Medicare Part D Is Working

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

The American Action Forum released a report Thursday finding the Medicare Part D program has been successful in its first ten years, with significantly lower government expenditures than projected, low beneficiary costs, and high customer satisfaction, according to an AAF release.
Source: freebeacon.com

Video: Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Coverage

Tips to Lower Costs in the Medicare Part D Donut Hole

In a previous post, we discussed how many beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans (MAPDs) will enter the coverage gap, also known as the “donut hole,” at some point during the year. Around half of Part D beneficiaries reached the coverage gap by the end of August, and those that entered it in July remain in the coverage gap until the end of the calendar year. Increased costs in the donut hole have lead to reduced drug usage, which poses an obvious problem for the health of beneficiaries. This post will offer some tips on how to save money while in the Part D donut hole.
Source: planprescriber.com

What is the Difference Between Original Medicare and Medicare Part D?

Another way to get Part D coverage is by enrolling in a Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug (MAPD) plan that combine prescription drug coverage with hospital and medical insurance. However, if a beneficiary chooses to enroll in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan that does not offer prescription coverage, they may not be able to join a stand-alone Part D plan for medication coverage. The only types of MA only plans that allow a beneficiary to also enroll in a PDP include: Private-Fee-For-Service (PFFS), Medical Savings Account (MSA), or Cost plan. If an MA plan without drug coverage does not allow enrollment in a PDP, beneficiaries should consider looking into switching into an MAPD during the next Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (AEP).
Source: ehealthmedicare.com

Medicare Drug Plan Polls Suggest Bright Future for Obamacare

Looking back on it, the public’s turnaround from initial rejection to growing support for Part D was understandable. The unfunded $400 billion program that President Bush signed into law in December 2003 was needlessly complex for seniors and unnecessarily expensive for taxpayers. Rather than having the government negotiate prices directly with pharmaceutical firms and add drug coverage into the traditional Medicare program, President Bush and his Republican allies in Congress instead gave recipients subsidies to purchase plans from private insurers. Making matters worse, millions of “dual eligible” already receiving drug coverage from Medicaid had to switch to the new scheme, a process that left millions unable to pay for their prescriptions for weeks in early 2006.
Source: crooksandliars.com

Medicare Part D Open Enrollment Period October 15

The Medicare Part D Open Enrollment period for 2013 Medicare plans begins October 15 and extends through December 7. This is a great time for persons with disabilities to make an appointment with Michelle Malakowsky to review your Medicare Part D plan. Every year, many plans change coverage of certain drugs or raise their prices. Consumers can save a lot of money by just reviewing their current plan and finding out what the changes will be for 2014. 
Source: smilescil.org

Closing the Medicare Part D Coverage Gap

The health care law adds benefits to help make your Medicare prescription drug coverage more affordable. If you reach the Medicare Part D coverage gap, you can get discounts on your prescription drugs. The discounts will gradually increase until the coverage gap disappears in 2020.
Source: aarp.org

Medicare Part D Enrollment

Mary Ann Holland, retired Extension Educator, will be helping people with Medicare Part D enrollments in Otoe County.  Please email Mary Ann if you have questions or if you would like additional information about enrollment dates and times.
Source: kimmeltv.org

Medicare Part D: Who prescribes what and how much

Contact Charles Crumm at 248-745-4649, charlie.crumm@oakpress.com or follow him on Twitter @crummc and on Facebook. More information is at oaklandmichiganpolitics.blogspot.com. Keep up with the latest in local news by texting OPNews to 22700. Msg & Data Rates May Apply. Text HELP for help. Text STOP to cancel.
Source: theoaklandpress.com

Income Thresholds For Medicare Part B And Part D Premiums

While the surtax due to higher Medicare premiums that resulted from the Roth conversion was not huge, at only 1.6%, it nonetheless represents an entirely manageable – and potentially avoidable – surtax that planners and clients should carefully consider. For instance, the client might have decided to convert only $27,000 in the prior example – rather than $39,350 – to keep from exceeding the $87,000 AGI threshold that triggers the first Medicare premium increase, allowing the conversion to have a cost of "only" the 25% marginal tax bracket, and not 26.6%. On the other hand, if the client’s income was higher, the impact would have been more severe. For instance, if AGI was already $85,000, then a $5,000 conversion would result in $1,250 of taxes (at a 25% tax) plus the same $619.20 (for additional Medicare premiums), which leads to a marginal "tax" of $1,869.20 and a marginal tax rate of 37.4%; on the other hand, if the conversion was $10,000, the marginal rate would only be 31.2% (since the additional taxes would rise to $2,500 but the Medicare premium impact would still be the same $619.20/year). The end result: the closer clients are to an income threshold, the better it is to either stay right below the line, or rise far above it until the next threshold (or a new tax bracket) approaches, because the additional Part B and Part D premiums are a flat additional amount even if clients are just $1 across the line (unlike tax brackets, which are always a percentage of additional income). And because the premium adjustments are calculated based on AGI, anything that increases AGI can impact exposure, from IRA withdrawals and Roth conversions, to capital gains, to dividends and interest and income from pass-through entities; on the other hand, any deductions that are taken above the line, such as capital losses or certain business losses, can also reduce exposure.
Source: kitces.com

Medicare Insurance Provider San Diego Talks Part D

SBHIS.net can help you enroll in the Part D prescription drug plan.  The Medicare Prescription Drug Plan adds drug coverage to your existing Medicare coverage. It can help you save thousands. According to the latest reports, individuals saved $1,061 per year on average. That’s a significant figure for most seniors on a tight budget.
Source: pomeradonews.com

The Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Fact Sheet

CBO estimates that Part D spending will total $60 billion in 2013 (net of premiums and state transfers).  The average annual Part D per capita growth rate was 3.7% between 2006 and 2011, but is projected to rise at a more rapid rate (5.6%) between 2011 and 2021 (2012 Medicare Trustees), in part due to slowing of trend toward greater generic drug use. Total spending depends on several factors: the number of Part D enrollees, their health status and drug use, the number of low-income subsidy recipients, and plans’ ability to negotiate discounts and rebates with drug companies and manage use (e.g. promoting use of generic drugs, prior authorization, step therapy, quantity limits, and mail order).  The MMA prohibits Medicare from negotiating drug prices directly.
Source: kff.org

MedPAC to Recommend Forgoing LTACH Reimbursement Rate Update for 2011 Rate Year: Projects 5.8% Medicare Margin for 2010 Rate Year

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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MedPAC evaluated the Medicare profit margin spread of LTACHs for RY 2008 and found there to be a wide spread in profitability, similar to that seen in short-term acute care hospitals, with the bottom quartile of LTACHs having margins of negative 8.2% or less, and the top quartile having margins of 11.8% or more.  Margins for for-profit LTACHs were significantly higher than those of not-for-profit LTACHs.  MedPAC found that lower per-discharge costs, rather than higher payments, drove the differences in financial performance between LTACHs with the lowest and highest margins.  High margin LTACHs also had a shorter average length of stay and far fewer high cost outlier cases and payments.
Source: 18.221

