Sandoval County New Mexico Medicare Supplement Quotes

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Tagged With: AARP Supplement, Aetna Supplement, Aflac Supplement, Best Supplement, Cheapest Premium, Cigna Supplement, Lowest premium, Medicare, Medicare Health Insurance, Medicare Supplements Plans, MedicareBob, Medigap, Mutual of Omaha Supplement, New Mexico Medicare, Plan F, Plan G, Plan N, Related:srhealthcaredirect.com, Robert Bache, Sandoval County New Mexico, Sandoval County New Mexico Cheapest Medicare supplement rates, Sandoval County New Mexico cost effective Medicare supplement rates, Sandoval County New Mexico Medicare, Sandoval County New Mexico Medicare Supplement Quotes, Sandoval County New Mexico Medicare Supplements, Sandoval Medicare Agent, Sandoval Medicare Supplement Quotes, Sandoval New Mexico supplement quotes, United Healthcare Supplement, “Medicare *Supplement* Savings”
Source: srhealthcaredirect.com

Video: New Mexico and Medicare Supplements

Future Medical Treatment and Liens for Personal Injuries Under Medicare v. Medicaid

Medicare can and does claim a lien for Medicare paid medical bills that are related to the personal injury claims. This again includes future medical treatment for those injuries. Medicare’s payment of future bills related to the personal injury serves as the basis for the Medicare set-aside. The set-aside may be a portion or even all of the personal injury proceeds to cover future Medicare payments for medical treatment for the subject injuries.
Source: newmexicoinjuryattorneyblog.com

To Switch or Not to Switch: Are Medicare Beneficiaries Switching Drug Plans To Save Money?

Our findings have implications beyond Part D, as policymakers debate options for broader Medicare restructuring, including options that would increase the role of private plans in Medicare.  The evidence to date from Part D suggests that most beneficiaries, once enrolled, tend to stick with the plans they have chosen, even when they are faced with relatively large premium increases.  While this tendency likely reflects a mix of both satisfaction with the status quo and some reluctance to examine alternatives or make a change, it also points to a disconnect between theory and reality in this and potentially other choice-based systems for Medicare.  In the face of evidence suggesting that plans will retain most of their enrollees regardless of premium increases or modifications to other plan features, plan sponsors may have less incentive to keep costs down.  The result could be higher costs for both beneficiaries and the federal government, because under the structure of Part D, where both the government’s share of the premium and the beneficiary’s premium amount are derived from the average of plan bids, these costs go up as plan bids increase.  Results of our study raise questions about the degree to which beneficiaries are willing or able to let cost be their ultimate guide in choosing a plan.  As a result, the competitive signal is not sent to plan sponsors, and beneficiaries could miss out on an opportunity to achieve savings.
Source: kff.org

Medicare, Medicaid to keep running despite government shutdown

- The seasonal influenza program operated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which tracks flu outbreaks across state lines using genetic and molecular analysis. The CDC also will be hampered in its efforts to monitor and combat other infectious diseases, such as tuberculosis, hepatitis and sexually transmitted diseases.
Source: newschannel10.com

Medicare Will Now Recognize Same

Under current law, Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan are entitled to care in, among certain other skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), the SNF where their spouse resides (assuming that they have met the conditions for SNF coverage in the first place, and the SNF has agreed to the payment amounts and other terms that apply to a plan network SNF).  Seniors with Medicare Advantage previously may have faced the choice of receiving coverage in a nursing home away from their same-sex spouse, or dis-enrolling from the Medicare Advantage plan which would have meant paying more out-of-pocket for care in the same nursing home as their same-sex spouse.
Source: dpnm.net

Do Doctors Really Lose Money on Medicare Patients or Do They Lie to New York Times Reporters?

Afghanistan Africa al-Akhbar Al-Manar American Civil Liberties Union American Israel Public Affairs Committee Argentina Bashar al-Assad Benjamin Netanyahu Brazil Britain Canada Central Intelligence Agency Chavez China CIA Colombia East Jerusalem Egypt European Union FBI Federal Bureau of Investigation France Free Syrian Army Fukushima Gaza George W. Bush Germany Gilad Atzmon Hamas Hebron Hezbollah Honduras Hugo Chávez Human rights India International Atomic Energy Agency International Middle East Media Center International Solidarity Movement Iran Iraq Iraq War Israel Israeli settlement Japan Jerusalem John Kerry Latin America Lebanon Libya Ma’an Middle East National Security Agency NATO New York Times NSA Obama Pakistan Palestine Palestinian National Authority Palestinian prisoners in Israel Press TV Russia Sanctions against Iran Saudi Arabia South America Syria Turkey United Nations United States USA Venezuela West Bank Yemen Zionism
Source: wordpress.com

Local Conservative Media Jump The Gun To Attack Exchange Rollout

Even though there were problems this week, marketplace websites were at least up and running on the promised day, October 1.  As reported by HHS officials, there were nearly 5 million visitors to healthcare.gov on the first day, far more than have ever visited Medicare.gov.  During the 2005 signup period for Medicare Part D, the number of daily visitors to the online Plan Finder peaked at about 160,000 for a program that would enroll more people than are expected to enroll under the Affordable Care Act.  By this standard, the level of interest in getting online information from the marketplaces is remarkable.
Source: mediamatters.org

New Mexico Medicare Advantage Disenrollment Period

and is the right time to make changes to your New Mexico Medicare Advantage plan. If you haven’t already done so, take a few minutes and review your current plan to decide if you would be better off returning to Original Medicare with or without part D coverage. A Medicare Supplement plan may be able to save you money while giving you more options and fewer restrictions. Remember, MAPD ends February 14
Source: newmexicomedicarehealth.com

How is the Affordable Care Act Going to Affect Medicare?

