Romney University 103: What Mitt Romney’s Medicare changes mean for Virginia

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

HERES YOUR TOP TEN by SS&SSIn Virginia more than 559,753 seniors who rely on their Medicare benefits receive one or more preventive services–such as cancer screenings, diabetes testing, and bone density scans–free of charge through their Medicare plan. This is saving Virginia seniors money each year and also providing them with the care needed to protect their health.
Source: progressva.org

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

Analysis Finds Double Payments For Medicare, VA Plans

Medpage Today: Taxpayers Paying Twice For VA, Medicare Plans The federal government, and by extension the taxpayer, pays “substantial and increasing” duplicate costs for healthcare among adults enrolled in both Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and the Veterans Administration (VA) health care program, a retrospective analysis determined. The estimated costs of federally funded care provided by the VA between 2004 and 2009 for individuals also covered by MA plans was $13 billion, according to Amal N. Trivedi, MD, of Providence VA Medical Center in Providence, R.I., and colleagues. And these annual costs having been increasing, rising from $1.3 billion in 2004 to a total of $3.2 billion 6 years later, the researchers reported online in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Walsh, 6/26).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Gov. Kaine Talks Social Security, Medicare With Senior Residents

Kaine, a Democrat, told the audience at Birmingham Green, located just outside of Manassas Park, that he doesn’t support privatizing Social Security, which he says requires the working to set money aside in an account for themselves instead of using it to support older ones.
Source: patch.com

DECISION VIRGINIA: Ryan defends Medicare stance

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

Daily Kos: Unions air new round of ads against Medicare and Medicaid cuts

curb negotiations. The six-figure ad buy will target Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and Pat Tiberi (R-OH). “Cutting hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid will short change the people who need it the most,” the ads say. “So if you don’t want seniors to come up empty, call [lawmaker] and tell [him/her] ‘Don’t make a bad deal that cuts our care.'” An earlier round of ads also ran in Colorado, targeting the Democratic senators there, and in “several dozen” Republican House districts.
Source: dailykos.com

Homelessness Resource Center

Conclusions: Greateruse of primary care and specialty care visits by disability-eligibleveterans is most likely related to greater health needs not captured bythe patient characteristics we employed and eligibility for VA care atno cost. Outpatient care patterns of disability-eligible veterans mayforeshadow care patterns of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraqwars, who are entering the system in growing numbers. This studyprovides an important baseline for future research assessingutilizations among returning veterans who use both VA and Medicaresystems. Establishing effective care coordination protocols between VAand Medicare providers can help ensure efficient use of taxpayerresources and high quality care for disabled veterans. (Authors)
Source: samhsa.gov

Private Medicare Advantage plans being paid for phantom care of VA patients

Results: Among individuals who were eligible to enroll in the VA and in an MA plan, the number of persons dually enrolled increased from 485 651 in 2004 to 924 792 in 2009. In 2009, 8.3% of the MA population was enrolled in the VA and 5.0% of MA beneficiaries were VA users. The estimated VA health care costs for MA enrollees totaled $13.0 billion over 6 years, increasing from $1.3 billion in 2004 to $3.2 billion in 2009. Among dual enrollees, 10% exclusively used the VA for outpatient and acute inpatient services, 35% exclusively used the MA plan, 50% used both the VA and MA, and 4% received no services during the calendar year. The VA financed 44% of all outpatient visits (n = 21 353 841), 15% of all acute medical and surgical admissions (n = 177 663), and 18% of all acute medical and surgical inpatient days (n = 1 106 284) for this dually enrolled population. In 2009, the VA billed private insurers $52.3 million to reimburse care provided to MA enrollees and collected $9.4 million (18% of the billed amount; 0.3% of the total cost of care).
Source: pnhp.org

Blue in the Bluegrass: VA is Socialized Medicine; Medicare is Single

Socialized medicine is a system in which doctors and other health-care workers all work directly for the government. Instead of getting payments from an insurance company or a single-payer insurer like Medicare or the Canadian government, doctors and other health care workers get salaries from the government.  This is the Veterans Affairs health care system, which – ask any veteran – is stupendously awesome.
Source: blogspot.com

The Medicare Eligibility Age: Demographics and Medical Care Spending

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

In contrast to Social Security Reform, we do not find a large effect of potential increases in the age of eligibility on the long-term ability to finance medical spending. This is partly because the oldest old spend much more on medical care than the youngest old, so that cutting off the youngest old from receiving  benefits saves much less than the share of the young elderly in the elderly population, and partly because if the eligibility age is raised, many more people will likely qualify for Medicare under disability rules. Since medical spending is so skewed to high spenders, having even a fraction of high spenders remain on the public rolls would eliminate much of the savings from increasing the eligibility age. We suggest instead that policy will need to focus on the 
Source: wordpress.com

Video: Continued Medicare Eligibility and Work Incentives

Understanding Medicare Eligibility And Who Can Enroll

Once these requirements are met an individual can enrol in the Medicare program and begin receiving benefits. The program is broken down into parts, each of which has its own particular health coverage. Part A is hospital insurance and covers your stay in a hospital, nursing care facility, home care or hospice care. This part of the program pays medical expenses due to hospitalization. The guidelines for Medicare eligibility in this part of the program require that the enrollee be at least 65 years old and receiving social security benefits or rail road retirement benefits, or they or their spouse worked for the government in a Medicare covered position.
Source: medicareeligibility.org

HCAN Fact Sheet: Raising the Medicare Eligibility Age Would Shift Costs to Seniors, States and Employers

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated the effects of delaying Medicare eligibility by two months for every year beginning in 2014. The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) took a more comprehensive look at the impact of the proposal if implemented immediately. KFF found that the proposal would generate $5.7 billion in net federal savings in 2014 alone but would shift costs of twice that amount ($11.4 billion) to individuals, employers and states.
Source: healthcareforamericanow.org

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

Social Security Disability & Medicare Eligibility

If you have health insurance coverage already, you need to figure out how Medicare works with your health insurance. Many health insurance policies state that Medicare is to provide the primary coverage. Thus, your present health insurance may pay only for what Medicare does not cover. You need to check with your health insurance company when you get your Medicare card.
Source: disabilitydenials.com

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

Senate and House Dems Oppose Medicare Eligibility Change

Can you see a coal miner, with multiple work-related disabilities, forced to work past the age of retirement, just to keep his or her health care coverage. Unless his employer declares bankruptcy, just to avoid paying the health coverage costs of its older workers. As happened to my dad back in the 70s.
Source: keystonepolitics.com

Liberals Oppose Increasing Medicare Eligibility Age

The Hill reported that, at her weekly news conference, Pelosi was even more dogmatic.   “Don’t even think about raising the Medicare age,” she said.  “We are not throwing America’s seniors over the cliff to give a tax cut to the wealthiest people in America.” Pelosi must be the only person in the entire country who doesn’t know that, as part of a package to increase taxes on the wealthiest people, spending cuts in entitlement spending would be included as a way of keeping Medicare solvent.   As for Pelosi’s claim that an increase in the Medicare eligibility age would “have little to show for it in long-term deficit reduction,” you would think the House Minority Leader would consult the facts before making such a public statement.   The Congressional Budget Office calculates that, just a two year age increase, from 65 to 67, would result in a net savings of $113 Billion over the next decade. But maybe $113 Billion is “little” to Pelosi. Another issue of The Hill stated that the outgoing chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. John Larson (CT), said that Democrats are willing to cut more from entitlement programs, but warned that direct benefit cuts “would be a big leap for our caucus.” That’s the point. If the eligibility age is not increased, the alternative will be to ration benefits, i.e. deny high-cost treatments to seniors nearing the end of their lives.   There is already a dangerous mechanism in place for doing this in Obamacare, the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which former Congressman Dick Gephardt (MO) (pictured), Pelosi’s predecessor as House Democratic Leader, said would have “devastating consequences for the seniors and disabled Americans.” To prevent IPAB from being used for euthanasia for the elderly, it is absolutely essential the eligibility age for Medicare be increased. Of course, special provision must be made for those persons whose poor health requires them to retire sooner than provided by law and to receive Medicare benefits upon retirement. The Social Security Administration states that the life expectancy in the U.S. is now 83 for men and 85 for women. There are many good reasons to raise the eligibility ages for both Social Security and Medicare. The previous issue of What’s Happening with Seniors Benefits: How to Save Medicare—And How Not To The previous issue What’s Happening with Conservatives and the Tea Party: GOP Lost 174 State Legislative Seats   Previous issues of both newsletters. Follow Art Kelly on Twitter @ArthurKellyJr
Source: 60secondactivist.com

