same time the State Education Department demands that all missed services be ‘made up.’  In fact, parents are legally entitled to compensatory services when absences or other events prevent a child from receiving the services on any given day.  So, ‘making up’ services might cause you to try to see a child in a way that is not listed on the script because it might not be realistic to make up those services within the same week that they were missed.  BOOM!  Medicaid fraud – because as it stands now the reporting forms that we use to track service delivery are not separated and if the district attempts to bill for something that is different than the physician’s script then you are now considered guilty of Medicaid fraud.  It is truly a rock and a hard place. The reason why this matters is because none of it has anything to do with the care that children receive – at least not in any direct sense.  The rules are arbitrary, and they change, and they distract care providers from the important tasks that they SHOULD be focusing on.  So-called concierge models of care eliminate insurance companies and return relationships back to a normalized interaction between providers and the people who are seeking services.  The legitimate criticism is that this model creates access barriers for people who do not have enough money to pay for services privately.  Many medical practices are experimenting with hybrid models to address that criticism.  When there are constant rule changes and complexities that create barriers to care these concierge models start to look very appealing, even though they have limitations. Parents need to be aware of these kind of issues, which although might be superficially boring really do have an impact on the mindset of how care is provided within municipal systems and through complex health insurance rules.  In my opinion there are probably less complex methods for solving these problems, but as we hand more and more control over health care to our government we can expect increasing points of arbitrary decision making, convoluted and conflicting recommendations, and in the end this will all create more barriers to quality care.  As I tell my staff, be prepared for a bumpy ride.
Source: blogspot.com

NY State Bar Association Elder Law Chairman Anthony J. Enea Explains New Costs to Medicare Patients “Under Observation”

About Anthony J. Enea, Esq.  Anthony J. Enea, Esq. is the managing member of the firm of Enea, Scanlan & Sirignano, LLP of White Plains, New York. (http://www.esslawfirm.com). Mr. Enea is the Chair of the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. Mr. Enea is a Past President and a Founding Member of the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). He is also a member of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of NAELA. Mr. Enea is a Past President of the Westchester County Bar Association. Mr. Enea is the Vice President of the Westchester County Bar Foundation. Mr. Enea is a Vice President of the Columbian Lawyers Association of Westchester County. Mr. Enea focuses his practice on Elder Law, Guardianships, Medicaid Planning and Applications, Wills Trusts and Estates.
Source: patch.com

Bellavia on Medicare and NY

The race for the newly drawn 27th congressional district could be one of the most interesting contests this year. Freshman Democrat Kathy Hochul is hoping to win re-election there, and two Republicans have already lined up to challenge. But David Bellavia has picked up several endorsements ahead of the June 26 primary, and he is confident he can beat former Erie County Executive Chris Collins and Hochul.
Source: ynn.com

REPORT: NY House GOP Protecting Tiny Minority from Taxes While Aiming Cuts at Social Security & Medicare

“Many members of Congress are sitting on the fence as the fiscal cliff debate rages on. As our report clearly illustrates, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,” said Ron Deutsch, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness.  “It’s time for members to jump off the fence and support asking the favored few to contribute just a little more so we can ensure that our seniors and the most vulnerable members of our society get the services our shared social contract has promised them.  Poll after poll shows that the public completely supports rescinding the Bush tax cuts for people making over $250,000 and protecting Social Security and Medicare.  It’s time to listen to the public, not wealthy contributors.”
Source: strongforall.org

Medicaid Fraud in the Billions

The response to the admission by Deputy Director for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Penny Thompson, made in September before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), that payments made by the federal government to New York’s state-run development centers were “excessive and unacceptable,” was simple and to the point: those overpayments were “inexcusable” and “exceeded the entire Medicaid budgets of 14 states” and added that “the failure … suggests an institutional failure and a pattern of irresponsible actions that have cost the taxpayers billions.”
Source: thenewamerican.com