Insurance Connection New Mexico professionals will continue to de-mystify the complex provisions of Medicare, offer their advice on how to handle the components of the Affordable Care Act and help you find affordable health insurance. New Mexico residents can benefit from this expert advice and get free health insurance quotes. Contact Insurance Connection New Mexico now to take advantage of their expertise and find the health insurance you need at a price you can afford.
Source: insurancenewmexico.net

Obama’s Social Security, Medicare Cuts

Photo: Courtesy USC Roybal Institute on Aging Traducción al español WASHINGTON, D.C.–The Social Security and Medicare cuts President Obama included in his proposed budget would disproportionately harm Latino Americans and are deeply unpopular in our community. Rather than being part of a “Grand Bargain” offered to Republicans in exchange for possible tax increases, these cuts are a great betrayal of a group that proved essential to the president’s victory in the 2012 election. President Obama won an unprecedented 71 percent of the Latino vote nationwide, allowing him to edge out Mitt Romney in the key swing states of Colorado, Florida, Nevada and New Mexico. What many may not know is that like most Obama supporters, Latinos voted for the president in no small part, because they believed they could rely on him to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Latinos Depend More on Social Security Latino voters believed President Obama in his 2011 State of the Union speech when he said we must “strengthen Social Security . . . without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.” Social Security matters to Latinos, because we depend on it more than any other group. Three in four (77 percent) Latino households ages 65 or older rely on Social Security for a majority of their income, and over half (55 percent) rely on it for 90 percent of their income. That means Latino seniors are 18 percent more likely than the overall U.S. population to rely on Social Security for a majority of their income and 52 percent more likely to rely on it for 90 percent of their income. A major benefit cut in the president’s proposal would be to switch the formula for calculating annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in Social Security and other programs. This so-called chained-Consumer Price Index (chained-CPI), would allow inflation to erode program benefits over time—and would hit Latinos especially hard. Because we are more likely to have lower career earnings, our Social Security benefits tend to be more modest to begin with—$12,491 each year for the average Latino senior and only and $10,438 per year for the average Latina senior. After 20 years receiving benefits under the chained-CPI—when they would be in their 80s–the average older Latino would lose an accumulated $7,774 in benefits, and the average Latina elder would lose $6,307. After 30 years, the cuts would grow, resulting in total benefit cuts of $17,049 for average Latino seniors and $13,832 for average Latina seniors. Change Would Increase Poverty Worse still, the chained-CPI punishes Latinos for being blessed with higher-than-average life expectancy, often combined with greater levels of chronic illness. Because the chained-CPI cuts benefits more as beneficiaries age, it would hit long-living Latinos harder than most. It’s no coincidence then that some experts fear that the chained-CPI will increase poverty among Latino seniors. More than one in four Latino seniors already lives in poverty—nearly twice the rate among white seniors. The White House claims it will protect “the most vulnerable” chained-CPI, with a special “birthday bump” increase for those seniors at age 76. But in the past, such carve-outs have proven inadequate. An analysis by Social Security Works showed that protecting all vulnerable groups from the chained-CPI would erase half of the budget savings from the measure. Even if significant numbers of Latinos were shielded from the chained-CPI due to their lower incomes, this birthday bump might have unintended consequences. Carve-outs—special treatment–of any kind are likely to be misconstrued as handouts for ethnic groups. We already have to deal with enough nasty stereotypes portraying us as recipients of “welfare” or “government handouts.” Proposed Medicare ‘Pain’ The Medicare benefit cuts President Obama proposes are also a step in the wrong direction that would cause Latino seniors real pain. Rather than dealing with the high costs of health care, the budget shifts health costs to beneficiaries by increasing deductibles, premiums and co-payments. The president’s plan would also create a new surcharge. The White House claims these cuts will make Medicare beneficiaries better health care consumers, but this is a flawed argument. Doctors–not beneficiaries—make medical decisions, so the idea that seniors can shop around for health care is ludicrous. As a result, Latino seniors who cannot afford the higher out-of-pocket costs are liable to forego needed care—until their conditions become more acute and costly to treat. So-called means testing of Medicare will not only affect the rich—over time, it would increase premiums for Latino seniors making up to $47,000 a year. Seniors already spend three times more of their incomes on their direct health care costs as the rest of the population. Under the president’s budget, the reduction in Latino seniors’ income would be two-fold: They would be hit by the chained-CPI, and their out-of-pocket health care costs would increase on top of that. In addition, the president’s budget provision requiring a $100 co-payment per episode for home health care services could severely impact those who depend on home health aides to treat their diabetes and other chronic diseases. This would disproportionately affect Latino seniors who have higher rates of diabetes than the overall population. For example, in Chicago, where diabetes is the most prevalent in the country, 25.8 percent of Latinos over 65 suffered from diabetes compared with 15 percent of non-Hispanic whites. The White House has defended the proposed Social Security and Medicare reductions as “not ideal” measures needed to achieve a compromise with Republicans in Congress. Not the Problem—But a Solution There is no question that the president faces difficult choices as he navigates unprecedented Republican obstruction. But at times, President Obama appears to have adopted the Republican framing as well: That our budget problems are due to over-generous Social Security and Medicare benefits. In fact, Social Security does not and legally cannot contribute one penny to the annual deficit and cumulative national debt. Medicare’s rising costs are due to skyrocketing private health care costs. In fact, Medicare has proven far more effective at controlling medical inflation than its counterparts in the private insurance market. Latinos voted for a president bold enough to start a new conversation about the challenges of aging, health care and economic security, not someone beholden to the same old Republican talking points. A real “adult” conversation on our aging boomer population would begin by acknowledging that America has a retirement security and health care crisis. Social Security and Medicare are the solutions to those crises, not the problem. The Latino community appreciates President Obama’s leadership on immigration rights and health care reform. Now it is time for him to honor his promise to Latinos and other vulnerable elders to protect and strengthen Social Security and Medicare. Eva Dominguez is the executive director of Latinos for a Secure Retirement, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C.
Source: newamericamedia.org

Heath Haussamen on New Mexico Politics: Reagan’s great Medicare blunder

“Write those letters now. Call your friends, and tell them to write them. If you don’t, this program I promise you will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow. And behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country, until, one day… we will awake to find that we have socialism. And if you don’t do this, and if I don’t do it, one of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children’s children, what it once was like in America when men were free.”
Source: blogspot.com

It's Just a Mattress and Medicare for All for Life, Huh?