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

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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

Video: How To Find A Medicare Part D Drug Plan

Medicare Part D Premiums Holding Steady

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

Figuring out the Medicare Part D market

Over the years, the marketers of Part D plans have made them increasingly complex, adding tiers of varying prices and using “medication management” techniques, which can make patients and doctors jump through veritable hoops to get a prescription filled. The Medicare News Group
Source: marketwatch.com

Medicare Part D Spending: Key Drivers of Reduced Drug Benefit Costs

An expert on Medicaid, Medicare, and health reform, Kip Piper, MA, FACHE, is a consultant, speaker, and author. Kip Piper advises health plans, hospitals and health systems, states, and pharma, biotech, medical device, 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

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Part D Plan Offerings in 2013

NOTE: Originally released in October 2012, this data spotlight was updated in November 2012 to reflect revised data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 
Source: kff.org

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

Top Medicare Part D Plan Costs Spike in 2013

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

Choosing a Medicare Part D Prescription Plan

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

Medicare Part D: It Pays to Shop Around

Politicians often tout the value of the free market, arguing that more choice results in a better deal for consumers. In the case of Medicare Part D coverage, the array of choices don’t always translate into better decision-making and more savings. Perhaps there are too many choices. Plans change from year to year, a drug that may have a high co-pay on one plan may have a tiny co-pay on another. A drug that was covered by a particular plan one year may be dropped from coverage the next.  The researchers conclude that “beneficiaries need more targeted assistance from the government to help them choose plans, such as customized communications about the most cost-effective plans that would cover their medication needs.”
Source: lexisnexis.com

Survey Finds Seniors Satisfied With Medicare Part D

Politico Pro: Survey: High Satisfaction With Medicare Part D The debate may be raging over Medicare in the race for the White House — but a new survey points out that one part of it, Medicare Part D, has both positive results and bipartisan support. And health experts from Third Way, the Galen Institute and the Healthcare Leadership Council say the program’s success means that during sequester negotiations lawmakers should keep their hands off the Medicare prescription drug benefit. David Kendall, senior fellow for health and fiscal policy at Third Way, said on a call with reporters that the Medicare prescription drug benefit was a key example of successful bipartisanship because it was “enacted by Republicans and perfected by Democrats” (Smith, 10/3).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Judge Buckwalter Denies CVS Motion To Dismiss In Major Medicare Part D False Claims Act Case

Finally, Judge Buckwalter denied Defendant’s motion to dismiss based on the public disclosure bar.  First, Judge Buckwalter found that there was no publicly disclosed information upon which Relator’s claim was based.  The Court rejected Defendant’s allegations that (1) an audit report which was part of the discovery in a 2007 case between MCS and Caremark was “publicly disclosed” and (2) that the PDE data submitted by Defendants to CMS was itself a public disclosure as a “report” available under the Freedom of Information Act.  Judge Buckwalter found that the audit report was not publicly disclosed since it was never “used” in a court proceeding.  The audit report was not only was never filed with the Court, but was also under a confidentiality agreement and was thus not potentially available to the public. Thus, the Court found it was not publicly disclosed.  Additionally, the Court rejected Defendant’s argument that the submission of the PDE data itself was a public disclosure as a “report”.  The Court noted that there are no cases which have held that an entity’s submission of a report to the government is a “report” within meaning of the FCA.  To hold otherwise, the Court noted, would allow Defendant to shield themselves from liability by the very act of submitting their false claim.  Because the Court found that there was no public disclosure within meaning of the FCA, it did not have to analyze whether Relator’s claim was “based upon” a public disclosure and whether Relator was an original source.  However, the Court noted in a footnote that it would be inclined to find that Relator was an original source since he used his experience and skill as a pharmacist and auditor to review non-public PDE data and determine that Defendants fraudulently billed the Part D program.
Source: fraudwhistleblowersblog.com

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

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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

Video: Tutorials Part D Tutorial [www.keepvid.com].flv

Medicare Part D Premiums Holding Steady

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

Figuring out the Medicare Part D market

Over the years, the marketers of Part D plans have made them increasingly complex, adding tiers of varying prices and using “medication management” techniques, which can make patients and doctors jump through veritable hoops to get a prescription filled. The Medicare News Group
Source: marketwatch.com

Medicare Part D Spending: Key Drivers of Reduced Drug Benefit Costs

An expert on Medicaid, Medicare, and health reform, Kip Piper, MA, FACHE, is a consultant, speaker, and author. Kip Piper advises health plans, hospitals and health systems, states, and pharma, biotech, medical device, 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

Medicare Part D: A First Look at Part D Plan Offerings in 2013

NOTE: Originally released in October 2012, this data spotlight was updated in November 2012 to reflect revised data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 
Source: kff.org

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

Top Medicare Part D Plan Costs Spike in 2013

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

Choosing a Medicare Part D Prescription Plan

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

Medicare Part D: It Pays to Shop Around

Politicians often tout the value of the free market, arguing that more choice results in a better deal for consumers. In the case of Medicare Part D coverage, the array of choices don’t always translate into better decision-making and more savings. Perhaps there are too many choices. Plans change from year to year, a drug that may have a high co-pay on one plan may have a tiny co-pay on another. A drug that was covered by a particular plan one year may be dropped from coverage the next.  The researchers conclude that “beneficiaries need more targeted assistance from the government to help them choose plans, such as customized communications about the most cost-effective plans that would cover their medication needs.”
Source: lexisnexis.com

Survey Finds Seniors Satisfied With Medicare Part D

Politico Pro: Survey: High Satisfaction With Medicare Part D The debate may be raging over Medicare in the race for the White House — but a new survey points out that one part of it, Medicare Part D, has both positive results and bipartisan support. And health experts from Third Way, the Galen Institute and the Healthcare Leadership Council say the program’s success means that during sequester negotiations lawmakers should keep their hands off the Medicare prescription drug benefit. David Kendall, senior fellow for health and fiscal policy at Third Way, said on a call with reporters that the Medicare prescription drug benefit was a key example of successful bipartisanship because it was “enacted by Republicans and perfected by Democrats” (Smith, 10/3).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

How will 2011 Medicare Rates Affect your ASC Business?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Bubbles? Take something like 'Not I! ...item 1.. Wakulla Republicans Protest Against Taxes in the County (September 06, 2011) ... by marsmet552Dan is the Founder and President of Clearwater Florida based Liberty Search Associates a full service executive and management search and recruiting firm. He is a 20 year veteran of the human resource management and recruiting industry. His experience involves sourcing and hiring thousands of people while working for three global corporations. In 2002, Dan was specializing in health care recruitment while working as an executive recruiter for the world’s largest management recruiting firm. By 2003, he gained further healthcare experience while working directly for a Healthcare System as a market recruiter for a division of 15 acute care hospitals in West Central Florida. Here he had the opportunity to recruit all levels of nursing and other healthcare leaders. Dan started Liberty Search Associates in 2004 and recruits highly talented people that are motivated and self-directed. They are proven health care professionals with ability and aspirations for career growth and unique opportunities. Dan works with client hospitals and surgery centers nationwide to bring them the very best talent for key leadership positions. Dan and his wife Donna live near Clearwater, Florida. They have a son, Matthew, who is attending middle school.
Source: libertysearch.com