Video: Members of the GOP Doctors Caucus Address Medicare Reimbursement Rates

OIG Reports Point States to Potential Medicaid DMEPOS Savings : Health Industry Washington Watch

Two recent OIG reports point out the savings that state Medicaid programs could attain if they based reimbursement for DME, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (DMEPOS) on Medicare competitive bidding payment amounts – although at least one state is pushing back on this idea. In the first report, “Medicaid DMEPOS Costs May be Exceeding Medicare Costs in Competitive Bidding Areas,” the OIG calculated the potential savings Texas could have achieved in 2011 if it adopted Medicare DMEPOS bidding prices for selected items of DMEPOS. According to the OIG, Texas Medicaid fee-schedule could have saved approximately $2 million (state/federal shares combined) in the Dallas/Fort Worth area if it had based Medicaid rates on the Medicare DMEPOS competitive bidding amounts for 32 DMEPOS items covered under both programs. The OIG states that its report provides “a tangible example of potential State and Federal savings for Medicaid programs if the programs were to use the Medicare Competitive Bidding payment amounts for DMEPOS items.” This report did not include recommendations or state reaction. 
Source: healthindustrywashingtonwatch.com

FAQ: Hospital Observation Care Can Be Poorly Understood And Costly For Medicare Beneficiaries

A. Hospitals provide observation care for patients who are not well enough to go home but not sick enough to be admitted.  This care requires a doctor’s order and is considered an outpatient service, even though patients may stay as long as several days. The hospitalization can include short-term treatment and tests to help doctors decide whether the patient should be admitted. Medicare guidance recommends that this decision should be made within 24 to 48 hours, but observation visits exceeding 24 hours nearly doubled to 744,748 between 2006 and 2011, federal records show.    
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Analyses Released: Rebasing and Updating Medicare Home Health Rates

The proposed rule to the Medicare home health prospective payment system (HH PPS) for calendar year (CY) 2014 states that there would be an increase to each of the per-visit payment rates of 3.5% in each year CY 2014 through CY 2017 to account for changes in the costs of providing these services since the establishment of the HH PPS in 2000.  
Source: leadingage.org

Income Thresholds For Medicare Part B And Part D Premiums

While the surtax due to higher Medicare premiums that resulted from the Roth conversion was not huge, at only 1.6%, it nonetheless represents an entirely manageable – and potentially avoidable – surtax that planners and clients should carefully consider. For instance, the client might have decided to convert only $27,000 in the prior example – rather than $39,350 – to keep from exceeding the $87,000 AGI threshold that triggers the first Medicare premium increase, allowing the conversion to have a cost of "only" the 25% marginal tax bracket, and not 26.6%. On the other hand, if the client’s income was higher, the impact would have been more severe. For instance, if AGI was already $85,000, then a $5,000 conversion would result in $1,250 of taxes (at a 25% tax) plus the same $619.20 (for additional Medicare premiums), which leads to a marginal "tax" of $1,869.20 and a marginal tax rate of 37.4%; on the other hand, if the conversion was $10,000, the marginal rate would only be 31.2% (since the additional taxes would rise to $2,500 but the Medicare premium impact would still be the same $619.20/year). The end result: the closer clients are to an income threshold, the better it is to either stay right below the line, or rise far above it until the next threshold (or a new tax bracket) approaches, because the additional Part B and Part D premiums are a flat additional amount even if clients are just $1 across the line (unlike tax brackets, which are always a percentage of additional income). And because the premium adjustments are calculated based on AGI, anything that increases AGI can impact exposure, from IRA withdrawals and Roth conversions, to capital gains, to dividends and interest and income from pass-through entities; on the other hand, any deductions that are taken above the line, such as capital losses or certain business losses, can also reduce exposure.
Source: kitces.com

Medicare and Medicaid, Age and Income

Yet, this trend masks a great deal of variation between race and Hispanic origin groups.  As the figures show, the non-Hispanic white population is the only group that participates more in Medicare than Medicaid.  Given that to be eligible for Medicare, participants must be 65 and older, one of the biggest reasons for this is the different age distributions among these groups, and the non-Hispanic white population is much older than the other groups. For instance, in 2012, 17 percent of non-Hispanic whites were 65 and older compared with 10 percent of blacks, 10 percent of Asians and 6 percent of Hispanics. Moreover, with the large non-Hispanic white baby-boom population now starting to enter the Medicare-eligible age group, higher Medicare coverage rates for non-Hispanic whites will continue for some time.
Source: census.gov

The Problem with Social Security and Medicare

The drawdown of Social Security and HI Trust Fund reserves and the general revenue transfers into SMI will result in mounting pressure on the Federal budget. In fact, pressure is already evident. For the seventh consecutive year, the Social Security Act requires that the Trustees issue a “Medicare funding warning” because projected non-dedicated sources of revenues primarily general revenues are expected to continue to account for more than 45 percent of Medicare’s outlays in 2013, a threshold breached for the first time in fiscal year 2010.Lawmakers should address the financial challenges facing Social Security and Medicare as soon as possible. Taking action sooner rather than later will leave more options and more time available to phase in changes so that the public has adequate time to prepare.
Source: investmentwatchblog.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 Announces 2011 Deductible and Coinsurance Rates

Last week, Medicare announced on CMS.gov in a fact sheet titled “Medicare Premiums, Deductibles for 2011″. This fact sheet gives detailed information on the increases to the yearly premium and deductible Medicare patients will have to face in the coming year.
Source: about.com

Medicare Physician Payments: Reforming the Sustainable Growth Rate

The language in the House discussion draft—linking Medicare physician pay to compliance with government-established guidelines—accelerates a troubling trend reinforced by Obamacare itself. The national health care law, with 165 provisions affecting Medicare,[23] not only retains the SGR, but, like the SGR, it also imposes a hard cap on the growth of all Medicare spending. It creates an Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), which will have the power to enforce the cap, and recommend even more Medicare reimbursement cuts for physicians and other medical professionals. It creates new institutions to change Medicare payment and delivery through administrative action, such as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, with demonstration programs designed to end traditional fee-for-service (FFS) payments. Beyond these new institutions, the health law creates new Medicare “quality” programs and extends the Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI), which will enforce new bonus and penalty payments for physician compliance. As the Congressional Research Service (CRS) reported in its first evaluation of the statute, the new law “makes several changes to the Medicare program that have the potential to affect physicians and how they practice in ways both small and large, immediately and over time.”[24]
Source: heritage.org