Well, for millions of working class people like me, the damages that come from economic hits like illness, injury, floods, fires, and other life events that seem inevitable often become insurmountable or at least more devastating than the same economic hits delivered to those with more resources with which to respond.  A few hundred dollars can be the difference between life and death, sleep and insomnia, hunger and a full belly, or health and long-term, chronic illness. Five years ago when I went to work for the California Nurses Association in the months after SICKO (Michael Moore’s 2007 documentary in which we appeared) was released, the very first purchase Larry and I made with my first paycheck was a nice, new mattress.  We had never had one before in our more than 30 years of marriage.  We had slept on every manner of  lousy, back-breaking mattress, and when this one was delivered to our modest apartment in Chicago, it was the biggest gift we had ever given one another.  Many people buy mattresses that cost thousands.  Ours was just $850, but it was and has been wonderful for us.  Our backs are so much better, and the mattress was the reason for that.  So when that wonderful mattress — now moved six more times since it was purchased in 2008 —  got wet in the flood with the stinky, dirty water that soaked the carpets, many of our clothes and lots of other stuff, I was heartbroken.  The mattress and box spring are now leaning out in my daughter’s garage drying out where the smell of the lawnmower and gasoline are still pretty strong but at least better than the yucky flood water.  I do not know if the mattress can be saved.  I do know we cannot afford to replace it now.  And I also know this wouldn’t be a heart-breaker for many people or something they’d even worry about too much.  Many people would just put a new mattress on a credit card or buy a new one.  We cannot, nor can many other working class people.  We will either use the stained one when it dries or get another lousy used one somewhere. And I know there are thousands of other working class people and renters  here in Colorado experiencing the same sorts of things since the floods. And so it is with health care too for a large number of working class people in America.  When we get sick or hurt, we do the best we can with what we have.  And when the money or insurance coverage runs out, we do what is necessary and possible, not necessarily what is best for the long run or for our long-term health.  This has tremendous consequences in our society.  If we had an improved and expanded Medicare for all for life health care system, we would be better able to make health care decisions based on what was best for our health rather than trying to save money or do without needed care.  More Americans, working class and not, would be able to care for themselves more appropriately and in a timely way that would ultimately help us all be healthier and more secure. No more health care dead or health care broke in the US if we had such a system– and maybe even many millions more people able to get a few more nights of restful sleep. .  Sort of like having a nice, comfortable, clean and decent mattress upon which to sleep.  ____________________________ September 19, 2013 —  Today’s count of the health care dead and broke for profit in the U.S.:
Source: michaelmoore.com

Obamacare vs. Medicare Part D

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

The federal exchange system, meanwhile, was taken offline for repairs twice over the weekend, and again last night. The users who have already created accounts are also being told they have to reset their passwords. And even today, administration officials are still refusing to provide an estimate about when the system might be glitch-free. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claims she doesn’t even know how many people have signed up in the federal exchange system—even though California, Washington state, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky have all released application data. It’s not clear exactly what’s wrong with the federal exchange system, but it’s hard to trust the administration’s assurances that it has the problem under control. 
Source: reason.com

Video: Medicare PartD

SNF Medicare Part A appeals increase, success rate holds steady: OIG report

SNFs filed about 8,900 redeterminations in 2008, compared with about 11,300 in 2012, representing a 27% increase. The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General derived these figures from an analysis of a government database, and released the numbers in the report “The First Level of the Medicare Appeals Process, 2008-2012: Volume, Outcomes, and Timeliness.”
Source: mcknights.com

Get Help with Medicare Part D Enrollment

The N.D. Insurance Department’s State Health Insurance Counseling Program (SHIC) staff is traveling to seven cities around the state during the open enrollment period, offering free assistance in switching or enrolling in a Medicare prescription drug plan. If you will be attending an event and have been given a yellow drug retrieval card, please bring it to the event for expedited service. Consumers also need to bring a list of their medications, including dosages and frequency.
Source: aarp.org

What Are Medicare Part B Premiums and Deductibles?

Medicare Part B helps cover medically necessary services, such as doctor’s services and outpatient care. It also helps cover some preventive services as well, such as a one-time “welcome to Medicare” physical exam, flu and pneumococcal shots, cardiovascular screenings, cancer screenings, diabetes screenings, and much more. However, before Medicare will pay for its share of covered benefits, beneficiaries must first pay certain out-of-pocket costs, and beneficiaries may also be responsible for some cost sharing of these services and supplies. This post will focus on two types of Medicare Part B out-of-pocket costs: premiums and deductibles.
Source: ehealthmedicare.com

Medicare Part D Notice of Creditable Coverage Due by October 15

A Medicare-eligible individual may use their Notice of Creditable Coverage to determine if the individual should remain in his or her current employer-provided prescription drug plan or enroll in a Medicare Part D plan.  If coverage is not creditable and if the person does not enroll in Medicare Part D, the individual will be charged a penalty for each month the person does not enroll in Medicare Part D.  The penalty is 1% of premium for each month not enrolled.  This is a cumulative penalty and lasts for the duration of Medicare Part D coverage.  If coverage is creditable, the individual can use the Notice as evidence of coverage and Medicare will waive the late enrollment penalty if the individual enrolls in Part D at the end of a plan year or upon expiration of the group coverage.
Source: basusa.com