Video: 2011- 4/19 MEDICARE PATIENTS HAVE SHORTER HOSPITAL STAY AFTER HIP REPLACEMENT BUT

Obamacare’s Stick On Medicaid About To Get Real In 2013

Obamacare solves this problem, by mandating – and providing funding for the mandate – that doctors seeing Medicaid patients must be compensated the same as those seeing Medicare patients. This has two far-reaching consequences. First, more physicians will take Medicaid patients, and in turn, demand that their states accept the Medicaid expansion, so that they can get more patients paying at the Medicare rate at the minimum. But the second effect of this payment increase may well be the more potent weapon. Once Medicaid’s payment rates match Medicare’s, physicians who do take Medicaid patients won’t feel compelled to make up for the low reimbursement rates from Medicaid by taking as many new patients as they can from higher-paying private insurance, which in turn adversely affects how many Medicare patients they can see. In other words, if they do not have to make up for Medicaid’s underpayments with overpayments from privately insured patients, they may well be able to see more Medicare patients (and/or reduce their reimbursement rates for those private patients). It isn’t just doctors, either. Many primary care services, such as screenings, blood draws, x-rays are often provided at hospitals, who will see a higher reimbursement rate as well. Bottom line, the new Medicaid reimbursement rates for physicians and primary care will make physicians more likely to see those patients, and for those patients to be treated early before they have a preventable medical emergency. And what do you presume is going to happen when in the middle of 2013, a whole bunch of physicians, who by then became accustomed to being fully compensated under Medicaid, tell their states, what do you mean you’re not going to take the Medicaid expansion? We want to see more patients who can reimburse us at Medicare rates! What happens when hospitals come to them and say, Hey, take the damn expansion because we hate having to eat the cost for uncompensated emergency care? So that’s one. What’s the other stick? The year 2014 itself, of course. It’s an election year. Somehow, it might not make a whole lot of sense to say to the voters that you won’t expand Medicaid because it makes your state spend more money even though:
Source: thepeoplesview.net

Will Medicare Reduce Your Hospial’s Reimbursement Rates?

Results for hospitals within the same system often varied. For instance, in Rochester, Minn., the Mayo Clinic’s Methodist Hospital will be getting a bonus. But Mayo’s flagship St. Mary’s Hospital, also in Rochester, will be losing money. Dr. Michael Rock, an orthopedic surgeon at the Mayo Clinic, said that Medicare’s scoring system tends to favor hospitals with patients like those at Methodist, which primarily does elective surgeries, over hospitals with lots of trauma and emergency cases, which St. Mary’s handles.
Source: healthcare-economist.com

Medicare Levy Low Income Thresholds 2011

[…] $600 carer payment $900 $950 ATO BAS Bookkeeping/MYOB branding budget budget 2010 Business Management business plan business plans centrelink client retention concessional contributions customer service data matching debtors family tax benefit FTB household stimulus package insurance Jobs & Education Lifestyle marketing myob naming a business new company name one-off payment Online Services Planning & Growth Reminders Resources Service & Marketing Small Business SMSF Superannuation superannuation Taxation tax bonus tax deduction tax offset taxpayer alert tax return understanding benefitsSource: com.au […]
Source: com.au

10 Statistics on Average Percent of Medicare Rates for Best Payors

1. 9 percent reported their best payor reimbursed less than Medicare. 2. 8 percent reported their best payor reimbursed 100 percent of Medicare. 3. 8 percent reported their best payor reimbursed 100 percent to 105 percent of Medicare. 4. 10 percent reported their best payor reimbursed 106 percent to 110 percent of Medicare. 5. 20 percent reported their best payor reimbursed more than 110 percent of Medicare. 6. 38 percent of anesthesiologists reported their best payor reimbursed more than 110 percent of Medicare. 7. 38 percent of orthopedists reported their best payor reimbursed more than 110 percent of Medicare. 8. 36 percent of plastic surgeons reported their best payor reimbursed more than 110 percent of Medicare. 9. 33 percent of gastroenterologists reported their best payor reimbursed more than 110 percent of Medicare. 10. 32 percent of general surgeons reported their best payor reimbursed more than 110 percent of Medicare. More Articles on Payors: 18 Statistics on Best Regional Payors 11 Statistics on Most Payor Coverage Denials 8 Ways ASCs Can Prepare for ICD-10
Source: beckersspine.com

9 Recent Medicare, Medicaid Issues

1. CMS released its annual report on the quality of healthcare and coverage for the 43.5 million children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP in fiscal year 2011. 2. For 10 states, Medicaid and other healthcare programs were over budget as they planned for 2013 — more states than last year. 3. Primary care physicians who treat Medicaid patients in Rhode Island, New York, California, Michigan, New Jersey and Florida may be able to breathe a little easier next year: A report found their Medicaid pay rates are estimated to increase more than 100 percent. 4. Maine’s 39 hospitals put pressure on state lawmakers to pay the $484 million owed them for treating Medicaid patients. 5. An OIG report discovered Medicare paid an average of $919 for beneficiaries’ back braces between 2010 and 2011 — four times greater than the average $191 cost to suppliers. 6. Out of seven major payors, providers ranked Medicare Part B first in terms of overall satisfaction. 7. In a letter to lawmakers, the Alliance of Specialty Medicine called for a permanent fix to Medicare’s formula for annual payment increases to physicians. 8. U.S. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) proposed a halt on hospital provider fees across the nation, calling the funding measure a “massive bed tax gimmick.” 9. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled California may chop Medicaid reimbursements rates to providers by 10 percent next year.
Source: beckershospitalreview.com

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

Heavy price: Medicare overpaying for back braces

But investigators found that for one-third of claims, suppliers did not report any fitting and adjustment help. Support services varied for the remaining two-thirds of cases. Some suppliers reported taking hip and waist measurements. Others said they adjusted the braces in some fashion. Nearly half the claims involved services from medical professionals such as doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists.
Source: kttc.com

Medicare Is More Efficient Than Private Insurance

The CBO explicitly stated that its data on relative cost growth should not be used to make the argument that Goodman and Saving make, writing that the relatively low growth rate of all health care expenditures other than Medicare and Medicaid “should not be interpreted as meaning that Medicare or Medicaid is less able to control spending than private insurers.” Goodman and Saving mistakenly suggest that the growth rate of private insurance is the same as the growth rate of all health care expenditures other than Medicare and Medicaid; however, as CBO points out, the growth rate of all health care expenditures other than Medicare and Medicaid includes not just spending by private insurers, but also government programs and out-of-pocket costs paid by the uninsured.
Source: healthaffairs.org

Medicare Premiums, Deductibles & Coinsurance: Rates for 2011

Because of the zero COLA increase in 2011, some Medicare beneficiaries will not pay more for coverage. If your premium is deducted from your Social Security check and your income is $85,000 or less ($170,000 if you file a joint tax return), then you won’t have to pay more. Your monthly premium will stay at either $96.40 or $110.50.
Source: suite101.com

Roundup: States Facing Medicaid Woes; Colorado, N.C. Govs Extend Funding For Mental Health Care

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

North Carolina Health News: Governor Temporarily Fixes Group Home Funding Problem Outgoing Governor Bev Perdue announced Tuesday morning she had found a way to provide $1 million to help group homes pay for housing for people with mental health and developmental disabilities through the month of January. The move is a temporary patch for the homes until General Assembly returns to Raleigh and can construct a longer-term fix to the problem. For months, operators of group homes for people with mental health and developmental disabilities have been warning lawmakers that changes to the state’s Medicaid program put about 1400 people at risk of losing the money that pays for their housing and care (Hoban, 12/19).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: colorado medicaid protects your assets from nursing homes

Colorado Medicaid ACO Reports Better Patient Outcomes, Lower Cost of Care

Colorado Medicaid’s Accountable Care Collaborative, established in May 2011, reported reduced hospital readmissions and improved patient outcomes in its November agency report. As of June 2012, the ACC had 132,227 enrolled patients, which is about 20 percent of the state’s Medicaid beneficiaries, according to a Health Policy Solutions report. Here are the key performance indicators reported by the ACC.
Source: beckershospitalreview.com

Music Free Static: Colorado “Wins” Medicaid Lottery

Is this really a prise Coloradans want to win? The Denver Post tries to spin this as a great thing. “The bonuses help mark a turnaround for Colorado’s benefits administration,” they say. What it means, however, is that Colorado’s economy still sucks. It’s not going to get much better with the new ObamaCare taxes and minimum wage hikes coming down the pike.
Source: musicfreestatic.com