Several States Still Facing Debates About Medicaid Expansion

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

The Associated Press: Medicaid Expansion Happy Surprise For Colorado Man Colorado is one of at least 24 states expanding Medicaid access for adults under the Affordable Care Act. In Colorado, that means single adults who earned less than $15,400 last year will have access to Medicaid. Childless adults in the state currently qualify for Medicaid only if they make less than $95 a month. Colorado estimates about 160,000 people will be added to state Medicaid rolls under the new guidelines. … [Morgan] Kinney said he feels incredibly fortunate to live in a state where he will receive basic coverage through the government program. He has seen firsthand just how expensive medical expenses can be (Wyatt, 9/12).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Video: Medicaid: Expanding Care for Colorado

Costly Medicaid Expansion Nears Approval In Colorado

According to the Common Sense Policy Roundtable, “Colorado’s Medicaid enrollment is projected to grow 44% by 2014 if state lawmakers opt-in and accept the expansion proposed as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” If the Medicaid expansion SB 200 becomes law, Medicaid expenses are expected to grow by $2.5 billion between fiscal year 2011-2012 to fiscal year 2024-2025. This is estimated to consume over 27% of Colorado’s General Fund, over a quarter of the state’s overall budget.
Source: redstate.com

Colorado becomes 18th State to eliminate Medicaid funding for infant circumcision

Effective for dates of service on or after July 1, 2011, the Department will no longer reimburse claims for circumcision. The following CPT codes will no longer be reimbursed: 54150, 54160, and 54161. This change does not affect the CHP+ Program. Please contact Dana Batey at Dana.Batey@state.co.us or at 303-866-3852 with any questions.
Source: intaction.org

Receiving VA Aid and Attendance benefits & Medicaid benefits

Do not assume just because an assisted living facility is Medicaid-approved they will accept you as a Medicaid patient even after you have been approved for Medicaid. Most assisted living facilities have a “private pay” or “spend down” requirement of one to three years. Meaning you must private pay for a number of months before they will accept the Medicaid rate of reimbursement. Clearly the state rate of reimbursement for assisted living is much lower than the private pay rate, thus the requirement. If you anticipate the possibility of running out of funds while residing at a Medicaid-approved assisted living facility, ask about the “spend down” or “private pay” requirement before you enter the facility.
Source: war-vets.org

Colorado Springs Independent

Our strength is one of conviction, not contradiction. We as Americans have strived to fight the good fight without losing focus of our faith or values. We have erred in the past in not holding others (who we had supported) accountable for their use of weapons of mass destruction. That time is past.
Source: csindy.com

Medicaid Expansion and the ACA

Colorado is among the states that have chosen to sign Medicaid expansion into law. For a full list of state by state decisions on this issue as of July 1, 2013, click here. Medicaid expansion will be fully federally funded from 2014-2016. During subsequent years, at least 90% of the Medicare expansion program will be funded by the federal government, with the rest paid for by individual states.
Source: sageba.com

Obamacare may result in $6.9 billion in Medicaid costs in Colorado

Content Managing Editor Nic Turiciano is a senior journalism major. He writes about music, film, pop culture and all things associated with leisure. He began at the Collegian in the fall of 2009, is the former local director for 90.5 KCSU Fort Collins and contributor for www.theawl.com. He can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.
Source: collegian.com

COPrevent: Colorado Medicaid expansion signed into law

An expansion of Medicaid eligibility that’s expected to add 160,000 adults to public health care assistance in Colorado was signed into law Monday by Gov. John Hickenlooper. The expansion is part of the federal health care overhaul that 22 states and Washington, D.C., have accepted as of last week. Supporters of the expansion say it will reduce health care costs in the long run. But most Republicans voted against the expansion, saying the state’s cost can balloon once the federal government stops paying for growing the program. The federal government covers the entire cost of the expansion for the first three years.
Source: coprevent.org

Colorado Springs Independent

Our strength is one of conviction, not contradiction. We as Americans have strived to fight the good fight without losing focus of our faith or values. We have erred in the past in not holding others (who we had supported) accountable for their use of weapons of mass destruction. That time is past.
Source: csindy.com

What Would You Do If Your Kid Was Disabled, Dependent on Medicaid and in Trouble?

Why were her hours cut so drastically? The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) replaced subjective evaluation methods for determining hours with a new, standardized “Pediatric Home Assessment Tool.” The new evaluation takes the form of a questionnaire about the specific needs of a child and the ability of the family to meet those needs. It clearly defines the responsibilities of a parent or adult in the household, as compared to a those of a CNA or nurse. Families get points for each response, and at-home nursing hours are then based on total points. Because of this new method, many families face a reduction in paid hours that will affect their abilities to provide their children with proper care.
Source: genprogress.org

Colorado Medicaid expansion signed into law

The expansion is part of the federal health care overhaul. Supporters of the expansion say it will reduce health care costs in the long run. But most Republicans voted against the expansion, saying the state’s cost can balloon once the federal government stops paying for growing the program.
Source: nbc11news.com

Social security number as Medicare ID is a security risk to seniors

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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How can the older person expect to have any privacy at all in the medical community when your Medicare ID is your social security number? If my spouse did not contribute to Medicare, then she uses my Medicare/social security number! I am expected to hand that card to every front-desk assistant at every medical facility, and they promptly make a copy of it.
Source: dallasnews.com

Video: Dim Outlook For Social Security, Medicare

Later generations pay more for Medicare, Social Security

The CBO projected that each successive generation—depending on when they were born—will pay more in lifetime payroll taxes and receive more in lifetime Medicare benefits. Over their lifetime, beneficiaries born in the 1940s would, on average, receive about $160,000 in benefits, net of premiums paid, and pay about $45,000 in payroll taxes. Those born in the 1950s would receive about $205,000 in benefits and pay $60,000 in payroll taxes. Those born in the 1960s would receive an average of $270,000 in benefits and pay about $65,000 in payroll taxes.
Source: benefitspro.com

Democurmudgeon: Republicans do want to end Medicare and Social Security, and said so in House Vote!

SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE: Voting 190 for and 228 against, the House on Friday defeated a Democratic bid to prohibit spending in HJ Res 59 (the stopgap appropriations measure) aimed at privatizing Social Security or converting Medicare to a voucher program.  A yes vote backed the Democratic motion. Voting no: Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, Ribble.
Source: blogspot.com