No Shopping Zone: Medicare Is Not Part Of New Insurance Marketplaces

Enrollment in health plans offered on the marketplaces, also called exchanges, begins Oct. 1 and runs for six months. Meanwhile, the two-month sign-up period for private health plans for millions of Medicare beneficiaries begins Oct. 15. In that time, seniors can shop for a private health plan known as Medicare Advantage, pick a drug insurance policy or buy a supplemental Medigap plan. And in nearly two dozen states, some Medicare beneficiaries who also qualify for Medicaid may be choosing private managed care plans. None of these four kinds of coverage will be offered in the health law’s marketplaces.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Area Wide News: Community News: WRAA to assist seniors with Medicare Part D open enrollment (10/09/13)

The White River Area Agency on Aging can help you compare and enroll in a Medicare Part D plan of your choice during the open enrollment from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. Join us on Oct. 18 from 9 a.m. to noon at the White River Agency on Aging building in Salem, located at 334 N. Main. On Nov. 1, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., assistance will be available at the Brockwell Senior Center, located on Highway 9. You must bring your Medicare card and a list of any current prescription drugs you are taking. No appointments are necessary.
Source: areawidenews.com

Medicare Part D Is Working

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

ObamaCare Death Panels will begin their work with Medicare recipients

2) “Medicare patients cannot pay cash for care. A 1997 law (Balanced Budget Act, section 4507) forbids private contracts between patients and doctors.”  This means that “Medicare recipients cannot pay cash for a Medicare-covered service that Medicare DENIES until the doctor has opted out of Medicare.” (My Caps) So Medicare patients must first find a fee for a service doctor or specialist and then HOPE he will be willing and able to treat them! It is incredible that it makes no difference that Medicare has DENIED their claim. (Remember that illegals may well get this same treatment free of charge simply by walking into the nearest Emergency Room.)
Source: westernjournalism.com

An Economic and Policy Analysis of Medicaid Expansion in Virginia

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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Conclusion. Medicaid comprises nearly one of every four dollars spent by the state of Virginia, with about one-third of general revenue dollars going towards Medicaid, and is growing at an unsustainable rate.51 Virginia would be better served to free those earning above 100 percent of the federal poverty level to seek subsidized coverage in the health insurance exchange. For families earning less than 100 percent of poverty, Virginia could tailor its Medicaid program in ways that make sense and meet Virginia residents’ specific needs. These services might include selectively covering some optional populations but not others. The program might also involve providing limited benefits rather than an open-ended entitlement to whatever health care is available. In any case, some of this spending would still qualify for federal matching funds – albeit at a rate of about 64 percent, rather than 90 percent.
Source: ncpa.org

Video: Medicare Virginia

Virginia’s Medicaid Panel Meets, But Covers Little New Ground

Roanoke Times: Virginia Medicaid Panel Leader Cites Progress In Overhaul Efforts Virginia is making progress in an effort to reform — and then possibly expand — its Medicaid program, the leader of a legislative panel overseeing the process said Monday. “I would say that we’re a little over halfway there,” said Sen. Emmett Hanger, R-Augusta County, chairman of the Medicaid Innovation and Reform Commission, which under the new federal health care law is mulling an expansion of the government health insurance program for the poor and disabled. Meeting for the second time Monday, the commission received an update on 19 areas of reform identified by the General Assembly, which has mandated that the system must be improved before eligibility requirements are broadened (Hammack, 8/20).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Avoiding Medicare “Marketplace Plans” Confusion in Virginia

Kaiser Health News recently addressed this concern in an article titled “Selling Marketplace Plans To Medicare Beneficiaries Will Be Illegal.” Problem: Medicare Part A is free for most beneficiaries and goes toward hospitalization and limited nursing home care. Since this fulfills the insurance requirements set by law, those on Medicare do not need anything in addition. For some 20-odd years it has been illegal for private insurers to try and sell their plans to individuals known to be Medicare recipients. This is the result of an effort to keep insurers
Source: zarembalaw.com

Virginia Nursing Home Faces Possible Medicare Termination

Talks between U.S. and Afghan officials have yielded a partial security agreement between the two countries. Secretary of State John Kerry and President Hamid Karzai held discussions Friday and Saturday on a deal to keep the U.S. military in the country beyond the 2014 pullout date for most U.S. and NATO troops.
Source: virginiapublicradio.org

Norfolk City County Virginia Medicare Supplement Quotes

Tagged With: Medicare Supplement, MedicareBob, Medigap, Norfolk City County Virginia Medicare Supplement Quotes, Norfolk Medicare, Plan F, Plan G, Plan N, Robert Bache, Senior Healthcare Direct, Virginia Medicare
Source: srhealthcaredirect.com

Lunchtime rundown: Medicaid enrollment booms, so do painkiller scrips at VA hospitals

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 10:44 am and is filed under Departments and Divisions, Elections, Federal Government, Healthcare, Medicare and Medicaid, The Courts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Source: dailymail.com

Affordable Care Act’s 10 Essential Health Benefits

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

As of Oct. 1, every state will have a health insurance marketplace, where consumers can shop for coverage. In addition to mandating that insurers in those marketplaces offer the 10 essential health benefits, the health care law also sets certain standards that all insurers must meet, whether they’re providing health insurance through an employer or directly to individuals and small groups. The law:
Source: aarp.org

Video: Obama at AARP: “Nobody is talking about cutting Medicare benefits.”