Colorado’s Medicaid Cost Drivers

Health policy discussions often focus on controlling the cost of the sophisticated medical care that is provided to relatively few people. Outside of this blog, relatively few people pay attention to the impact of routine costs like the cost of an extra physician visit for each of 150 million people. This is one reason why so many people are surprised by the fact that consumer directed health plans with proper incentive structures can lower health care expenditures by as much as 20 percent without compromising health or externally rationing care. It also explains why so many Medicare commentators have difficulty understanding how the Ryan Medicare reform plan might work.
Source: ncpa.org

Colorado Medicaid Reform Shows Savings

Colorado began using a “medical homes” model within the last year – providing case management and care coordination for a selected subgroup of 128,000 Medicaid enrollees. The reform was begun without any additional funding because officials were convinced that generated savings would immediately cover the extra costs of the medical homes. Regional contractors receive $12 per patient per month to oversee the medical homes in seven Colorado regions. They pass on a per patient per month fee to primary care physicians to provide care coordination, case management, and prevention services.
Source: csg.org

Medicaid Education and Advocacy Effort Launches

Medicaid provides quality health coverage to one in five Coloradans, including nearly 400,000 Colorado kids. The Children’s Campaign is proud to be a part of the Insuring Our Future partnership, an alliance of organizations and individuals committed to improving, strengthening and growing Medicaid in Colorado. This week the partnership launched a website, www.insuringourfuture.org, to offer resources including basic health care facts, an overview of what Medicaid is and who it serves, helpful information on cost-shifting in health care and fact sheets for presentations and other outreach needs.
Source: coloradokids.org

Medicaid expansion still uncertain for Colorado

Medicaid is one of the two main ways the federal health law expands coverage to most U.S. residents. Under the law, Medicaid will be expanded to cover people up to 138 percent of the federal poverty line, or about $15,400 for an individual. That would add about 225,000 people in Colorado.
Source: nbc11news.com

Medicaid expansion still uncertain for Colorado

A national report out this week said Colorado may have to spend $858 million over the next 10 years on the Medicaid expansion. Nationally, growing the program to cover about 20 million more low-income people will cost over $1 trillion nationally from 2013 to 2022, said the joint report from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Urban Institute. The analysis, however, found that states could pay $76 billion of that.
Source: gazette.com

Colorado Medicaid expansion up in air, others weigh in

You are deluded John. Obamacare will greatly expand the free rider problem as it promises more than half the population that someone else will pay their health care costs. Obamacare is a huge new entitlement that will explode deficits at both the federal and state levels. The CBO estimates that Obamacare will increase health care spending by $1.5T per 10 years. The Heritage Foundation estimates are $2T to $6T over 10 years. The Democrats in indicating that Obamacare would reduce deficits used phony accounting by double counting Medicare savings (probably will never happen anyway). Obamacare is a mess, a 2,700 page bill with 13,000 in new supporting regulations and a new army of IRS agents. Health care is more expensive here because we get better care. Our providers receive better compensation. No one has to wait to receive service except those on government programs. Obamacare promises price controls to control spending. The current state of critical hospital medicines indicates that price controls produce shortages. Obamacare promises another free lunch. Increase demand (because half the population has been promised free care) and reduced supply due to price controls equates to disaster.
Source: denverpost.com

Occupational Therapist Convicted Of Stealing From Medicaid

Based on a citizen complaint, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) of the Office of the Attorney General initiated an investigation of Moss into allegations that she had improperly billed the Colorado Medicaid Program. The investigation by the MFCU confirmed the fraudulent billings, as investigators discovered at least 83 forged treatment records. Moss forged those records to support the fraudulent bills submitted to the Colorado Medicaid Program. Moss had claimed that she was providing occupational therapy services for Medicaid recipients when she did not in fact perform those services. Based on forged invoices submitted by her, Medicaid paid Moss for services that she never rendered. The numerous forged invoices for payment were submitted to Medicaid by Moss between November 1, 2009 and August 29, 2011
Source: ushispanics.com

Lapham open for Medicare D appointments

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Lynn Bond, the center’s director, is grateful “for the foresight of the Senior Center Board and Lapham Center Building Committee in raising funds to put in an adequate generator for just this situation,” she said. “It has been humming along nicely all week and has made a huge difference for many New Canaanites.”
Source: ncadvertiser.com

Video: Retirement Living Spotlight on Medicare D

Tips For Choosing Your Medicare D Plan

The New Old Age blog on the New York Times recently provided this sobering statistic: "only 5.2 percent of Medicare Part D beneficiaries manage to choose the most economical plan" (see "Part D, Part 2"). And why would that be?
Source: kylekrull.com

What You Should Know About Choosing a Medicare D Plan

 What drugs are you on? You may want to speak with your physician about changes that could reduce costs.  What pharmacy do you want to use? You need to be sure your pharmacy accepts the plan you’re considering.  How much does the plan cost?  Do you want to go “a la carte” with a free-standing prescription drug plan (PDP) or choose one that combines medical benefits and prescription drug plans (MA-PD)?  Are you on a retiree plan that limits your choices?  Does your choice of plan affect your spouse’s plan? Be sure you understand the details of how the two interact. Where Can I Get Help? There are several excellent tools available to help you examine all of the plans and analyze your options. As a care manager, I have used all of these tools with great success:
Source: jewishcentralvoice.com

Maine Writer: Medicare Voucher

“If the Medicare Voucher program proposed is anything like the Medicare Plan D for drugs, it will be a disaster.” The reason Jacques says this is because the Plan D started at $6/month for every company and the plans were identical. Now, the plans cost from $30-60/month and have many options, like no deductible, no co-pays, no doughnut hole, … To get the cheapest plan, he needs to go to the Medicare website every November and see which is the cheapest for him and his wife, given their drug mix. Every year, a new company comes up with a plan cheaper that all the others, sometimes by a factor of two to three. Each year there’s another “lowest” plan; he never knows which will be the best plan from one year to the next. He changed plans three times in four years. And sometimes, the best one for Jacques is not the best one for his wife. The drug companies hope beneficiaries won’t do their homework and will stick with the same plan for another year, without realizing that the price changed. It’s a mess, but, he says, still manageable and he only needs to contact one pharmacy with his new plan information. “If I had to go through this exercise every year for my Medicare and supplemental plan, I would go crazy, picking the cheapest one every year, and come January, I have to contact all our doctors, clinics, hospitals, with our new plan information, not to mention the problems resulting with illnesses that overlap multiple plans. This would be a nightmare.” In fact, Jacques, who has a PhD in astrophysics, is absolutely correct.
Source: blogspot.com

The AARP Medicare D Doughnut Hole Calculator: How Does it Work?

Those that want to estimate if they may hit the Medicare Part D drug coverage gap may find it useful to use the AARP’s doughnut hole calculation tool. This can help an individual work out if they may fall into the gap and also gives useful advice on how to save money and stretch budgeting on prescription drugs. What can the AARP Medicare D doughnut hole calculator do and how does it work?
Source: suite101.com

Medicare D and the Penn Transplant Patient

Medicare D is purchased as a stand-alone prescription? plan. This is important to discuss because the patients of Penn Transplant Institute are prescribed costly life-sustaining drugs, and the amount of drugs prescribed is typically larger than many other patient populations. These factors can contribute to large out-of-pocket expenditures experienced annually by patients.Medicare D is a stand-alone prescription drug plan available to anyone entitled to benefits under Medicare part A, or for those who are currently enrolled in Medicare part B. Some highlights of Medicare D include:
Source: blogspot.com