Paul Ryan’s Health Care Record

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Bubbles? Take something like 'Not I! ...item 1.. Wakulla Republicans Protest Against Taxes in the County (September 06, 2011) ... by marsmet552Proposed revamping Medicare to, among other things, change it from a defined benefit to a premium-support program. Starting in 2023, Ryan’s budget would give future Medicare beneficiaries (those currently younger than 55) a set amount – a voucher — to purchase either a private health plan or the traditional government-administered program. His proposal also would increase the eligibility age from 65 to 67.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Learn about the 2011 Medicare Open Enrollment Period: Get a Plan that Meets Your Needs

Report estimates health plan overbilled Medicare $424M

The inspector general found in November that Medicare overpaid nursing homes by about $1.5 billion in 2009 based on claims that patients needed "ultra high" levels of therapy. The report found that claims were "upcoded" because the records showed that the patients either did not need or get the therapy in many cases. The Washington Post also examined "ultra high" therapy use in 2010, focusing on a chain that operates dozens of homes in California.
Source: californiawatch.org

Health Plans Providing Value to Medicare Advantage Beneficiaries

Health plans are working with seniors and people with disabilities in Medicare Advantage plans to ensure that beneficiaries receive health care services on a timely basis, while also emphasizing prevention and providing access to disease management services for their chronic conditions.  These coordinated care systems provide for the seamless delivery of health care services across the continuum of care. Physician services, hospital care, prescription drugs, and other health care services are integrated and delivered through an organized system whose overriding purpose is to prevent illness, improve health status, and employ best practices to swiftly treat medical conditions as they occur, rather than waiting until they have advanced to a more serious level.
Source: ahipcoverage.com

2011 Medicare Advantage and Mediare Part D Star Ratings

The 5-star rating system is used by CMS to monitor plans to ensure that they meet Medicare’s quality standards.  The ratings provide Medicare beneficiaries with a tool to compare the quality of care and customer service that Medicare health and drug plans offer. In addition, a “low performer” icon is to be placed next to the names of plans that have received less than three stars for the past three years.  CMS’ star rating system considers 53 quality measures, such as success in providing preventive services, managing chronic illness, and keeping consumer complaints to a minimum. 
Source: wordpress.com

Kaiser Permanente’s Medicare Plan Website Recognized as a Benchmark for Excellence

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

“The Basics” Chiropractic Medicare: Florida, Oregon, and Washington ~Newsletter 10/29/2012

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

What's In My Bag... by Amy Dianna     On Saturday, December 8th, I will be at the Clarion Inn and Suites, Orlando, 8:30 am to 12:30 pm covering critical information for Chiropractors and their staff.  In this 4 hour presentation, I will cover everything from the important ABN to becoming Medicare Compliant, going paperless, and the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program to get money back from the government.
Source: blogspot.com

Video: emergency dentist | 509-774-3085 | Wenatchee Washington 98801 | medicare dentist

Senior Care in Spokane, WA: Open Enrollment for Medicare –Now through Dec 7, 2012

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

Washington submits Medicare/Medicaid integration proposal to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Medicare is a federal program designed for the elderly and people with disabilities. Medicaid serves low-income residents and is funded by the state and federal governments. In the past, there has been little coordination between the two programs in serving clients, saving money and improving care.
Source: wa.gov

Daily Kos: Are Democrats abandoning raising the Medicare eligibility age?