AARP to Congress: Avoid Default, Protect Social Security and Medicare

To meet those twin goals, it is critical that the United States does not default on its debt and that we protect the Social Security and Medicare benefits of current retirees. As everyone knows, the United States government has never defaulted on its debt, and U.S. Treasury bonds are widely considered one of the, if not the, safest investments in the world because of it. Honoring the full faith and credit of the United States is a core value of our country and fundamental to the economic security of our nation. As such, the impact of defaulting on any U.S. debt obligation would be felt by all Americans, not just those on Social Security and Medicare.
Source: aarp.org

Medicare, Medicaid To Keep Running Despite U.S. Government Shutdown – WebMD

If you select “Keep me signed in on this computer”, you can stay signed in to WebMD.com on this computer for up to 2 weeks or until you sign out. This means that a cookie will stay on your computer even when you exit or close your browser which may reduce your levels of privacy and security. You should never select this option if you’re using a publicly accessible computer, or if you’re sharing a computer with others. Even if you select this option there are some features of our site that still require you to log in for privacy reasons.
Source: webmd.com

Should Medicare Benefits Be Taxed?

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Source: ncpa.org

Your Medicare Benefits in 2013

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Source: creditvisionary.com

No change in Medicare benefits under health law

Jodi Reid, executive director of the California Alliance for Retired Americans, worries there hasn’t been enough outreach to seniors and that advocacy groups are spending the bulk of their advertising funds targeting those impacted by the exchange. Her organization, which represents nearly 1 million seniors in California, is putting together a one-page fact sheet to help dispel myths.
Source: spokesman.com

How the New Healthcare Exchanges Affect Seniors on Medicare

Medicare retirees can still have a drug-only plan, or one of the Medicare Advantage plans run by private insurers. You do not have to select plans through the new exchanges. This is the same for Medicare Part A (hospital coverage), Part B (doctor visits), Part C (Advantage plans) and Part D (prescription drug plans). Medicare recipients are not even able to apply for any Medicare health coverage, including Medigap plans, on the exchanges. You can, however, still revise your current Medicare plan or pick a different one as you have before, using the Medicare Benefits Plan Finder.
Source: medicarebenefits.com

Tax Medicare Benefits or require beneficiaries to pay 50% of Part B costs rather than 25%

The chart of taxes paid versus benefits received is based on people retiring in 2030. We are not quite there yet but on average, people get more than they pay for from medicare. There is no doubt that in their present form, both social security and especially medicare are fiscal failures due to their Ponzi like structures and lack of legislative will to make necessary actuarial changes in a timely manner. The fact that the average “Joe citizen “doesn’t understand or take the time to educate themselves on the economics of the system doesn’t help the situation either. This country needs to go back to the drawing board and entirely revamp the tax code and all its loopholes, expenditures and preferences while at the same time getting a grip on entitlements. Anything short of this will just be putting rubber bands and sealing wax on a terribly flawed system. A perfect example of this is fixing a health care system with Obamacare. Do I think any of this might happen in the near future? That’s an unqualified NO, not with the current state of politics but if it doesn’t happen eventually, government shut downs and debt limit fights will seem like a walk in the park.
Source: quinnscommentary.com

Viewpoints: WSJ Says GOP ‘Kamikaze’ Defunding Mission Will Not Go Well; Taxing Medicare Benefits; Problems With Penn. State’s Wellness Program

The Wall Street Journal: The Power Of 218 These critics [like Heritage Action and the Club for Growth] portrayed the Boehner plan as a sellout because of a campaign that captured the imagination of some conservatives this summer: Republicans must threaten to crash their Zeros into the aircraft carrier of ObamaCare. Their demand is that the House pair the “must pass” CR or the debt limit with defunding the health-care bill. Kamikaze missions rarely turn out well, least of all for the pilots. The problem is that Mr. Obama is never, ever going to unwind his signature legacy project of national health care. Ideology aside, it would end his Presidency politically. And if Republicans insist that any spending bill must defund ObamaCare, then a showdown is inevitable that shuts down much of the government. Republicans will claim that Democrats are the ones shutting it down to preserve ObamaCare. Voters may see it differently given the media’s liberal sympathies and because the repeal-or-bust crowd provoked the confrontation (9/16). 
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Blue Medicare Regional PPO Plan

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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: Medicare Advantage Plan PPO (Preferred Provider Organization)

Do I need to sign up for a Medicare Drug Plan?

A common question we often receive at our call center is whether Medicare beneficiaries need to sign up for prescription drug coverage. The short answer is no. Joining a Medicare drug plan is optional and not a requirement. However, Medicare requires all beneficiaries to have creditable prescription drug coverage or face a late enrollment penalty. If you have Original Medicare coverage and would like coverage for your prescription drugs, you may want to consider signing up for a Medicare Part D plan as Part A and Part B do not cover most medications.
Source: ehealthmedicare.com