AARP CO Lets Talk Social Security and Medicare / Public News Service

FRUITA, Colo. – This month older Coloradans from Fruita to Fort Collins will hear first-hand about the pressing issues facing Medicare and Social Security. AARP Colorado representatives are touring the state to educate people about proposed changes to the programs and what they can do to protect the benefits they’ve paid into them for while in the work force. According to Kelli Fritts, associate state director for advocacy at AARP Colorado, the state tour is a great way to catch up on what’s at stake. “There’s no reason not to,” she said. “They’re free and they’re informative and you know we do our very best to answer a lot of questions and have a good time when we’re out visiting folks in their communities.” The tour will begin Wednesday, September 11, with a stop in Fruita. It will continue the following week with stops in Pueblo, Aurora and Fort Collins. Greg Glischinski of Centennial is concerned about cuts to Medicare, and said lawmakers need to realize cuts will only cost more at the end of the day. “What happens in the long run is that people end up in the emergency care,” he warned. “Emergency care ends up costing the taxpayer way more money than if we were able to tackle some of these things and really look at them hard.” Glischinski wants Washington to find ways to cut down on Medicare fraud and waste, instead of cutting programs. “If they go in and start cutting and slashing in the name of the budget fix, there’s so many other areas they could go and fix this in.” Another issue that will be discussed on the State Tour is the so-called Chained CPI, which is a new way of calculating the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment for benefits. The new approach assumes that if prices rise there are lower-cost options for consumers, but groups such as AARP contend that’s not viable for older Americans with fixed incomes and fixed costs such as utility bills and medicines. More information on that AARP tour is at AARP.org.
Source: publicnewsservice.org

UPDATE: New times for Social Security, Medicare retirement sessions

Description: Are you planning for retirement and want to know more about Medicare? Do you think you might work past age 65 and want to know how to handle your Medicare enrollment? Perhaps you want to help your loved ones with their Medicare choices and wish you understood more? Acuna’s presentation will prepare you to make educated decisions.
Source: vanderbilt.edu

What do the fucking Democrats mean by "relatively small" cuts to Social Security and Medicare?

A blog (from “web blog”) is a discussion or informational site consisting of discrete entries (“posts”) typically displayed newest first. All Corrente posts are front-paged; there is no up-rate or down-rate process. Corrente posts are almost entirely community moderated. We encourage a clash of ideas, and do not encourage a clash of persons.
Source: correntewire.com

Retirement Sessions: Social Security and Medicare

"Medicare 101: The A, B, C and Ds" Are you planning for retirement and want to know more about Medicare? Do you think you might work past age 65 and want to know how to handle your Medicare enrollment? Perhaps you want to help your loved ones with their Medicare choices and wish you understood more? Acuna’s presentation will prepare you to make educated decisions.
Source: vanderbilt.edu

Blue Medicare Regional PPO Plan

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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With so many different providers, it’s often a challenge to find Medicare providers you can truly trust. It’s tough to know which companies are reliable and which are not. Florida seniors overwhelmingly choose Florida Blue as their Medicare provider and the Blue Medicare plans have earned a reputation as a dependable, top of the line option. Florida Blue has earned a solid reputation built on generations of happy, satisfied customers. With a Blue Medicare health plan, you’re getting more than a piece of paper, but a promise that when you need health care, you can get it- no questions asked.
Source: mioti.com

Video: Blue Cross: A First Choice for Medicare

Florida Blue Medicare Plans

These days, everyone is looking for a few ways to save money. With Florida Blue Medicare plans, securing a low rate is easy because they can offer discounts and reduced rates that many newer companies cannot. The reason is simple. Florida Blue has been serving the residents of Florida for generations and they’ve built a solid customer base of happy satisfied clients. As a consequence, they’re not driven by profit margins, and don’t need to be concerned with building a loyal following. Instead, they can offer deep discounts and low rates creating the most affordable Medicare plans to keep you happy.
Source: frederiksted.org

Newsroom – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan broadens Medicare options with new Medicare Advantage PPO product

October 1 is the first day BCBSM and Medicare Advantage carriers across the nation can market their Medicare Advantage products for 2010. Beneficiaries in BCBSM Medicare Advantage products will receive letters in the next 10 days about the new product line-up. "Blue Cross remains fully committed to providing products to Medicare beneficiaries and will continue to have the broadest array of Medicare Advantage products in the state," said Mark Owen, BCBSM vice president for federal and individual business. "It’s important for Medicare beneficiaries to know that there is no immediate change to their coverage. They have until the end of the year to make their selection for 2010." In addition to the three BCBSM products for 2010, seniors also can select from three Medicare Advantage products offered by Blue Care Network, the BCBSM-affiliated HMO. "We will be working with insurance agents and other groups across the state to reach out to Medicare beneficiaries to help them navigate these product and premium changes," said Owen. Seniors who meet low income guidelines can receive subsidies from the state and/or federal government to pay for all or part of their premiums. Medicare Advantage premiums vary by product and region. The new PPO product is expected to provide beneficiaries with value for their premium. For example, the BCBSM Medicare Plus Blue PPO, which includes Part D prescription drug coverage, will cost between $61 and $141 a month (premiums vary by geographic region), while traditional BCBSM Medicare Supplemental (Medigap) Plan C plans cost $183 when combined with a stand-alone Part D BCBSM prescription drug program. Medicare Advantage plans offer Medicare benefits through private health insurance plans and most include Part D prescription drug coverage. When you purchase a Medicare Advantage plan, you do not need to also purchase a Medigap policy. Medicare Advantage plans are regulated solely by the federal government, while Medigap plans are regulated by the state. The announced product changes are only for Medicare beneficiaries who directly purchase their Medicare Advantage products, not for beneficiaries enrolled in a group plan. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Source: bcbsm.com

Medicare Plan Finder for Health, Prescription Drug and Medigap plans

The page could not be loaded. The Medicare.gov Home page currently does not fully support browsers with "JavaScript" disabled. Please note that if you choose to continue without enabling "JavaScript" certain functionalities on this website may not be available.
Source: medicare.gov

Florida Blue Medicare Plans

One of the benefits of choosing Florida Blue Medicare plans is access to value added services that help you stay healthy and informed. With a variety of online tools and resources, it’s possible to do everything from check availability for a new doctor and estimate costs before going to an appointment to getting expert advice on important health care decisions. These services and more are provided free of charge by Florida Blue and are available to each and every Medicare member, making it even easier to make important health care related decisions.
Source: diannebos.com

Medicare Reform that Saves Seniors and Taxpayers Money

Premium support would bring competition into the Medicare program, which would help bring down costs. In its latest analysis, CBO modeled two different premium support options. In the first option, the payment for health plans (including traditional Medicare) would be set at the second-lowest bid among competing plans in a region. This is the method proposed by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senator Ron Wyden (D–OR) and separately by former CBO Director Alice Rivlin of the Brookings Institution and former Senator Pete Domenici (R–NM). The second option is to base Medicare plan payments on a “weighted average” of health plan bids, broadly similar to what is done today in the popular and successful Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) that serves federal employees and retirees and their families. In both cases, CBO finds, this major financing reform achieves serious program savings.
Source: tomtayloronline.org

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

Blue Choice: Anthem Blue Cross Medicare Supplement Plans

Over seventy years of Blue Cross, since 1937. While much has changed in the short span of seven decades, two things have remained constant, and share our original business philosophy of the first customers and our commitment to innovation and progress. We are leaders build leadership positions in health care and to continue our tradition of developing innovative products that offer choice, quality,Health and Safety for the Elderly California. We offer more plans than ever, also plans to integrate traditional Medicare, a Medicare Advantage HMO and PPO plans as the New Freedom Blue. We also offer prescription drug and dental plans and products to help you protect your future financial, such as Long Term Care Insurance and Life Insurance Whole Life Final Expense benefit offered by Blue Cross of California.
Source: blogspot.com