Medicare D and the Internet

I recently helped my parents enroll in their new Medicare prescription drug plans using the Medicare.gov website. It was a good-news, bad-news experience. Overall, the good news is that the Medicare.gov website provides very thorough information, is mostly easy to use, and includes efficient functionality. The bad news is that successfully enrolling online requires the guiding hand of a practiced internet user, includes several unanticipated offline data-gathering moments, and probably also includes a few false starts. Here is my mom’s story. Bad news: Before starting, a list of necessary information would have saved several phone calls and re-starts: name, address, social security number, date of eligibility for Medicare’s Hospital Part A and Medical Part B, list of regular drugs and dosages, and individual drug costs, current prescription coverage, preferred pharmacy (if important), and decision on option to deduct plan costs from monthly Social Security check. Good news: First step, to search for and compare plans. I plugged in my mom’s south Florida zip code, which later revealed there are 44 plans available in her area, and her current coverage, “none of the above” — a blessing in disguise as we avoided comparing possible plans to the specifics of any current plan. We were also lucky that, because of her relatively simple drug requirements, she fell into the category easiest to maneuver. There was no need to worry about gaps in coverage beyond certain expenditures. Bad news: I did not know how to answer the polite, but fuzzy Medicare question asking “Did you get a letter from either Medicare or the Social Security Agency that said you are either eligible for or qualified for “extra help” paying for your Medicare prescription drug care costs.” Huh? My mom wasn’t sure, and one very long telephone call to the toll free Medicare number eventually interpreted “extra help” as jargon for Medicaid eligibility. Why not just say that? Good news/bad news: We clicked to “choose a plan” and then “Enter medications”, two steps which seem entirely reasonable in retrospect, but were presented in succession as one of several options where we could easily have tripped up and had to backtrack to get our desired information. Good news: Plugging in the drugs. The process includes excellent, transparent functionality to plug in drugs (including a search-by-alphabet aid for cases where the exact name doesn’t quite match the one on the bottle), the dosage (including a drop-down menu to adjust the dosage, although one dosage that my mom takes wasn’t an exact match), and a query asking if you’ll accept the generic version. (Note to self: Glitch – phone physician to see if generic is acceptable and if it affects ultimate costs.) Excellent news: Comparing coverage plans. (Fair warning: don’t be sidetracked. We chose to bypass the chance to select a specific pharmacy and see what Medicare had to offer. Right choice! The pharmacies are not all current on the website, and you can cross-check for your favorite one later. The point here is to get a cost comparison of the plans.) Eureka! We were quickly offered 44 plans, listed according to estimated annual costs. Clicking within individual plans reveals a goldmine of details of annual costs, including deductibles, monthly co-pays per drug (as price points of different drugs vary wildly among plans, revealing why individually-tailored plan selection is critical), mail-order options, special notes, and many more things. You can also click to compare specifics of up to 3 plans at a time. Bad news: Finding cooperating pharmacies can be frustrating and requires a leap of faith. The website’s pharmacy list wasn’t current, and I was derailed from the internet to the telephone. I called my mom’s favorite pharmacy, talked to her favorite pharmacist, and learned that they expected to cooperate with the plan we liked. Ya gotta love small town south Florida; I know I would not have such quick or trustworthy service where I live. Good news: Enroll. Just plug in the usual information, which included a rather puzzling and unexplained bonus question of whether or not you lived in a nursing home. Total time elapsed: Internet time about 30 minutes. Other time included calls to parents for information and decisions: 30 minutes; call to Medicare: 45 minutes; call to pharmacist: 3 tries and 10 minutes; call to physician re generic drug possibility: did not try. Total cost savings: My mom was self-paying for drugs at a cost of about $3000 per year. Under her new Medicare D plan, it will cost her less than one third of that. Epilog: My mom received her new Medicare D prescription drug enrollment card in the mail. Her pharmacist said the pharmacy does cooperate with her plan. She has not yet tried to get any prescriptions filled. Reality check from findings from the Pew Internet Project: • As of September, 2005, 30% of people age 65 years and over use the internet. • As of 2002, 39% of internet users have helped another person with online medical issues • As of November, 2004, 54% of internet users have gone to a government website to look for information. • In August, 2003, more internet users had visited government websites for information (66%), statistics or documents (41%), and recreation or tourist information (34%), than health or safety issues (28%).
Source: pewinternet.org

Eric, Pharmacist: Closing the Medicare D gap

Well, two minutes ago the deadline passed. Drug manufacturers were supposed to have signed an agreement with both CMS and third-party administrators for Medicare D plans by 11:59 PM on September 1 in order to have their medications covered for the 2011 Medicare D benefit year. (link to story here) It’s part of the Affordable Care Act, which is supposed to eliminate the doughnut hole for Medicare D beneficiaries by 2020. Here’s how the system is supposed to work. It is my analysis of the information presented in the link above. Manufacturers must agree to discount the price of medications for selected beneficiaries once they reach the gap (or doughnut hole) in their Medicare D coverage. If you don’t discount the price of the medication, it will not be covered by the third-party administrator. The bulk of the responsibility for the program falls into the hands of the third-party administrators. By the design of the Medicare Coverage Gap Discount Program, the third-party administrator will:
Source: blogspot.com

First, Do No Harm: Leave Medicare D Alone

Medicare Part D is that rarest of government programs: One that has worked better than expected and cost less than expected. Prescription drugs are provided by private insurance plans that compete for customers among enrollees. The profit motive encourages the use of generic drugs instead of name brands, for example, a simple but huge step to hundreds of billions in savings. Free-market conservatives argued that introducing consumer-driven, market based competition to this one aspect of health care would lower costs compared to government-run benefit programs. They’ve been proven right in the five years since Medicare Part D went into effect. Total program costs are about 40 percent lower than forecasted, costs have increased at a slower rate than expected, and consumers report high satisfaction rates in the 90s.
Source: nhjournal.com

Republicans' Damaging Ideas on Medicare

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Medicare for All by juhansonin6:38PM 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

Video: Canadian Medicare as a Model for the United States | Ronald Hamowy

Medicare Open Enrollment Ends Friday: Review Your Plan

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: usa.gov

The Prognosis of Medicare

With the fate of the Affordable Care Act now assured, we have received many questions about what Health Care Reform means for Medicare and will there be further cuts in benefits in 2013.  The short answer is no, at least not yet.  This fall has been an especially confusing time for Medicare beneficiaries.  The elections coincided with the Medicare open enrollment period where all the insurance companies aggressively advertise and try to woo people to join their plans.  All of these events together create confusion with a deluge of information, misinformation and rumors about what is likely to happen to Medicare next year.
Source: insuranceconnection.net

USA: Southern California doctor jailed for Medicare Fraud

losangeles.cbslocal.com on December 19, 2012 reported that a Southern California doctor has been sentenced to prison for an $11 million Medicare scheme that paid kickbacks to patients recruited on Skid Row. Federal prosecutors say 61-year-old Dr. Kenneth Thaler of Westminster will spend a year in jail. He can no longer practice medicine. The Orange County doctor admitted about 60 people a month into Tustin Hospital Medical Center even though many didn’t require hospitalization.
Source: medicallicenseverification.com

USA Today/Gallup Poll Shows Obama More Trusted On Medicare

CBS: Ryan To Challenge Obama On Medicare At AARP Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan, whose plans for Medicare are under attack by President Obama and other Democrats, will promise an honest conversation on entitlements in a speech at an AARP conference Friday in New Orleans, just after Obama addresses the group by satellite. “You’re right to worry that years of empty promises by both political parties are threatening the security of your golden years. And you’re right to demand honest answers from those asking for your vote. Mitt Romney and I share your concerns,” Ryan will tell the say, according to excerpts of his speech. “And we respect you enough to level with you. We respect all the people of this country enough to talk about the clear choices we face on Medicare, Social Security, the economy, and the kind of country our children will inherit” (Kaplan, 9/21).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Don’t Let Obama Cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security

, which covers 25 polls on public priorities going back to June 2010. When pollsters list options, which skew responses, the economy and jobs poll close to 50 percent as the top priority, trouncing the deficit, which averages in the low twenties. The latter figure, incidentally, is similar to the percentage of voters in the 2010 mid-term elections who said they supported the Tea Party. In six polls, the response was open-ended, which better reflects what the public thinks. Economy and jobs still notched 49 percent on average. The deficit and national debt was barely a blip, averaging 4 percent.
Source: occupyusatoday.com

Tax The Rich, Take Your Hands Off Medicare: Overwhelming Majority Of U.S.