New medical plans for faculty, staff for 2013 / UCLA Today

Some big changes and new choices in medical plans are coming to Open Enrollment this fall. UC is offering a revamped menu of plans for 2014 that offers better value and clearer choices, including two new plans: Blue Shield Health Savings Plan, which features a UC-funded health savings account; and UC Care, UC’s own three-tier PPO plan that offers members access to UC doctors and hospitals as well as the Blue Shield PPO network. Health Net Blue & Gold, Kaiser Permanente, Western Health Advantage and Core (administered by Blue Shield) will still be available. Four plans — Anthem Blue Cross PPO and PLUS, Anthem Lumenos with HRA and Health Net Full HMO — are being discontinued.   “The 2014 plans provide clear and distinct choices to meet our employees and retirees’ diverse and changing needs,” said Michael Baptista, executive director of benefits programs and strategy. “The designs of these plans have very little overlap. Everyone can choose a plan based on what’s most important to him or her, whether that’s having predictable costs or the widest choice of doctors.” UC employees and retirees will continue to have a broad choice of providers — including UC medical center doctors, hospitals and medical groups — and plan designs to fit their needs. The provider networks for both the Blue Shield Health Savings Plan and UC Care include 97 percent of the providers in the current Anthem Blue Cross network, so most people in those discontinued plans should be able to keep their doctor. Employees currently in Anthem Blue Cross PPO, Anthem Blue Cross PLUS and Health Net HMO will also pay smaller monthly premiums next year, regardless of the new plan they choose. Savings will depend on the new plan, salary band and dependents covered. The Blue Shield Health Savings Plan premiums are expected to be similar to the premiums for Anthem Lumenos PPO with HRA. Premiums for Health Net Blue & Gold, Kaiser and WHA are expected to increase from $2 to $10 per month, depending on the plan, salary band and dependents covered. UC will continue to cover an average of about 85 percent of the cost of the premiums. The final premiums will be available in early October. The 2014 plan offerings are the result of a comprehensive review of UC’s medical plan portfolio aimed at providing high quality medical insurance that is more specific to individual needs, while limiting cost increases to employees and the university. The review also offered an opportunity to leverage UC’s outstanding medical centers and take advantage of the changing medical-insurance marketplace. “We know how important quality medical insurance is to our employees and retirees, and we are continually looking for ways to ensure good benefits while limiting cost increases for employees and the university,” said Baptista. “Health care reform and a changing medical-insurance marketplace provided a good opportunity to rethink our benefits while still maintaining choice and quality.” Two Plans In, Four Plans Out The two new plans offer broad, nationwide networks of doctors and hospitals through Blue Shield, including UC’s medical centers, and both are expected to have lower monthly premiums than Anthem Blue Cross PPO, Anthem Blue Cross PLUS and Health Net HMO. UC Care is a new health plan created just for UC employees, retirees and families with coverage wherever you live, worldwide. You can get care from UC doctors and medical centers as well as the entire Blue Shield network of providers. You pay a fixed copayment when you use UC and other select providers near all UC campuses and coinsurance when using the other 65,000 Blue Shield providers. You also have coverage for out-of-network care. The Blue Shield Health Savings Plan is a high-deductible PPO plan paired with a health savings account (HSA) that lets you pay your out-of-pocket health care costs with tax-free dollars. UC provides an initial contribution and you can also make pre-tax contributions. You can use the funds any time for qualified medical expenses or save them for future health care needs. Your HSA balance carries over from year-to-year and you own the balance in the account, even if you transfer to another medical plan or leave UC. Blue Shield’s large PPO provider network offers a wide choice of doctors and hospitals or you can see out-of-network providers if you want to pay more. UC is eliminating the Anthem Blue Cross PPO and PLUS plans and the Health Net full HMO plan because they no longer provide the right value. “The costs for these plans continue to increase at a much faster rate than the other plans,” Baptista said. “Neither the university nor employees can continue to absorb double-digit annual increases.” The Anthem Lumenos PPO with HRA is being replaced with the Blue Shield Health Savings Plan. Employees are finding plans with health savings accounts to be more popular because of the tax advantages, the portability of the account and the ability to use the account to save for future retirement insurance needs. New for retirees Retirees and employees planning to retire in 2014 will have similar choices as employees. All six employee plans will be available to retirees not yet eligible for Medicare. Medicare-eligible retirees in California will have five plan options: Kaiser Senior Advantage, Health Net Seniority Plus, Blue Shield PPO, Blue Shield PPO without prescription drug coverage and Blue Shield High Option Supplement to Medicare. The Blue Shield Medicare plans are very similar to the current Anthem Blue Cross Medicare plans. For Medicare-eligible retirees living outside California, UC is taking a new approach. For those Medicare-eligible retirees with all covered family members in Medicare, UC will fund a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) which retirees will use to purchase individual coverage through Extend Health, a company that sponsors a Medicare Exchange. With the assistance of Extend Health’s licensed and trained benefit advisors, each covered family member will choose an individual Medicare plan that’s best for them. That includes Kaiser and other Medicare Advantage plans available in the retiree’s location. With the growing market for individual plans, many retirees will have more choices, many of which could meet their needs better than the UC plans currently available. In 2014, due to other changes in the UC-sponsored medical plan portfolio, only the Medicare PPO and the High Option Supplement to Medicare plans would have been available to those outside of California. UC plans extensive communication and education about medical plan choices throughout the fall to help faculty, staff and retirees make good choices. Watch for additional news stories, in-home mailings and campus events where you can learn more. Find all the details here.
Source: ucla.edu

ibm medicare options: IBM Medicare extendheath.com/ibm Plan Verification Process

Someone just asked a great question that prompted me to give this advice.  Before you actually enroll in a plan offered through Extend Health make sure you are getting the coverage you think you are getting. DON’T rely on Extend Health’s information. There already has been too much written about how EH agent quality is highly variable.      If Extend Health gives you bad advice you can complain to Medicare that you were misled. Extend Health is acting as the insurance agent for the plan and is subject to Medicare law. That’s why they  record conversations.  HOWEVER, it is much more effective to file a Medicare complaint if the actual provider gives you bad information. REMINDER – IBM plays no role in this complaint process.  There is no point calling the IBM service center if something goes wrong.           If it happens – and you can prove it – you can ask Medicare for a special enrollment period to switch plans.  No matter who you talk to — TAKE NAMES, DATES and NOTES about the conversation so that you have EVIDENCE of being misled. If you need to file a complaint you just call 1-800-MEDICARE and tell them you want a special enrollment to switch plans because the information you got about the plan was wrong.  They will then take you through the process.  But, that is onerous.  It is much easier just to double check before you enroll.        There are a couple of ways to verify that Extend Health is providing accurate information.
Source: blogspot.com