Cigna Medicare Plans But Blue Cross Medicare Health Insurance Plans An Conclusion

End up being however, advised that the person going to purchase a http://MedigapInsurancePolicies.com insurance policy should study the sale documents of all the Medigap plans before making a decision. All the twelve month period Medigap policies pay for the basic benefits, but each you need some additional bonuses along with them. In brief it can be stated that the Plan A is the most simple plan. However the Plans B-L provides all the advantages of Plan A and as well along with they will provide some extra coverage. Any Plans K-L allows the benefits common to Plans A-J, but the disparity is the cost-sharing for the basic benefits which takes a different approach at different college diplomas.
Source: externalfixation2007.com

Medicare Targets Health Plans With Low Ratings

Medicare officials are encouraging 525,000 beneficiaries to switch out of these 26 Medicare Advantage and drug plans that have received low ratings for three consecutive years and enroll in better plans for next year. The poor performing plans will have this warning symbol next to their names on Medicare’s plan finder website to steer shoppers to other plans.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

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September 22, 2013

Top 10 Medicare Health Plans in the US

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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In addition to offering individual and family health insurance plans,  Health Insurance carriers also sell private health insurance plans to seniors and those eligible for Medicare. These products are called Medicare Advantage, Medigap or Medicare Supplemental Insurance, and Medicare Part D prescription drug cards.
Source: qooqe.com

Video: Medicare Part D – 5 Things To Know Before You Enroll in a Part D Plan

Top Medicare Official: ‘We Can and Should Do More’ to Oversee Drug Plan

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., who chaired the hearing, cited two new government reports on the program, known as Part D, from the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The first, issued last week, found more than 700 general-care physicians with extremely questionable prescribing patterns, including some whose prescriptions were filled at hundreds of pharmacies across dozens of states.
Source: propublica.org

What Medicare plan & supplemental protects best for fewest out

spncity, I am almost certain he has a Medicare Advantage plan called Secure Horizons by United Health Care. This plan has the AARP nametag but has nothing to do with the plan. United pays a fee to AARP to use their name and make everything sound better. I was with this United Advantage plan for two years and it treated us good. No problems. In 2012 they increased their copays and deductibles so I switched us to BCBS Medicare Advantage. With both of these plans, along with others, there is no premium in addition to your Medicare insurance premium ($105/mo??). All of the plans available are listed on the medicare.gov website. Regarding the idea of going back to Medicare: I checked on this and found out that you can go back to plain old Medicare anytime; however, you may not be able to purchase a supplemental plan. That would be up to the issuer of the supplemental plan. My BIL has researched this for years and rechecks all the time. He says that all the supplemental plans have letter designations (such as Plan F) and each supplemental plan must provide the same coverage across the country. The only difference is the price. EX: He has regular Medicare and supplemental Plan F. So he shops for the best price on Plan F. For 2013 the best price was Mutual of Omaha, so that’s what he bought. I think he said it was $105/mo. About going back and forth: I probably couldn’t go back as most likely an insurance company wouldn’t sell me a supplemental plan because of preexisting conditions. That may change with Obamacare as they aren’t supposed to hold that against you. I’ll believe that when I see it. I may not change back regardless, but it would be nice to have that option. Hope this helps and if anyone has more information I’d like for you to post also as this is a big concern for everyone. The more information the better. Edited to add that prescription drugs are covered by most Advantage Plans but price per drug changes every year. Some of mine are even free for a 90 day supply. The Advantage Plans are "advantageous" and that is why they are always targeted for cuts by the government. A lot of older people have those plans and that is why the government treads lightly.
Source: early-retirement.org

Top 5 Medicare Questions Asked By Seniors

Eligible individuals have the opportunity to enroll in or make changes to their Medicare Advantage and/or Part D Prescription Drug Plan during the Annual Enrollment Period, which runs from October 15 to December 7 of each year. Medicare Advantage plans must offer at least the same coverage as Original Medicare (Part A and Part B) and may include additional benefits. Stand-alone Part D plans provide coverage for eligible prescription drug costs. Another type of coverage that beneficiaries may be interested is a Medicare Supplement plan, which fills in the gaps in coverage left behind by Original Medicare. However, the best time to enroll in these plans is when you are first eligible and not necessarily during AEP. If you are looking for more information regarding the differences between MA and Medicare Supplement plans, check out this blog post. If you are trying to choose between Original Medicare and enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan, this post may be helpful.
Source: planprescriber.com

Should I cancel one of my medicare plans?

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story’s topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
Source: blscourierherald.com

Choosing the Best Medicare Part D Plan for You

The last thing to keep in mind when selecting a plan is the quality of that plan. Medicare gathers information from its members in satisfaction surveys and from medical professionals that provide service and gives each plan an overall performance star rating. Star Ratings rate plans from one to five stars, five being excellent. Ideally, you would like a plan that has three or more stars.
Source: healthcareconfusion.com

Best Practices in the Medicare Rx Benefit

The CMS webinar highlighted clinical, organizational culture and health information technology best practices from select high-performing Medicare plans. All CMS Part C and Part D sponsors were encouraged to attend, but the Express Scripts Medicare™ Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) was one of just six plans — and the only PDP — invited to present to more than 1,300 attendees on June 25.
Source: express-scripts.com

Precisely What Is The Best Quality Medicare Supplemental Plan

Best medical insurance plans come with different exclusions. It may be wise at your part, as a buyer, left through the exemption details to extract any confusion immediately after. Few of the main exclusions worth refering to here are pre-existing ailment/injury (generally forty-eight months prior towards issuance of foremost policy), diseases contracted during first 30 days of the type of policy start date, self-inflicted injury expenses, non-allopathic treatment, conditions caused by put on of alcohol probably drug, AIDS treatment expenses, congenital diseases, infertility treatment, dental, and more. Well, the best health and wellness insurance policy does indeed cover non-infective arthritis, joint replacement, coupled with other diseases created two consecutive insurance coverage years have been finished.
Source: wordsworthbooks.org

What You Need to Know about Medicare and the Affordable Care Act

Ross Blair has applied more than 26 years of technology experience to develop PlanPrescriber.com, a website that makes it easier for seniors and their caregivers to select and enroll in the best Medicare products for their specific needs. In his role as CEO, he has worked closely with pharmacists, insurers, physicians, caregivers and seniors to identify the most critical and complex aspects of Medicare and create a system that delivers this information to consumers in a format that is easy to use and understand. Google+
Source: ehealthmedicare.com