My name is Jonathan Kingsbury, founder of Defending the Truth. In 2005, I was a freshman in college and I had to create a web site for one of my classes. Shortly after the 2004 Presidential Elections, there were tensions among my fellow classmates, so I decided to create a political discussion forum to ease those tensions. A few months after the launch, people from all around the World were engaging in political discussions, making a difference with their words. Today we have almost half a million posts and 2,000+ members worldwide. Membership is always free and you can sign up by clicking here, or login with either social networks:
Source: defendingthetruth.com

Medicare Cuts to Provider Payments or Actual Medicare Reform?

Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone’s intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.
Source: heritage.org

Paying taxes, social security & medicare in WA, USA

Originally Posted by omeriqbal: I hired someone for some 8 months between 12 to 18 hrs a day. Their compensation ended up being close to $5K or so. I figured that I ought to pay SS and Medicare, but did I also need to withhold income tax? They ended the job in August, I want to settle everything – what is the best way to go about paying all the dues, settling the matter with IRS if needed? Also, we had some communication issues, so they were under the impression that I will also pay their share of social security, and I am fine doing that – does that then show up as their income? Apologies for so many questions, but this taxation business is confusing enough and reading only hasn’t helped much yet.
Source: worldlawdirect.com

Senator Sanders: Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid Benefits Must Not Be Cut

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Grand Bargain Watch - Save Social Security by DonkeyHoteyLawmakers returning to Washington on Thursday will renew talks aimed at limiting the impact of $500 billion in tax increases and spending cuts set to begin next week. Sen. Bernie Sanders said on MSNBC that the House should take up a Senate-passed bill that extends tax cuts for working families but ends tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans. He also said expiring unemployment benefits must be extended and Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits must not be cut.
Source: consciouslifenews.com

Video: Romney – Cut Social Security, Medicare

jobsanger: Protecting Social Security & Medicare Is More Important Than Reducing Deficit

This rather interesting data is from a Pew Research Survey taken between November 28th and December 5th of this year. The big argument is Congress right now is over which is more important — reducing the deficit or protecting the elderly (and future retirees) from cuts in benefits to the so-called entitlements (Social Security and Medicare). The congressional Republicans believe reducing the deficit is the most important thing, and they are willing to cut benefits for Social Security and Medicare to accomplish that (even though Social Security has not contributed to the deficit at all, and Medicare only partially). On the other hand, the Democrats would protect Social Security and Medicare from benefit cuts, and attack the deficit with higher taxes on the rich and improving the economy through job creation. I personally think the Democrats have the right view, but the real question is what do the citizens of this country think. Are they willing to accept benefit cuts to Social Security and Medicare to reduce the deficit, as the Republicans want? Or do they agree with the position staked out by the Democrats? According to the Pew survey, they think it is more important to protect the “entitlements” — by a substantial margin. A full 56% of the people believe it is more important to protect Social Security and Medicare, while only 32% say reducing the deficit is more important (a 24 point difference), and 8% say both are equally important. When the question is broken down by age group, the support for reducing the deficit grows as the age group gets younger, but even the youngest voters (those between 18 and 29) show 7% more support for protecting entitlements over reducing the deficit. The only group that supports reducing deficits more than protecting entitlements are Republican voters, and even there the percentages are close — with 45% wanting to reduce the deficit and 42% wanting to protect entitlements. Clearly, the congressional Republicans are out of touch with the general public — and many in their own party. But while the entitlements don’t really add much to the deficit, and they are not going bankrupt (as Republicans would have you believe), there are some changes that need to be made to make sure both Social Security and Medicare remain fully funded and able to operate far into the future for the benefit of current and future retirees. What sort of changes would the public support? The survey also tried to answer that question, and the results are in the chart below. The options that have been discussed the most are: * raising payroll taxes for the rich * lowering benefits for the rich * raising the age of eligibility. The support for raising the age for qualifying for benefits for entitlements is very low — 38% for Social Security and 35% for Medicare. Obviously, the people don’t want the qualifying ages raised. Support for the other actions does get majority support though. About 66% would support raising payroll taxes on the rich (which would be done by raising the cap on the income for which the payroll tax is applicable). In addition, 55% would support reducing Social Security benefits for high-income seniors, and 60% would be in favor of reducing Medicare benefits for high-income seniors. I’m not necessarily opposed to means testing for entitlements, but I do think the easier (and perhaps fairer) way is just to raise (or eliminate) the cap on income subject to the payroll tax. Anyway, that’s what the American people think. Let us hope Congress is listening.
Source: blogspot.com

Social Security & Medicare Lifetime Benefits

I recently published with Caleb Quakenbush “Social Security and Medicare Taxes and Benefits Over a Lifetime: 2012 Update” which updates previous estimates of the lifetime value of Social Security and Medicare benefits and taxes for typical workers in different generations at various earning levels based on new estimates of the Social Security Actuary. The “lifetime value of taxes” is based upon the value of accumulated taxes, as if those taxes were put into an account that earned a 2 percent real rate of return (that is, 2 percent plus inflation). The “lifetime value of benefits” represents the amount needed in an account (also earning a 2 percent real interest rate) to pay for those benefits. Values assume a 2 percent real discount rate and all amounts are presented in constant 2012 dollars.
Source: thedoctorweighsin.com

Obama Puts Social Security and Medicare Cuts on the Table

The debt-ceiling debate adds more than a little urgency to the negotiations. The debt ceiling expires on August 2, and as Felix Salmon writes, “No responsible legislator would risk letting it pass. Beyond that date is uncharted territory: Here Be Dragons stuff.” The Treasury Department is trying to figure out how they might slay some of those dragons (and, by the way, prevent “financial meltdown”) if the deadline arrives without a deal. They’ve looked into whether the government could delay or prioritize payments, and, intriguingly, whether the New York Fed could broker a deal on the Treasury’s behalf to raise its borrowing cap in global markets.
Source: nymag.com

Missouri Residents Weigh In on Medicare, Social Security Changes

When the new Congress convenes next month, policymakers are likely to consider changes to the programs, including an increase in the amount of income subject to the payroll tax that finances most of Social Security and some of Medicare, benefit reductions, an increase in the eligibility age for both programs, a curb in the cost-of-living increases for Social Security beneficiaries and higher Medicare premiums for higher-income enrollees.
Source: aarp.org

Daily Kos: A chastened AARP fights Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid cuts

Alumbrados, Sylv, RF, Ray Radlein, filkertom, slinkerwink, glitterscale, abarefootboy, Gooserock, NYmom, saraswati, mimi, emal, Bob Love, tommurphy, Sherri in TX, Vico, mslat27, akeitz, Matilda, exNYinTX, RubDMC, Zinman, missLotus, boadicea, themank, farmerhunt, antirove, fight2bfree, Eyesbright, duncanidaho, i dont get it, Steveningen, Bluehawk, defluxion10, lcrp, MagentaMN, Brian82, Diana in NoVa, FlyingToaster, zerelda, KayCeSF, Sassy, sebastianguy99, Gowrie Gal, lavaughn, maybeeso in michigan, marina, ichibon, citizenx, MT Spaces, Brooke In Seattle, Ice Blue, Jim R, splashoil, Jim P, begone, barbybuddy, Born in NOLA, martini, Shirl In Idaho, irishwitch, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, myboo, vigilant meerkat, profundo, Russgirl, HoundDog, Gorette, KenBee, Wary, blueoasis, DarkestHour, OMwordTHRUdaFOG, means are the ends, sea note, Palmetto Progressive, Aaa T Tudeattack, ammasdarling, One Pissed Off Liberal, john07801, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, Loudoun County Dem, gloriana, yoduuuh do or do not, DvCM, Mary Mike, dclawyer06, MI Sooner, millwood, carpunder, uciguy30, GeorgeXVIII, leonard145b, TomP, W T F, JDWolverton, TruthFreedomKindness, wayoutinthestix, OleHippieChick, Sixty Something, Aureas2, Involuntary Exile, elwior, Its any one guess, Lujane, rssrai, RandomNonviolence, Gemina13, Parthenia, Karl Rover, greengemini, divineorder, ewmorr, jennylind, zaka1, jomi, papahaha, sfarkash, Larsstephens, Johnnythebandit, secret38b, biggiefries, Crabby Abbey, Progressive Pen, Egalitare, stevenaxelrod, cany, Wisdumb, allenjo, I love OCD, allisoneisall, freesia, BlueJessamine, ardyess, FarWestGirl, KelleyRN2, PedalingPete, PorridgeGun, IllanoyGal, merrily1000, CherryTheTart, createpeace, corvaire, peregrine kate, whaddaya, cjo30080, Vatexia, jolux, ratcityreprobate, just another vortex, stlsophos, PrometheusUnbound, quill, StonyB, cwsmoke, Williston Barrett, pistolSO, IndieGuy, Jakkalbessie, a2nite, JGibson, This old man, Mr Robert, lunachickie, arizonablue, wasatch, onceasgt, AppleCider, gypsytoo, mtnlvr1946, Icicle68, rigcath, Fairlithe, shinobi9
Source: dailykos.com