Meteor Blades, skybluewater, SME in Seattle, bink, Renee, Angie in WA State, cslewis, Sylv, chuck utzman, Irfo, hester, slinkerwink, Gooserock, PeterHug, Andrew C White, eeff, willyr, TX Unmuzzled, Duncan Idaho, jancw, expatjourno, eyeswideopen, bronte17, cyberKosFan, Einsteinia, susakinovember, whenwego, pedrito, Nate Roberts, Eddie C, revsue, psnyder, figbash, 2laneIA, defluxion10, RebeccaG, grrr, lcrp, inclusiveheart, ybruti, lonespark, Wife of Bath, Sybil Liberty, Skennet Boch, drofx, radarlady, 3goldens, ichibon, irate, sc kitty, Alice Venturi, wallys son, Flint, dewtx, Dobber, Laurence Lewis, ratzo, bleeding blue, Sun Tzu, skyounkin, markdd, Ozzie, spunhard, xaxnar, Jim R, splashoil, Jim P, begone, Born in NOLA, velaski, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, vigilant meerkat, Kimball Cross, rl en france, martyc35, kestrel9000, DarkestHour, triv33, twigg, real world chick, el cid, sceptical observer, Timothy J, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, bstotts, ms badger, sea note, BentLiberal, ammasdarling, Tamar, One Pissed Off Liberal, phonegery, fabucat, Habitat Vic, tgypsy, puakev, beth meacham, dclawyer06, deepeco, jedennis, leonard145b, madgranny, trueblueliberal, JDWolverton, MKinTN, CroneWit, mconvente, TruthFreedomKindness, also mom of 5, HappyinNM, wayoutinthestix, zerone, prettyobvious, Involuntary Exile, elwior, treesrock, KJG52, jamess, Therapy, Lujane, tofumagoo, petulans, venger, Tonga 23, JamieG from Md, Nica24, Mike Taylor, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, Rhysling, cybrestrike, J M F, Throw The Bums Out, Scott Wooledge, Alex Budarin, maryabein, Zotz, mkor7, papahaha, kevinpdx, sfarkash, Lacy LaPlante, emptythreatsfarm, FogCityJohn, flitedocnm, Crabby Abbey, Progressive Pen, Polly Syllabic, sunny skies, ATFILLINOIS, melpomene1, gulfgal98, Lady Libertine, ItsSimpleSimon, Puddytat, Egalitare, sharonsz, addisnana, Betty Pinson, ericlewis0, cocinero, Oh Mary Oh, fiercefilms, stevenaxelrod, Onomastic, mama jo, Liberal Capitalist, Mr MadAsHell, BlueJessamine, OhioNatureMom, smiley7, marleycat, thomask, Wolf10, whaddaya, ratcityreprobate, stlsophos, Willa Rogers, Mentatmark, SouthernLiberalinMD, allergywoman, SycamoreRich, wolf advocate, Cordyc, anodnhajo, SparkyGump, cwsmoke, pistolSO, Siri, Citizenpower, IndieGuy, rustypatina, S F Hippie, effervescent, Trotskyrepublican, JGibson, congenitalefty, Mr Robert, BobSoperJr, geojumper, radical simplicity, MartyM, pittie70, Vote4Obamain2012, avsp, marty marty, dotdash2u, George3, wasatch, Marjmar, fauve, Sue B, simple serf, Illinois IRV, jbob, Linda1961, Panama Pete, goodpractice, The Hamlet, alice kleeman, Jollie Ollie Orange, marcr22, chicklet, pragmaticidealist, MBishop1, Catkin, Chas 981
Source: dailykos.com

Washington Post: Liberal groups mobilize for ‘fiscal cliff’ fight over Social Security, Medicare

Leaders of the nation’s labor unions and other liberal groups are planning Tuesday to press Obama at the White House to reject the kind of cuts in Medicare and Social Security that he has previously offered to make. On Thursday, left-leaning lawmakers and seniors groups plan to rally on Capitol Hill against any changes to entitlements.
Source: healthcareforamericanow.org