2014 Medicare Part D Plans: Changes in Medicare Drug Coverage

In 2014, you can continue to get your prescription drugs from either eligible local pharmacies or through mail-order pharmacies. In the past, Part D plans were not making sure that some beneficiaries still wanted or needed a drug before automatic refill systems sent them through the mail. Starting in January 2014, the government is encouraging 2014 Medicare Part D plans to get your consent for a new or refill prescription before each delivery, except in cases when you actively request the prescription. Make sure to communicate with your drug plan so that the delivery of your medication orders is not delayed. Keep in mind that this does not affect reminder programs where you pick up prescriptions in-person or at long-term care pharmacies.
Source: planprescriber.com

News Article/Update on State Medicare Advantage Plans

Impacted SURS members will receive an initial letter from CMS regarding the vendor changes and the steps they will need to take regarding their health insurance coverage. The letter will explain the plan design (including copayments, deductibles and coinsurance percentages), provider networks and maps, enrollment dates, effective date of the new coverage, monthly premiums, opt-out information, and informational seminar dates. The initial letter will go out within the next few weeks.
Source: surs.com

Blue Medicare Regional PPO Plan

Cost is a major concern for most of us these days and hardly anyone passes on the chance to save a few dollars. With a Blue Medicare Regional PPO plan, saving is easy. With $0 monthly plan premiums, moderate out-of-pocket expenses and more, it’s easy to find the perfect plan to fit your needs and your wallet. That’s great news for seniors on a fixed income and exactly why so many Floridians choose Florida Blue as their Medicare health plan option. Plus, with no deductible for preventive care, you can get vaccines, routine screenings and more easily and conveniently.
Source: ruthiehendricks.com

WellPoint Provides Tips For Playing It Safe With Medicine

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Know everything you can about each drug you take, including its name, color, shape, dosage, side effects, what it treats, when and how to take it, and how to store it. Maintain a checklist that you can carry with you on a trip or in an emergency. If you don’t understand something, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Sometimes, it is helpful to take a friend to the doctor so you don’t miss anything. If you have a Medicare Advantage plan, such as those offered through WellPoint’s affiliates, your insurer may have a pharmacist review your drugs with you at no extra cost.
Source: nj.com

Video: Angela Braly: How Is WellPoint Innovating to Provide Better Care to Medicare Advantage Members?

WellPoint Affiliates Launch Preferred Pharmacy Network for Most Medicare Plans

Add your site to healthdirectory4u.com now! For as little as $10/year! Discover our new features such as Google map, image upload and featured box for your classified. To add your site select a category and then click on “Post a classified”.
Source: healthdirectory4u.com

Medicare, Medicare Advantage Offer Help for People with High Blood Pressure

At WellPoint, we believe there is an important connection between our members’ health and well-being—and the value we bring our customers and shareholders. So each day we work to improve the health of our members and their communities. And, we can make a real difference since we have nearly 36 million people in our affiliated health plans, and nearly 68 million people served through our subsidiaries. As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; and as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint’s plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas).  We also serve customers in several additional states through our Amerigroup subsidiary and in certain markets through our CareMore subsidiary.  Our 1-800 CONTACTS, Inc. subsidiary offers customers online sales of contact lenses, eyeglasses and other ocular products. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.
Source: senioroutlooktoday.com

WellPoint, Inc. (WLP): WellPoint Bets On Medicare And Medicaid [Centene Corp]

WellPoint should be able to leverage (CUT) some SG&A expenses and benefit from increased negotiating power with hospitals. The firm has already announced that it expects the Amerigroup acquisition to be accretive to earnings in 2013 (assuming the deal closes in the first quarter) and to add at least $1 per share in earnings in 2014. Though the transaction faces regulatory approval, the current administration will likely be in favor of anything that could lower healthcare costs.
Source: seekingalpha.com

WellPoint gets Medicare Advantage, Part D back

CMS has given WellPoint back permission to market Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans after a nine-month ban on accepting new enrollments. CMS had imposed the ban in January after receiving lots of complaints about price hikes and denied drug benefits, issues WellPoint blamed on computer problems. When CMS reviewed the situation, it found WellPoint had “widespread and continued failures” in monitoring the contract, including how it handled enrollments and disenrollments, benefits administration and co-pays, grievances and appeals, marketing claims, processing and customer service. CMS still isn’t completely happy with WellPoint’s appeals and grievance processes, so the plan will have to remain under its corrective action plan for these areas. It will also have to remain under its communications CAP, which means that it will have to disclose any major compliance issues to CMS on its own. In addition, it will have to give CMS data from time to time to make sure the deficiencies don’t happen again. To learn more about CMS’s decision: – read this Health Leaders Media piece
Source: fiercehealthcare.com

WellPoint Q1 2011 Results: Medicare Advantage Growth & Online Sales

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

Massachusetts Health Stats: Wellpoint Runs Medicare in Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin

This blog overcomes the attempts from those on both the left and right of the political spectrum to use statistics to impose needless changes on one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Massachusetts Health Stats is an as-needed look at statistics about the Massachusetts healthcare delivery and insurance market and industry, including — occasionally — aspects of Medicare as they relate to Massachusetts seniors and the Medicare-eligible disabled. For Medicare-specific information with nationwide implications and some how-to hints for seniors see http://byrondennis.typepad.com/theabcsofmedicare/
Source: typepad.com