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

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September 22, 2013

7 Michigan HMOs recognized for improving care

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

If you enjoy the content on the Crain’s Detroit Business Web site and want to see more, try 8 issues of our print edition risk-free. If you wish to continue, you will receive 44 more issues (for a total of 52 in all), including the annual Book of Lists for just $59. That’s over 55% off the cover price. If you decide Crain’s is not for you, just write “Cancel” on the invoice, return it and owe nothing. The 8 issues are yours to keep with no further obligation to us. Sign up below.
Source: crainsdetroit.com

Video: Can Medicare Advantage plans lower your monthly costs

Picking a Medicare D Plan is Nearly Impossible; You Must Do Your Homework

In my job as a general internist in Austell, Georgia, I see many people who have trouble paying for their medicines. In late 2012, an elderly patient came in on the verge of tears. She was unable to pay for her food, mortgage and medicines, so she was going to move in with relatives and let the bank foreclose on her home.  After seeing this, I set up a free nonprofit educational website www.medicaredrugsavings.org. A video on the web site clears up confusing details about Medicare and shows you in a step by step fashion how to find the least expensive plan which covers the medicines which YOU are taking.   The Georgia chapters of the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians (the two main groups for primary care doctors) plan to promote www.medicaredrugsavings.org. The website will be updated to improve the graphics (I found that I’m better at treating diabetes than designing web sites) and provide updated information in the next two weeks.
Source: ajc.com

Medicare Plan Finder for Health, Prescription Drug and Medigap plans

The page could not be loaded. The Medicare.gov Home page currently does not fully support browsers with "JavaScript" disabled. Please note that if you choose to continue without enabling "JavaScript" certain functionalities on this website may not be available.
Source: medicare.gov

What to Do if Your Medicare HMO is Leaving the Program

Shop around and compare plans if you decide to go with Medicare Advantage. The plans vary in how they operate and in the premiums, deductibles, copayments and coinsurance you pay. All Medicare Advantage Plans must cover the services Original Medicare covers, except for hospice care. Research plans that are offered in your area to find the most affordable option that suits your needs. Make sure the plan’s network includes the hospitals and doctors you use.
Source: insurance.com

Arizona Medicare Advantage

SNP (Special Needs Plans) Special Needs Plans (SNPs), a form of Medicare Advantage plan, were authorized in 2003 to provide a managed care option for three groups of beneficiaries with significant or relatively specialized care needs 1. Medicare beneficiaries who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid (In Arizona AHCCCS) 2. Beneficiaries living in nursing homes or other institutions. 3. Beneficiaries with severe chronic or disabling conditions. Several companies in Arizona offer SNP plans To learn about Medicare Supplements and Medicare Part D Plans fill out a contact form or call Ralph at 602-390-8573 Ralph Dennis
Source: arizonamedicareadvisors.com

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September 22, 2013

What To Expect On The Latest Gerber Medicare Remedy Plan

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

For instance, in Texas you’re guaranteed issue when you’re signed up for Part B. Or if are generally just coming without a group health plan you’re guaranteed issue in sixty three days. Now having said that, there are series a significant regarding exceptions to the rules of thumb. And Medicare Part A and B customers are able to purchase supplemental insurance that helps fill in gaps of just what not covered. Medicare supplemental coverage A, B, C, D, F, G, K, L, C and N propose benefits ranging from hospitalization co-pays returning to deductibles. Almost services not included in Medicare all our recipients’ responsibility unless a Medigap tactic has been purchased through an free insurance company. Medigap is the term used for the insurance plan that is purchase to cover most of the gaps left by – Medicare. Nurse home care with its traditional version is not healthcare care but is without question instead custodial proper care. They may provide some specified medical care (which may be paid by Medicare) yet somehow the focus are actually on holding the activities of daily living (ADL) for the borrower instead. Around their normal dimension a nursing family home is helping with bathing, toileting, feeding, and other tasks which do truly require formal medical staff to overcome. Nursing facilities though typically enjoy have at minimum one Registered Health professional (RN) on individuals at all instances to handle specialized medical issues which complete come up. Medicare insurance is a sweet of health favor afforded to aging population citizens of this process nation. That is funded by the government. Like in different countries, Medicare in the United States, including Texas medicare insurance benefits, are backed by the Us Federal government. But the problem is that the medicare plans do no more cover all scientific expenses. The last mistake to shun in selecting Texas Medicare insurance is attempting to do everything on your own. With ten different supplement plans and changing laws, the entire attach can be misunderstood on a high quality day. Utilized use the services of a high-quality insurance broker enable you find house policy for wants. The broker keeps by way of all the recommendations and related changes. The broker can review latest coverage and give you advice on which policy will extremely meet your involves. If you want to cut costs money, use a financier. Medicare Plan F are also called to many just like Medigap plans. Either way you work in conjunction with traditional probably original Medicare and as well as do not go any payments with the help of the Medicare Feature plans. New sold Medicare product or service plans do truly include prescription coverage since the advancement in 2006 because of Medicare Prescription Substance abuse Plans (PDP). These supplement products are sold by private insurance companies who meet your current requirements for the specific state in which the plan is sold. When you get a arrange F which may be the most popular plan sold you are inclined to pay your premium and avoid compensating out of hand for your care as you turn out. This plan is hence popular because the program allows in designated those on rigid incomes to better control their phone expenses. Usually also extremely standard because it creates the plan male organ to get no matter care is sensible without thinking with regard to can I afford the care or test right now, or do I actually just need to defer it a bit. Any of these Medigap Texas indemnity policies are divided based on the types of dollars spent they conserve your company. You can either obtain easily affordable rates in addition to high insurance deductibles or high costs along with inexpensive deductibles. Yourself have to are nevertheless the one toward determine which type in of plan you would like that would go with. Either manner you will will obtain couple of sort of soreness relief. It recently depends on precisely how probable you probably will be in will want of having on the way to pay your insurance deductible. If a person will are for your most part likely ready to come with to carry available this, obtain some kind of inexpensive deductible possibly else put ones funds away before of time. That way buyers are equipped whether or not something transpires. LTCI plans are available to cover custodial care or care giving home care where there are the case medical needs literally treated. LTCI plans are question to full underwriting in order to be have one granted. The cost for the set up varies based on the subject of age at issue, coverage levels, medical status. These policies are almost always designed to handle many different prerequisites related to all the ADLs so a new great LTCI should instead of be thought amongst as only make home care given in reality, consumers cover home care and assisted care as well. Again all of these are convalescent or custodial treatments situations where Medicare health insurance does not offer any benefits. Shoots and thieves render it a necessity for a lot people to put homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to help their valuables from jewelry to security cameras to furs and most of the time these coverage may have conventions covering even spent baggage during trips. Baggage insurance can effectively deal with an lost bag during a trip. Medical insurance insurance covers can extend regions for a 12 at a time.
Source: typepad.com

Video: Medicare Supplement Quotes

Medicare Insurance Vs. Medicare Element Policies

On the topic of the other hand, Medicare advantage has got the services tendered by original Treatment. Advantage planning fall into so many different categories like desired provider organizations alternatively PPOs that impose less fees to find in-network providers, effectively being maintenance organizations and it could be HMOs that request the plan places to use in-network providers, private set fee for service or it may be PFFS that allow the plan spots to visit all the physician and loved needs plans or even a SNPs for ones patients in ought of special hygiene or admitted to nursing home. Moreover, these blueprints and plans sometimes offer Medical Savings Accounts or even HSAs to this original Medicare share dollars that may want to be used to have healthcare services.
Source: ccarconline.org

Gerber Everyday Living Medicare Health Supplements Why They Are The Finest!