Daily Kos: More polling showing public wants Medicare left alone

curb table, the American public keeps saying “don’t do it.” Here’s the lateset poll from National Journal. The health care program for the elderly is at the center of discussions, and prominent panels that have studied the deficit and issued recommendations have often targeted it. But a full 79 percent of those surveyed want the fiscal-cliff negotiators not to cut the program at all. Only 17 percent would be willing to see it cut some, and a minuscule 3 percent would be OK with it being cut a lot. The public wasn’t riven over Medicare in the election, which the folks at Democracy Corps remind us from their election day polling. We gave voters a choice between two statements—one acknowledging the federal deficit as a big problem, but arguing against major spending cuts in Social Security and Medicare and the other arguing that deficits are such a national crisis that broad spending cuts must include “possible future cuts” to Social Security and Medicare.  Even with this cautious statement, the “no cuts” position won by almost a two-to-one margin (60 percent to 33 percent) and with great intensity; almost half of all voters (47 percent) strongly believe that cuts to Social Security and Medicare should be off the table. As the Democracy Corp memo says, this is critical stuff for the American public: “The polling shows the mandate is to protect Medicare and Social Security, not cut them. And Washington will face a TARP-like reaction if they read the election wrong.” The election results give Democrats all the mandate they need to fight for keeping these programs safe. The next election should give them the impetus to do it.
Source: dailykos.com

AFGE request: Take action to support Soc. Sec., Medicare & Medicaid, December 5th » 11th Legislative District Democrats

On Wednesday, December 5th, AFGE Local 3937 will lead actions statewide  to support Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid. The locations and times are below. The message will be: –    No cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid, including cost of living adjustments
Source: 11thlddems.org

Medicare Advantage 2013 Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

This data spotlight report examines trends in the Medicare Advantage marketplace, including the choices available to Medicare beneficiaries in 2013, premium levels and other plan features. It finds almost all plans offered this year will be available again in 2013, despite concerns that reductions in payments to plans under the Affordable Care Act would result in widespread pullouts from Medicare Advantage plans. If all beneficiaries choose to remain in their current plans, monthly premiums would increase about 10 percent, or $4, on average. The analysis also examines the types of plans available (HMOs, PPOs, etc.), changes in out-of-pocket limits, and the availability of special needs plans.
Source: kff.org

Video: Jed Weissberg, MD, Talks About Medicare Advantage Health Plans and the Special Enrollment Period

Kaiser Permanente Leads the Nation with Six 5

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

Kaiser study: Romney’s Medicare plan raises costs

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

Kaiser named top rated Medicare plan in Hawaii

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

Kaiser Permanente Georgia Offers Seniors Tips for Selecting a Medicare Plan

 Kaiser Permanente is Georgia’s largest not-for-profit health plan. Its mission is to provide high quality, affordable health care services to improve the health of its members and the communities it serves. Kaiser Permanente serves more than 235,000 members in a 28-county service area including metro Atlanta with care focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists, and team of heath care providers. Expert and caring medical teams are supported by industry-leading technology and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Nationally, Kaiser Permanente is recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers, serving mort than 9 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit www.kp.org.
Source: patch.com

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

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

Kaiser Permanente Receives Highest Rating for Medicare Plan in Mid

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

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

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

Kaiser ranks in top 15 commercial and Medicare plans

Kaiser has two more new multi-specialty facilities slotted to open next year in the Mid-Atlantic region, and plans to open a new multi-specialty medical center in Baltimore County, Md. Also next year, Kaiser plans to expand and renovate its Largo Medical Center in Prince George’s County, Md. This year, Kaiser opened new centers in Northwest D.C., Tysons Corner and Gaithersburg, Md.
Source: ifawebnews.com

Will Medicare eligibility rise?

This is CRAZY!!! Why does the average American who has been paying into the system for years now have to wait longer to retire? Why does the Average American who has been paying for Medicare have to pay MORE into the system to fund it???? Agree w/ many other comments here… Why are the POLITICIANS not paying into this plan, and a health care plan??? THEY need to be paying into the system too. They make more money than most American’s and they should be paying into the system too. The reason why things are NOT getting resolved is because they don’t have any interest in the things that interest us.. Until we MAKE them PAY into the Social Security programs & take away their medical plans, only then will they care about they systems in which we have entrusted them to fix. THEY need to REMEMBER, their positions are ELECTED positions, they are NOT entitled to their salaries, benefits etc… Their salaries should be cut, they should pay into these plans & they should not have this income for their lifetime… The reason why things are not changing is because we don’t MAKE THINGS CHANGE….
Source: bankrate.com