Senators Caucus Vows To Protect Social Security, Medicare

Saw my first AARP ad regarding ‘the cliff’ yesterday. Seems they don’t think rushing into benefit cuts before the end of the year is a great idea. Surprise. The Repukes put themselves in this position, and now they have to decide if they’re going to go down swinging in their fight to protect millionaires. Personally, I’d almost like them to ‘stick to their guns’ and take their pathetic racist party down for good. Are there enough teabagger congresscritters to make that happen?
Source: crooksandliars.com

2013 Changes to Social Security and Medicare

Among married couples, frequently the higher earner applies for benefits early while the lower earner delays in order to receive a higher benefit. However, if the higher earner claims early and then dies first, he or she has essentially shortchanged the lower earner’s survivor benefit. One optimization strategy is for the higher earner to delay his or her benefit to ensure that the lower earner will always be able to claim the highest possible benefit possible.
Source: fidelityadviser.com

Let’s Fight to Protect Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security!

I want vital services like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security to be there when we need them. Working people deserve it. After you’ve worked for half of your life, you should have the benefits that you’ve worked hard for. If Republicans in Congress have their way and continue to give tax breaks to the wealthy, working middle class people like me, who will do whatever it takes to support their families, will suffer.
Source: seiu.org

Medicare Targets Health Plans With Low Ratings

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

bags by Lori GreigMedicare 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

Video: Blue Cross: A First Choice for Medicare

Blue Medicare Advantage: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

In addition to your Part B premium, there are small copayments to receive care.  With copayments as low as $7 for Medicare covered primary care doctor’s office visits, $45 for Medicare covered specialist visits and $3  for generic prescription drugs, it’s easy to get the care you need when you need it. An Advantage plan includes all of your Part A and Part B Medicare benefits, prescription drug coverage and emergency care if needed for an additional $65 copayment. Coverage is convenient and hassle free, and with an extensive provider network, there are always quality doctors nearby, ready to help from a wide range of specialties.
Source: ssiinsure.com

Does Blue Cross Offer The Best Medicare Supplemental Insurance?

Blue Cross and Blue Shield offers many good health insurance programs. They do not necessarily offer the best Medicare Supplemental Insurance, but they offer low-cost plans that many people can afford easily. The plan that this large insurance conglomerate offers work best for people who are just over the limits necessary for Medicaid but who do not earn enough for the more expensive plans from the large company. The network also provides a large network of health insurance providers. A person with Blue Cross and Blue Shield knows that the insurance that he has will be accepted mostly anywhere.
Source: seniorcorps.org

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

jobsanger: Protecting Social Security & Medicare Is More Important Than Reducing Deficit

This rather interesting data is from a Pew Research Survey taken between November 28th and December 5th of this year. The big argument is Congress right now is over which is more important — reducing the deficit or protecting the elderly (and future retirees) from cuts in benefits to the so-called entitlements (Social Security and Medicare). The congressional Republicans believe reducing the deficit is the most important thing, and they are willing to cut benefits for Social Security and Medicare to accomplish that (even though Social Security has not contributed to the deficit at all, and Medicare only partially). On the other hand, the Democrats would protect Social Security and Medicare from benefit cuts, and attack the deficit with higher taxes on the rich and improving the economy through job creation. I personally think the Democrats have the right view, but the real question is what do the citizens of this country think. Are they willing to accept benefit cuts to Social Security and Medicare to reduce the deficit, as the Republicans want? Or do they agree with the position staked out by the Democrats? According to the Pew survey, they think it is more important to protect the “entitlements” — by a substantial margin. A full 56% of the people believe it is more important to protect Social Security and Medicare, while only 32% say reducing the deficit is more important (a 24 point difference), and 8% say both are equally important. When the question is broken down by age group, the support for reducing the deficit grows as the age group gets younger, but even the youngest voters (those between 18 and 29) show 7% more support for protecting entitlements over reducing the deficit. The only group that supports reducing deficits more than protecting entitlements are Republican voters, and even there the percentages are close — with 45% wanting to reduce the deficit and 42% wanting to protect entitlements. Clearly, the congressional Republicans are out of touch with the general public — and many in their own party. But while the entitlements don’t really add much to the deficit, and they are not going bankrupt (as Republicans would have you believe), there are some changes that need to be made to make sure both Social Security and Medicare remain fully funded and able to operate far into the future for the benefit of current and future retirees. What sort of changes would the public support? The survey also tried to answer that question, and the results are in the chart below. The options that have been discussed the most are: * raising payroll taxes for the rich * lowering benefits for the rich * raising the age of eligibility. The support for raising the age for qualifying for benefits for entitlements is very low — 38% for Social Security and 35% for Medicare. Obviously, the people don’t want the qualifying ages raised. Support for the other actions does get majority support though. About 66% would support raising payroll taxes on the rich (which would be done by raising the cap on the income for which the payroll tax is applicable). In addition, 55% would support reducing Social Security benefits for high-income seniors, and 60% would be in favor of reducing Medicare benefits for high-income seniors. I’m not necessarily opposed to means testing for entitlements, but I do think the easier (and perhaps fairer) way is just to raise (or eliminate) the cap on income subject to the payroll tax. Anyway, that’s what the American people think. Let us hope Congress is listening.
Source: blogspot.com

