Original Medicare (Part A and B) is certainly a big help with medical expenses, but it doesn’t cover everything. In fact, with deductibles alone, out-of-pocket expenses can be in the thousands. Medicare supplement insurance, also called Medigap, is designed to help cover the gaps in coverage that Original Medicare doesn’t cover. If you’re considering Medicare supplement insurance, remember that the best time to buy is during Initial Enrollment when you first turn 65. If you purchase during this time, you cannot be denied coverage, even with known health problems.
Video: Enrolling in Medicare
Office of Statewide Benefits provides information on Medicare Parts A, B enrollment
Failure to enroll and maintain enrollment in Medicare Parts A and B upon eligibility may result in the subscriber being held financially responsible for the cost of all claims incurred, including prescription costs. Retirees and spouses enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B must provide a copy of their Medicare Identification Card to be enrolled in the state of Delaware Special Medicfill plan.
Medicare Advantage: Providing Quality Care to More than 14 Million Beneficiaries
Medicare Advantage plans are a valuable resource in protecting beneficiaries from unpredictable out-of-pocket costs. In 2012, all Medicare Advantage plans offered an out-of-pocket maximum limit for beneficiary costs, and about 78 percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees are in plans that have annual out-of-pocket maximums of $5,000 or less. These out-of-pocket maximums – which are not offered by the Medicare FFS program – help protect Medicare beneficiaries from catastrophic health care expenses that otherwise might pose a serious threat to their financial security. Medicare Advantage plans also help reduce out-of-pocket costs for enrollees by reducing premiums for Part B and Part D, and by limiting cost-sharing for Medicare-covered services, including primary care physician visits and inpatient hospital stays.
Medicare Advantage works well when you are healthy
If you’re running a business and trying to make a profit, and your model is based on receiving a fixed monthly payment for individual, paying a significant portion of the costs of their care, and pocketing the difference, what are your incentives? If you answered, “To pay as little for their care as possible,” you’re on the right track. But they can’t do this by denying benefits to those of their enrollees who use the most care. What they can do, is work diligently to target only healthy people to enroll in their Medicare Advantage plan. The strategy is simple: By selecting healthy individuals who will use less health care, they keep their costs down, and generate larger profit margins. Meanwhile, traditional Medicare gets left caring for the sickest subset of the elderly and disabled population.
VPR News: As Deadline Approaches, Welch Urges Seniors To Enroll For Medicare
"A lot of folks have already made their decision but some have yet to make it and it’s time to review your medical situation and then to decide what’s the best plan for you and how can you get the drugs you need at the lowest possible cost," Welch said.
CMS Announces 2013 Application Fee for Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP
On November 30, 2012, CMS announced the 2013 application fee for those providers initially enrolling in Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP or revalidating an enrollment or adding a new location. This application fee applies to those providers submitting an 855A application form, which is the form that health centers use to enroll in the Medicare program. The 2013 fee will be $532.00, effective January 1, 2013. This is a $9.00 increase over the 2012 fee.
Expert Tips to Simplify Medicare Plan D
Part D Plan is a network pharmacy that offers covered drugs to plan members at lower out-of-pocket costs than what the member would pay at a non-preferred network pharmacy. This can make huge difference in what you’ll pay. For example, Walmart is a preferred pharmacy on multiple plans including the Humana-Walmart Preferred Rx Plan. They provide access to the top ten hypertension drugs for just one cent. So if you’re one of the 70% of Americans over the age of 65 who have high-blood pressure, you can get a month’s worth of the medication you need for just one penny! Just one specific example of how it can pay to do your homework.”
Is it too late to enroll in Medicare Part D?
One website that can help you select a plan is the CVS Medicare Part D Calculator, which helps you calculate the lowest cost plan, shows you medications covered under that plan, and whether or not you can get the drugs at a convenient drug dispensatory. CVS claims people can save an "average of over $600."
Schumer and Pierluisi Introduce Puerto Rico Medicare Equity Legislation
Over the years, the responsible federal agencies have done a poor job informing beneficiaries in Puerto Rico about the opt-in requirement and the consequences of late enrollment. Therefore, many of my constituents fail to realize they lack Part B until they get sick and need to visit a doctor, by which point significant time may have elapsed. To illustrate the repercussions, consider the standard Medicare Part B monthly premium of $105 dollars. An individual who enrolls two years late must pay a 20 percent surcharge—an additional $21 dollars per month. Over one year, that is $252 dollars. Over 20 years, it is $5,000 dollars.
Free information session on navigating Medicare March 21
Confused about Medicare and your health insurance options? You’re not alone! Join Human Resources for a free information session from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21, in Light Hall, Room 202. The session is directed to employees aged 62 and older, but all are welcome to attend. No registration is required.
When and How Do I Enroll For Medicare?
You become eligible for Medicare at age 65 or younger, if disabled. This is called the Initial Enrollment Period. You have seven months to enroll, starting three months before your 65th birthday. Do not delay doing this, as there could be penalties. Keep in mind that you can sign up directly by contacting Medicare, or you can enroll through a private insurer that has a Medicare Advantage Plan. (This is a plan that offers extras, like dental or prescription plans.)
How Do You Enroll in Medicare?
There are three different enrollment periods during which your senior may apply for Medicare coverage. The first is the Initial Enrollment Period. This starts three months before the 65th birthday and spans seven months total. Next is the General Enrollment Period, which takes place during the first three months of the year. The final opportunity to access Medicare coverage is the Special Enrollment Period, which starts after an individual loses private insurance and lasts for eight months.
Increased hospice enrollment would save Medicare millions each year, researchers find
Increasing hospice enrollment would improve care for beneficiaries while saving the Medicare program millions of dollars annually, according to a study in the March issue of Health Affairs. Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City looked at 2002-2008 survey data and Medicare claims of 3,069 people. Those who enrolled in hospice cost the Medicare program less than those who did not enroll in hospice, the researchers found. The most savings occurred for Medicare when patients entered hospice 15-30 days prior to death, according to the report. If 1,000 additional beneficiaries enrolled in hospice during this window of time, the Medicare program would save about $6.4 million annually. Medicare would save more than $2.5 million annually if 1,000 additional people enrolled in hospice 53-105 days before death. Increased hospice care would also lower 30-day hospital readmissions rates and positively impact quality of care measures, the researchers stated.
Cut Medicare Advantage plans and save money
To the group supporting keeping Medicare Advantage plans: Your group wants to continue a program spending taxpayer monies faster than regular Medicare. Each person on an Advantage plan costs the tax payer 14 to 15 percent more than one on Medicare as it was originally designed.