Medicare Experts Discuss Proposal to Raise Eligibility Age

Juliette Cubanski, associate director for the Program on Medicare Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation; Gail Wilensky, senior fellow at Project HOPE, and a former Medicare and Medicaid administrator; David Certner, federal policy director at AARP, who previously served as chairman of the ERISA Advisory Council at the Department of Labor; and Paul Dennett, senior vice president for health reform at the American Benefits Council, which represents Fortune 500 companies, and a congressional staff veteran; discussed the costs and benefits of raising the eligibility age.
Source: c-span.org

The DD News Blog: Medicare/Medicaid Eligibles: The Kaiser Report on State Plans and Michigan’s Plan so far

Medicare/Medicaid eligible population is  questionable. As stated in the introduction to the Kaiser Commission Report, “Dual eligible beneficiaries are among the poorest and sickest people covered by either Medicare or Medicaid and consequently account for a disproportionate share of spending in both programs.” How is the share of spending disproportionate after one accounts for the characteristics of this population? I think it is safe to assume that medical and hospital costs are generally too high and that we pay too much for prescription drugs and  medical devices and equipment. But almost half of the Medicare/Medicaid population are people under 65, many of whom receive Medicaid-funded mental health services through Michigan’s Community Mental Health system.  Cost increases in areas covered by CMH have been relatively stable: 
Source: blogspot.com

Moneycation: Medicare Part D: Plans and price comparison

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

'The election of Obama would, at a stroke, refresh our country's spirit' by Renegade98You are likely to find several plans offered to you from several private insurance companies that seem to meet your needs. By using Medicare.gov’s Medicare Plan Finder before you make a change, you will be able to see which plans provide coverage for your state and town. You will see which are likely to have a low cost when the monthly premium, deductible and copayments are all considered. By contacting the various company’s websites or agents you can learn what is required of you in regards to using their network. Following these steps should make it easier for you to select the right prescription drug plan for you needs.
Source: blogspot.com

Video: Medicare Plan Finder Lesson 5: Comparing Plans

Medicare vs Medicare Advantage

For Part A and Part B of Medicare, members must pay 20% of costs out-of-pocket. For inpatient hospital visits, members must pay a $1,184 deductible for the first 60 days, and then $296 coinsurance per day until day 90. After day 90, members can have another 60 days at $578 per day in their lifetimes, after which they must pay all costs. The Part B deductible is $140 per year. Those who have Part D (prescription coverage) must also pay an average deductable of $325. After the deductible has been paid, members may either have a co-pay program, where they pay a flat fee for each drug, or co-insurance program, where they pay a percentage of the cost. However, members may face the “doughnut hole”: after the total cost of drugs exceeds $2,970, members must pay 47.5% of the cost of brand-name drugs and 79% of the cost of generic drugs. Once the cost of drugs has exceeded $4750, Medicare kicks in again, with 95% of drug costs covered.
Source: diffen.com

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

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

What Is The Best Method For Making A Medicare Supplement Plans Comparison?

A list of physicians and healthcare professionals, by geographical location, can be found on the official Medicare website: https://questions.medicare.gov/find-a-doctor . This is an easy and convenient method to find participants in local areas. Every year there is an open season when individuals have the opportunity to make a Medicare supplement plans comparison to ensure both providers and services will continue. As with the original Medicare Parts A and B, the monthly fees for Medicare supplement plans are reviewed and adjusted on an annual basis. The Medicare monthly costs for Parts A, B, and D can be found at www.medicare.gov/costs/ . Supplemental insurance carriers will notify participants of any changes in annual fees or altered services during the November to December timeframe. Anyone who wants to change or drop a current insurance carrier can do so during the annual open season, January through March. Comparing costs today will lower individual expenses tomorrow.
Source: seniorcorps.org