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Source: rentanamigo.com

Gerber Medicare Supplement

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Gerber Life Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance | Medicare Agent Training

Aetna cancer cigna closing CMS conference call CSG CSG Actuarial dental e-app electronic application equitable equitable life final expense final expense by phone foresters gerber life guaranteed issue Guaranteed Issue Life hearing heartland Heartland National Hospital Indemnity hospital plan how to sell medicare supplements by phone Interview life insurance medicare advantage medicare supplements medicare supplement training medico mutual of omaha New Era objections orlando event Plan F Plan F vs. Plan G Plan G planright stonebridge training Underwriting vision webinar where to market
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Gerber Medicare Supplement

[…] What will happen if I decide to call or email you about a quote? I will reply promptly with the information you requested and your information will be shared with no one. If you decide that this is not the program for you, I will have no hard feelings and will thank you for the opportunity.Source: newjerseyinsuranceplans.com […]
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Discover Much More Regarding Gerber Medicare Supplemental Insurance

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Source: brooksbarbeenc.com

Gerber Changes its Guarantee Issue for Medicare Supplemental Insurance

Gerber will no longer extend guarantee issue to individuals who are voluntarily leaving an employer- sponsored group health plan except in those states where it is required. Those states are: AR, CA, CO, FL, ID, IL, IA, IN, KS, LA, MO, MT, NJ, NM, OH, OK, PA, TX, VA, WV and WI. Gerber is aligning itself with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) underwriting rules. Changes take effect with applications signed on and after 1 August 2011. You can read more about your guaranteed issue rights here: http://centaurmedicaresolutions.com/seven-guaranteed-issue-rights-for-medigap-insurance/
Source: centaurmedicaresolutions.com

In Order To Expect On A Gerber Medicare Addition Plan

Nearly any changes in travel plans will constantly be covered if a traveler avails of this strategy. The insurance provider will be the one that a lot of pays for bills that will either one allow a criminal to catch in place or go to your house. For claims to assist you to be valid a couple reasons are credible including a the situation of illness, injury, or death. Most of the medical expenses through which won’t be draped by Medicare could potentially be taken medical care of by a person’s I think I need a medicare plan f review this year such that the Medicare supplementation insurance which could be described as also referred to as “Medigap” because it fills people today gaps of locations where Medicare cannot cover the costs. Information from the look into and policy activate of America’s Wellbeing Insurance Plans uncovering premium and appeal information from 761,000 small businesses shows the average household deductible for PPOs have gone from 7 to 59. The wide variety of companies along with a PPO health insurance plan produces shrunk, too. Employers with considerably less than 50 employees are shifting to be less costly The hmo group health that have smaller (and smaller) networks of doctors for their employees if you want to chose from. About 50 number of small insurance companies report they have group HMO coverage, down from forty one percent in 09. Aetna Medicare Supplement Agreements are offered located in almost every state, and most visitors find them to be a exceptionally affordable option. In addition, Aetna’s prices hold progressive and only increase slightly to stop up with rising prices and rising is. This is one of you see, the reasons Aetna produces a high customer satisfaction rate combined with why thousands out of seniors are hugely happy with their precious decision to sales an Aetna Treatment plan. You will find a great many older persons who take pride in knowing all about their medicare plans the they do their own behalf. While they may to not have the minute information on how their designs work, they possess a fairly good a sense what is dealt with and what isn’t. However, there are some people “other” things that are coming out of the woodwork lately are actually taking our folks by surprise. Certainly these new plans having low cost, a proposal is given by one of countless greatest names with regard to health insurance “blue cross blue shield” to cut that this premiums of Medicare complement insurance insurance policies plan the place there’s a biggest need. Around select Medicare supplement plans you may well seek limited an urgent situation care outside the us . of America and have some coverage, sometimes up to ,000 lifetime coverage with a 0 deductible along with 20% co-insurance paid by you. This however is a great benefit for everyone who travel for the reason that Medicare does but not otherwise provide any coverage for your medical care beyond the borders of the United Reveals. Typically, Medicare just compensates you about 80% of the the medical cost coverage. There after, you occur to be all with regards to your own if someone need any kind of lengthened publicity. You can purchase a good solid Medicare Supplement (aka Gap) policy beyond the government authorised insurance corporation perhaps perhaps receive deeper coverage in Medicare health insurance Part C regarded as as Medicare advantage provided by personalised insurance companies. Virtually all Medicare health supplements will charge a once a month payment for specialized services rendered. Take into balance that not just about all private insurance firm fees are exact same. So many medsupp plans put together assistance for holes in Medicare coverage of skilled birkenstock care inside of ones nursing home. The member should certainly enter the an elderly care facility after a or even day stay in acute care hospital and deemed scientifically necessary to receive care in a highly skilled nursing facility. The care will need to ultimately be pharmaceutical drug by an a lot of physician. These things do not happen for custodial care. Thus, in reality in spite of the fact much licensed nursing care is supplied within nursing homes, nursing home plan as most involving it is actually covered. Between Medicare and applications F and Gary up to 100 days is insured by the insurers. Some people good news about the death of Medicare Advantage is very much that you will be guaranteed difficulty for 63 workouts once your plan is no prolonged in effect. Talk to another local health insurance policy coverage agent now to assist you to plan for the. Choose one that knows their very own Medicare inside out and about and will feel able to go walking you through other alternatives.
Source: typepad.com

Gerber Life Insurance Company releases Modernized Medicare Supplement Plans (Medigap) in 9 States

Posted in Alabama, Arizona, Gerber Life Insurance Company, Insurance Companies, Louisana, Medicare Supplement, Medigap Modernization, Medigap Rate Changes/Introductions, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Washington, West Virginia
Source: ritterim.com

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September 22, 2013

Medicare Parts A, B, C, D

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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-Medicare Part B covers Medically Necessary Services used to treat or diagnosis an illness (Includes things such as Clinical Research, Ambulance Services, DME (Durable Medical Equipment), Mental Health, Second Opinions before Surgery, and Outpatient Drugs) or to prevent an illness.
Source: stratasan.com