Daily Kos: Romney and Bain profited from massive Medicare Fraud

Meteor Blades, grytpype, OkieByAccident, JWC, buffalo soldier, Sylv, TXdem, zane, CJB, Sean Robertson, Chi, MadRuth, murphy, grollen, askew, BigOkie, Outsourcing Is Treason, greenbird, bosdcla14, karlpk, sara seattle, Shockwave, Psyche, jazzizbest, Sherri in TX, donna in evanston, Wintermute, Andrew C White, SanJoseLady, hyperstation, jdld, mslat27, Mnemosyne, movie buff, TX Unmuzzled, saluda, frisco, SallyCat, MarkInSanFran, hubcap, Creosote, davelf2, dweb8231, TexasDemocrat, Bugsby, Paulie200, concernedamerican, bronte17, 88kathy, TracieLynn, sponson, indybend, howd, susakinovember, ellefarr, highacidity, sayitaintso, stevej, themank, Minerva, Jeffersonian, mkfarkus, barath, Aquarius40, farmerhunt, chimpy, Frederick Clarkson, pollbuster, ivote2004, itskevin, oceanview, kitebro, Cedwyn, jted, antirove, Chrisfs, revsue, Lilyvt, kharma, dejavu, psnyder, TexDem, Miss Jones, roseeriter, duncanidaho, wdrath, Jujuree, manwithlantern, Steveningen, RuralLiberal, Tillie630, papercut, rlharry, RebeccaG, riverlover, Dood Abides, barbwires, bwintx, Matt Esler, zerelda, ybruti, Sembtex, glattonfolly, KellyB, bobnbob, Vicky, tomjones, Deward Hastings, lyvwyr101, boran2, Sybil Liberty, bibble, sawgrass727, Gowrie Gal, Los Diablo, ExStr8, maybeeso in michigan, Bluesee, DianeNYS, Ckntfld, el dorado gal, titotitotito, LarisaW, alaprst, subtropolis, stlawrence, Lying eyes, PBen, PsychoSavannah, sap, offred, Flint, dewtx, ChemBob, HillaryIsMyHomegirl, Brooke In Seattle, Laurence Lewis, reflectionsv37, fixxit, eru, owlbear1, PSzymeczek, Beetwasher, majcmb1, SaraBeth, Pam from Calif, Sun Tzu, where4art, Inland, Fury, Kayakbiker, cassidy3, Little Lulu, Phil S 33, CompaniaHill, blue jersey mom, markdd, Sandino, deep, rb608, SBandini, Savvy813, Shotput8, Ginny in CO, sodalis, LivesInAShoe, Lisa Lockwood, Cory Bantic, Brian B, bookwoman, coloradorob, peacestpete, Ekaterin, SocioSam, xanthippe2, kathny, Paper Cup, xaxnar, Jim R, begone, RJDixon74135, martini, third Party please, LeftOverAmerica, althea in il, karmacop, BachFan, LeighAnn, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, myboo, Kingsmeg, cybersaur, Clytemnestra, Compost On The Weeds, ferallike, BlueInARedState, hungrycoyote, tonyahky, HoundDog, rl en france, cookseytalbott, Dvalkure, kestrel9000, technomage, KenBee, Son of a Cat, fou, luckydog, blueoasis, SherriG, global citizen, Ashaman, gpoutney, agnostic, Libby Shaw, real world chick, JVolvo, Zwoof, MikMouse, middleagedhousewife, AllDemsOnBoard, SingerInTheChoir, bumbi, rage, CA Nana, profh, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Lovo, Stripe, frankzappatista, blueoregon, Statusquomustgo, kurious, bstotts, matx, AllanTBG, mapman, OHdog, Aaa T Tudeattack, cpresley, DBunn, tegrat, One Pissed Off Liberal, FlamingoGrrl, fisheye, Cronesense, Loudoun County Dem, SharonColeman, devis1, gloriana, cobaltbay, Wino, LillithMc, Matt Z, terabytes, deepeco, joedemocrat, davehouck, bnasley, Kentucky Kid, HCKAD, jayden, jedennis, cyncynical, Back In Blue, SeaTurtle, jnhobbs, Librarianmom, Wreck Smurfy, uciguy30, GeorgeXVIII, madgranny, janatallow, spearfish, dizzydean, South Park Democrat, Empower Ink, JDWolverton, MKinTN, gundyj, TruthFreedomKindness, Scioto, TX Freethinker, wyvern, HappyinNM, wayoutinthestix, Sixty Something, Youffraita, Foundmyvoice, bill warnick, NewDealer, bythesea, elwior, CDH in Brooklyn, ajr111240, OutCarolineStreet, Akonitum, jamess, inHI, here4tehbeer, rssrai, royce, pickandshovel, carver, Jeff Y, catly, Gemina13, glendaw271, petulans, luckylizard, mikeymike68, Nica24, dmhlt 66, watercarrier4diogenes, GrannyOPhilly, vmdairy, JBL55, oldliberal, clent, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, Bule Betawi, pileta, McGahee220, rubyclaire, MufsMom, Fogiv, Calouste, litoralis, greengemini, divineorder, Scott Wooledge, Carol in San Antonio, CanyonWren, Nebraskablue, Norm in Chicago, Gorilla in the room, janmtairy, WakeUpNeo, shopkeeper, CamillesDad1, Cuseology, DefendOurConstitution, TheOpinionGuy, papahaha, Shelley99, Keith Pickering, realwischeese, sfarkash, 57andFemale, Tortmaster, jfromga, jan0080, Livvy5, schnecke21, Leftcandid, Larsstephens, Lefty Ladig, ruscle, cassandraX, Clyde the Cat, Amber6541, hotdamn, smileycreek, just like that, icemilkcoffee, roadbear, The Jester, NJpeach, eXtina, estreya, drainflake77, gramofsam1, Susan from 29, Observerinvancouver, blueyescryinintherain, vixenflem, secret38b, fidellio, Anima, Crabby Abbey, LOrion, mjbleo, Garfnobl, RJP9999, Eddie L, gulfgal98, pixxer, ItsSimpleSimon, Kristina40, itswhatson, elengul, MsGrin, BlueFranco, ericlewis0, Floande, eclecta, USHomeopath, debk, Anne was here, whatever66, Actbriniel, slice, Quantumlogic, Mike08, Maximilien Robespierre, spindr27, TAH from SLC, kerflooey, surfermom, muzzleofbees, mama jo, I love OCD, Dretutz, ozsea1, sfcouple, afisher, Mr MadAsHell, freesia, BPARTR, anyname, FarWestGirl, pbgv23, skip945, KelleyRN2, Alice Olson, trumpeter, mrsgoo, Haf2Read, marleycat, PorridgeGun, zukesgirl64, Kokomo for Obama, Cinnamon, sethtriggs, Cinnamon Rollover, thomask, BarackStarObama, muddy boots, rk2, Grandma Susie, createpeace, DeviousPie, antooo, peregrine kate, VTCC73, Caddis Fly, Jamie Sanderson, Andrew F Cockburn, SNFinVA, randomfacts, Vatexia, Pope Buck I, MattYellingAtTheMoon, Sunspots, thejoshuablog, DRo, Mentatmark, CoyoteMarti, Auriandra, DEMonrat ankle biter, ParkRanger, Nashville fan, ArtemisBSG, No one gets out alive, johnnr2, bearette, AnnetteK, Only Needs a Beat, jacey, ridemybike, gnostradamus, Liberal Granny, JTinDC, RhodaA, OldDragon, TheLizardKing, HotAsMaPacman, Siri, IndieGuy, James Renruojos, OneVoice IN 4th, S F Hippie, orangecurtainlib, barkingcat, a2nite, Deep Texan, rukidingme, HoofheartedBC, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, This old man, Mike RinRI, Karelin, Spirit Dancer, TBug, My Name Isnt Earl, Arahahex, MartyM, marking time, wxorknot, redstella, Vote4Obamain2012, arizonablue, Victim of Circumstance, Kinak, ItsaMathJoke, dotdash2u, wasatch, databob, Melanie in IA, Robynhood too, Ron Ebest, Near Miss, Lily O Lady, Blue Bell Bookworm, DamselleFly, ebailey, The grouch, Herodotus Prime, Late Again, dear occupant, patchmo13, parsonsbeach, howabout, Icicle68, bob152, ET3117, tngirl, blue91, ChristineM
Source: dailykos.com

The Success of Medicare Advantage Plans: What Seniors Should Know

Government payments should encourage beneficiary savings. Ideally, beneficiaries should be able to secure the full savings of any choices that they make, which means that they would be able to pocket 100 percent of the dif­ference between the government contribution and the price of a lower-cost health plan. Under Medicare Advantage, the beneficiaries can secure only 75 percent of the savings from choosing a plan that offers a product at a price below the Medicare benchmark. Under the FEHBP formula, the government contribution for federal employees and retirees is limited to 75 percent of the premium cost of any compet­ing health plan, upto the capped amount. Incidentally, the FEHBP’s own payment for­mula could be improved. If the government contribution in that program were permitted to reach 100 percent of the capped amount, it would encourage federal employees to choose less expensive plans, gaining savings for them­selves as well as for taxpayers. Such an arrangement should be provided to future Medicare beneficiaries in any new premium support system.
Source: heritage.org

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas

These days, quality health care coverage is something all of us need and can’t afford to go without.  But for families on a budget, finding the right health insurance plan can be challenging. You want comprehensive benefits, but you’re not sure how to find the perfect plan with the right coverage at a price you can afford. You need flexibility and reliability and you’re not willing to sacrifice for either. Luckily, with PPO Select Choice from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, you can have both. That’s comprehensive health care coverage that you can customize to suit your needs and your budget.
Source: texasmedicarehealth.com