A (Very Brief) Comparison of Romney and Obama on Medicare

So which do you like better? A plan that reduces reimbursement levels and relies on top-down control/encouragement to produce more cost-effective medical care? Or a plan that relies on competitive bidding to keep costs under control? The choice, for both liberals and conservatives, is not as simple as you might think. Conservatives need to acknowledge that, like it or not, cost controls have a proven track record and that Obamacare’s top-down programs really might help improve the efficiency of healthcare delivery. Liberals need to acknowledge that those top-down controls aren’t a sure thing and that competitive bidding might make a real difference.
Source: motherjones.com

Annual Enrollment for Medicare Advantage (Part C) & Part D: October 15 – December 7 

Even beneficiaries who were satisfied with their 2012 plans need to review their plan options for 2013.  Part D and MA plans may have made changes to their coverage, provider networks and other plan features.[3] Plan information for 2013 will be available on the Medicare Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov.[4]  For the computer-savvy, the Medicare Plan Finder is an excellent plan comparison tool, allowing users to enter all their drugs and drug dosages, compare up to three plans at a time, save their drug information for later use, and actually enroll in a plan on-line.  This is the best – if not only – way to truly compare the many plans available to choose from.  People who cannot use the Plan Finder themselves may contact 1-800-Medicare, or their State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), for assistance with evaluating, selecting, and enrolling in a Part D plan.
Source: medicareadvocacy.org

Why You Should Compare Medicare Part D Plans During Open Enrollment

American Express Bank bank account Bank of America checking account Credit credit bureaus credit card Credit Card Debt credit cards credit history Credit Karma credit report credit reports credit score credit scores Credit Tips Credit Visionary debt Financial gift home information interest rate interest rates ldquo mdash mobile payments Money money tips payment percent person personal finance prepaid card savings account savings accounts score stock market store student loan student loans Visionary way work
Source: creditvisionary.com

GRAY MATTERS: Now is the time to compare Medicare plans

Beneficiaries can call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227 anytime of day or night, including weekends, and ask for assistance to compare plans and to make a change if needed. The information is also available online at www.Medicare.gov and enrollment changes can be made online. The best time to call Medicare is in the evening or during a weekend to shorten wait times.
Source: times-standard.com

Caregivers Struggle with Medical Costs and 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

Medicare Premiums And Deductibles Increase For 2013

Betty, Several factors go into the overall annual cost of a Part D plan. The biggest factors are monthly premium, deductible and the amount of coinsurance or co-paynment when you fill a prescription. $10 for a 90 day supply equates to $40 annually. Add that to your annual premium and if you are subject to a deductible factor that in as well. Repeat this process with any plan you may be interested in. Here is a link to all Part D plans listed by State.
Source: affordablemedicareplan.com

Viewpoints: Raising Medicare’s Entitlement Age Doesn’t Save Money; New Anti

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

"The single best augury is to fight for one's country." ~ Homer (800 BC - 700 BC), The Iliad. by eyewashdesign: A. GoldenPolitico: Stopping Health Care Fraud Before The Bills Are Paid Everyone agrees that one area where we can save billions of dollars for taxpayers is fighting health care fraud. The Obama administration has taken important steps to crack down on fraud that are already yielding record results. As a result of the Affordable Care Act, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers and suppliers seeking to bill Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program are now required to undergo an enhanced level of scrutiny if they pose a risk of fraud or abuse. … One of the most exciting new steps we’re taking is to use state-of-the-art technology, similar to the technology that credit card companies use to flag suspicious activity, to review medical claims before they are paid. … Since the technology was first used in 2011, all Medicare claims — over 1 billion — have run through the system before they were paid (Peter Budetti, 12/14). 
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Medicine Dish: Children and Families in Medicaid and CHIP — Part 1