Video: Medicare Part C Overview

How to Enroll in Medicare, Part C : BoomerCafé

Also, it should be understood that many Medicare Advantage plans offer limited coverage and if you travel a lot or visit the grandkids often in another state, your coverage may not go with you. It tends to stick to the region in which you live, so any non-emergency bills you acquire out visiting may be out-of-pocket expenses. There is a possibility that your doctor does not operate under the Medicare Advantage plan, too. Always check to see if he or she is familiar with the plan you are considering or you may lose that doctor. Never forget to check deep with any plan to find where their coverage lies regarding specialists and specialized care. The Medicare Advantage plan you’re looking into may not find your specialist necessary and therefore not cover a trip to her. Likewise, specialized care such as physical therapy or home healthcare may not be covered even if prescribed by your primary doctor.
Source: boomercafe.com

Comparing Part C Medicare Advantage to Original Democratic

The most important reason in my opinion for choosing A/B/C over Original Democratic-Party Medicare is that public Part C Medicare health plans must by law (or long-established CMS regulation) protect seniors against financial catastrophe. Original Democratic-Party Medicare has multiple types of lifetime limits (one for hospitals, another for skilled nursing facilities, another for durable medical equipment, etc.). This huge limitation of Original Democratic-Party Medicare is not changed by Obamacare Adding a private Medigap plan effectively provides such protection but does not guarantee it. In some states, private Medigap plans are available with catastrophic coverage.
Source: typepad.com

What is the difference between Medicaid and Medicare?

Comparing Medicaid vs Medicare is extremely important to understanding the health care insurance you may qualify to receive. Some individuals with a extremely low household income may qualify for Medicaid and Medicare. In that case, most medical and prescription drug needs are covered without having to purchase additional health insurance coverage.
Source: qooqe.com

Medicare: seminar reviews annual wellness visits

Patients enrolled in Medicare Part B or Part C for more than 12 months may receive annual wellness visits. The yearly visit is not a physical or diagnostic exam. Rather, it is an educational visit that involves physicians assisting patients in developing or updating a personalized plan to prevent disease based on current health and risk factors.
Source: wiltonbulletin.com

The ABCs and Part D of Medicare

Part A and Part B do not cover all costs. Retirees must still pay coinsurance and deductibles. For example, Thomas would need to pay a $1,184 deductible to a hospital before Part A insurance kicks in. Original Medicare has a 20% coinsurance expectation for the Part B costs of paying doctors and nurses for the care they provide. As you can imagine, this 20% can become a hefty bill when expensive procedures are required. To bridge these gaps, private insurers offer 10 different Medigap plans designed by the federal government to supplement Original Medicare.
Source: marottaonmoney.com

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September 22, 2013

Income Thresholds For Medicare Part B And Part D Premiums

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

While the surtax due to higher Medicare premiums that resulted from the Roth conversion was not huge, at only 1.6%, it nonetheless represents an entirely manageable – and potentially avoidable – surtax that planners and clients should carefully consider. For instance, the client might have decided to convert only $27,000 in the prior example – rather than $39,350 – to keep from exceeding the $87,000 AGI threshold that triggers the first Medicare premium increase, allowing the conversion to have a cost of "only" the 25% marginal tax bracket, and not 26.6%. On the other hand, if the client’s income was higher, the impact would have been more severe. For instance, if AGI was already $85,000, then a $5,000 conversion would result in $1,250 of taxes (at a 25% tax) plus the same $619.20 (for additional Medicare premiums), which leads to a marginal "tax" of $1,869.20 and a marginal tax rate of 37.4%; on the other hand, if the conversion was $10,000, the marginal rate would only be 31.2% (since the additional taxes would rise to $2,500 but the Medicare premium impact would still be the same $619.20/year). The end result: the closer clients are to an income threshold, the better it is to either stay right below the line, or rise far above it until the next threshold (or a new tax bracket) approaches, because the additional Part B and Part D premiums are a flat additional amount even if clients are just $1 across the line (unlike tax brackets, which are always a percentage of additional income). And because the premium adjustments are calculated based on AGI, anything that increases AGI can impact exposure, from IRA withdrawals and Roth conversions, to capital gains, to dividends and interest and income from pass-through entities; on the other hand, any deductions that are taken above the line, such as capital losses or certain business losses, can also reduce exposure.
Source: kitces.com

Video: Medicare Part B Premiums

Avoid Medicare Late Enrollment Penalties

A way to avoid paying Medicare Part D penalties is to sign up for a Part D drug plan as soon as you’re eligible. You can also delay enrolling in Medicare Part D without penalty by making sure you have other prescription drug coverage that is as good as Medicare Part D(known as creditable coverage). If you go 63 or more consecutive days without creditable drug coverage and choose to enroll in a Part D plan in the future, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty. This penalty is calculated based on how many months you were eligible but failed to enroll in a Part D plan. This amount is then added to your monthly premium.
Source: ehealthmedicare.com

Families USA Executive Director Explains How To Understand Medicare Premiums

Part D premiums are similarly tied to the costs of prescription drugs. Medicare Advantage premiums are determined by a more complicated process, but they also reflect trends in costs. Because Part D and Medicare Advantage plans are run by private companies, premiums can vary a lot.
Source: smmirror.com

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Source: federaldaily.com

Court of Appeals Holds that School District’s Long

The New York State Court of Appeals recently ruled that a school district’s voluntary payment of Medicare Part B premiums for over-65 retirees, after a contractual requirement to do so was dropped, gave rise to a binding expectation that it would continue providing such benefits. In Chenango Forks CSD v. New York State Public Employment Relations Board, 2013 WL 2435066 (June 6, 2013), the Court noted that the dispute arose when the school district circulated a memorandum to its faculty and staff announcing that, due to the cost, it was terminating its long practice of reimbursing Medicare Part B premiums to retirees 65 or older.  The district was at one time required by its health care insurance plan to reimburse these premiums.  The parties then negotiated a switch to a new plan, reflected in a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the parties that was silent regarding that benefit.  Subsequent CBAs between the parties were also silent on the issue but, nonetheless, the district continued to provide it. 
Source: hancocklaw.com

Medicare Part B Premiums May Hold Steady for 2014

“The Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust fund is projected to be solvent for longer, which is good news for beneficiaries,” said Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  “Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, we are taking important steps to improve the delivery of care for seniors with Medicare. These reforms aim to reduce spending while improving the quality of care, and are an important down payment on solving Medicare’s long term financial issues.”
Source: iquote.com

Medicare Open Enrollment Period Begins Oct. 15, 2013

Medicare recipients reaching the drug donut hole will benefit from lower costs. The gap in prescription drug coverage starts when someone reaches the initial coverage limit, estimated at $2,850 in 2014. It ends when they have spent $4,550, when catastrophic coverage begins. (These are reductions of $120 and $200, respectively, from 2013.) During the donut hole, all costs are covered by individuals out of their own pocket. In 2014, those who reach the donut hole can receive a 52.5 percent discount on brand-name drugs and 28 percent discount on generic drugs (an increase from 21 percent in 2013).
Source: disabled-world.com

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