Opinion: Medicaid cuts would harm children and families the most

The Affordable Care Act will build upon the success of Medicaid and the health care safety net to expand access to care to 19 million additional Americans by 2019, according to the Congressional Budget Office, reducing the number of uninsured by 50 percent.  The House Budget Plan advocated by the Romney-Ryan presidential ticket would decrease total Medicaid enrollment by approximately 50 percent or 37.5 million people, according to a recent Urban Institute study.
Source: healthpolicysolutions.org

Affordable California State Child Health Insurance Plans

This is not an insurance program.  However, the program does assist low income families in obtaining preventive care and health assessments for their children. CHDP provides checkups, nutrition evaluations and guidance, immunizations, hearing, and vision screenings. This program is administered by the state Department of Health Care Services (DHCS).  The program helps families determine their eligibility for assistance programs, and enroll in the appropriate care program, such as Healthy Families and Medi-Cal.
Source: spfinsurance.com

Changes to Illinois All Kids Medicaid Program Harmful to Thousands Insurance Families.com

Families that make 300% above the poverty level will no longer be eligible to put their children into this health care program. That percentage equates to about $60,000 for a family of four. The result is that 4,300 children in Illinois will suddenly be completely without health insurance. Many of these children have cancer, or other serious health conditions. Parents, or caregivers, of these children will soon be forced to figure out how to pay for the cost of things like chemotherapy, prescription medications, and hospital visits without the help from the All Kids program.
Source: families.com

The Fiscal Cliff: What All Parents Should Know

The term “fiscal cliff” is shorthand for a series of events that will occur at the end of 2012 that will impact how the federal government operates. These include automatic, across-the-board cuts to funds for schools with low-income and special needs students; increases in income taxes and the payroll tax, which fall primarily on middle-income families; decreases in tax credits to support working families and children; and the expiration of unemployment insurance benefits that help those experiencing long-term unemployment, including aid to many of the parents of the 6.2 million children who are living with unemployed parents.
Source: momsrising.org

Medicare, Medicaid & Social Security Vital To Illinois Economy, New Report Finds

Less contentious an issue has been the willingness of both parties to reduce government spending. The president’s plan would call for $350 billion in cuts to health programs, plus another $250 billion in other spending cuts over the next 10 years. Republicans seek to cut $600 billion from health programs and another $600 billion from other, non-specified programs over the same period.
Source: progressillinois.com

Republicans' Damaging Ideas on Medicare

6:38PM EST December 11. 2012 – The scenario is not so far-fetched: an American worker nears retirement. Her 65th birthday is drawing close. She’s paid into Medicare her entire life, expecting it to be there to cover her health care in her golden years — just like it was for her parents.
Source: realclearpolitics.com

Avoid the Medicare Surtax by Giving Incoming

Starting in 2013, the unearned income Medicare contribution tax applies an additional tax of 3.8% to investment income such as dividends and interest if adjusted gross income exceeds $200,000 for unmarried persons or exceeds $250,000 for married persons. Giving investment assets to their minor children, parents can shift the investment income to the children’s tax returns. Although the child’s investment income can still be taxed at the parent’s tax rate under the “kiddie tax” rules, the income can avoid the new 3.8% Medicare tax since the child’s adjusted gross income is likely to be under the thresholds that trigger the additional Medicare tax.
Source: about.com

Congressional Health Care Heroes Stand Up for Medicaid

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) reminded his colleagues, “Cutting Medicaid will cost us jobs.” Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) pointed out that, “Medicaid is the most efficient healthcare program in the country.” And Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said, “If you want to reduce Medicaid, put America back to work.” Recent public opinion polling shows that 70 percent of voters strongly oppose cutting Medicaid in the name of deficit reduction. They don’t want benefit cuts at the expense of the health care for seniors, people with disabilities and children of low-income families. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) let it be known that going after Medicaid and Medicare benefits is a “wrong, misguided and lazy way to balance the budget.” Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) urged their colleagues to remain focused on protecting Medicaid and Medicare. After the press conference, nearly 150 SEIU UHW and SEIU UHE members had meetings on the hill to press the same message.
Source: seiu.org