WellPoint Is Awarded Medicare

MarketWatch: WellPoint Gets $273M Medicare-Medicaid Contract WellPoint Inc.’s national-government services business, was awarded a Medicare administrative contract by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services potentially valued at $273 million over five years. The managed care provider and its rivals have been diversifying their businesses into areas beyond employer-sponsored health insurance and increasing their presence in plans that cover senior citizens in the wake of U.S. health-policy changes (Stynes, 10/6).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Maleny Dentists take their skills outside the surgery 

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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Equally passionate about giving something back is Martin’s colleague at Banksia House Dental Surgery, Dr Christian Weber. He spent three weeks in August volunteering his dental services in remote villages of Vanuatu as a humanitarian gesture, his second trip of this nature. Christian joined a group of medical volunteers who sailed around the largest island of Vanuatu, Espiritu Santo, on a 13-metre catamaran with Pacific Yacht Ministries.
Source: com.au

Video: Medicare Dentists (855) 535-6169

Mandatory Compliance Programs Required by the ACA | Dental Compliance

On or after the date of implementation determined by the Secretary under subparagraph (C), a provider of medical or other items or services or supplier within a particular industry sector or category shall, as a condition of enrollment in the program under this title, title XIX, or title XXI, establish a compliance program that contains the core elements established under subparagraph (B) with respect to that provider or supplier and industry or category.
Source: dentalcompliance.com

Many Kids on Medicaid Don’t See a Dentist

Even though this number has improved by 16% between 2002 and 2007, there are still many children who cannot access care due to the loss of school-based dental education programs, state budget cuts, low reimbursement rates that prevent providers from accepting Medicaid patients, and the overall lack of Medicaid dollars going toward dental care. Although the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has put goals in place for preventive services, the only long-lasting solution will be an increased investment in dental care.
Source: pilcop.org

Better Serving the Dental Needs of People with Disabilities

I would like info on if there are any dental assistance programs for people like myself.I live in cliffside park,n.j. and i am permenently on s.s.d. and receiving medicare as i am mentally & physically disabled and my monthly cost of living is way above my monthly benefits my income is just about $13,000 a year and i live a very humble exsistence! even though that amount in n.j. were i live keeps me from being available for medicaid for the reason that i make to much. but if i were eligible for medicaid i would be able to get some dental work done, as i have not been to the dentist in in about twenty years except for once about 5 years ago to pull out about 7 of my teeth that were to far gone from cavities being left untreated cause it was financialy impossible for me to have them taken care of, and i try to keep up with taking care of my teeth but i am on multiple medications that cause decay at a rapid rate.i was so sick from pain i actually started prying the loosest teeth from my mouth that were most decayed cracking several leaving me with teeth half there and some broken clean at the gum line causing me to get an abcess thus having to go to the dentist 5 years ago, but i still have several teeth that are broken at the gumline and i have 2 impacted wisdom teeth pushing thru my gums and what few teeth i have left are all in the front and most have cavities that can be easily treated but i cannot afford to go to a dentist and i brush and floss everyother day, i am barely surviving now with my monthly benefits yet medicare has no dental programs that i know of? i guess whoever decides these guidelines finds that having dental care for people like myself is not a priority and its no major health concern to loose all your teeth for not having dental insurance or being unable to work due to disabilities and having to collect s.s.d. benefits that amount to no more than $13,300 annually is to much to live on with out having extra$ left over for the dentist? if i lived anymore humbler i would be certainly homeless but i would have dental care? there must be another way, im only 43 and ashamed to smile, are there any programs for help for people like myself that make to much, but not enough at the same time? thank you.
Source: govdelivery.com

ADA Offers Free Course on Becoming a Medicaid Provider

Despite misconceptions and fears associated with being a Medicaid provider, treating this population can be rewarding and contribute positively to your bottom line.  Medicaid providers will share three effective practice models and opportunities/challenges regarding compliance, fraud, advocacy and more. After this course, you will be able to:
Source: ksdental.org

Are There Dentists That Accept Medicare?

Medicare does not cover either of these items. Eyeglasses and hearing aids are often considered a luxury device. While most people do not agree, and arguably need these devices, the program at this time will not cover their purchase. Medicare does not cover routine eye examines or screening for hearing loss. Senior citizens should be made aware that many community providers offer these services to seniors at little or no cost. Grocery stores, drug stores and church events are all known to provide these services to seniors. Anyone interested should check with their local library or community center for more information.
Source: seniorcorps.org

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October 13, 2013

Obamacare and You: If You Have Medicare…

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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Most of the other changes to Medicare affect how Medicare pays health insurance companies, hospitals and other health care providers for the care received by people on Medicare.  For example, the law reduced what Medicare pays HMOs and other private Medicare Advantage plans.  Other changes are designed to get hospitals, doctors and other health care providers to improve the quality of care they provide for people on Medicare, such as by encouraging providers to work more closely together to coordinate care for patients when they are discharged from the hospital and by taking steps to prevent unnecessary hospital readmissions.  Most of these efforts are in the early stages, and it will take time to see what kind of impact they have.
Source: kff.org

Video: Medicare Health Plans Atlanta

Viva Health and Baptist Health System join forces for new Medicare plan in an unusual arrangement

To be in the plan you must use one of the four Baptist hospitals in four area counties and the 400 doctors in the Baptist Physician Alliance. The hospitals in the system are: Baptist Princeton in Birmingham; Citzen’s Baptist in Talladega; Walker Baptist in Jasper:and Shelby Baptist in Alabaster. Enrollment for Medicare plans begins Oct. 15 and is completely separate from the health insurance exchanges associated with the Affordable Care Act.
Source: al.com

Medicare, Medicaid To Keep Running Despite U.S. Government Shutdown – WebMD

If you select “Keep me signed in on this computer”, you can stay signed in to WebMD.com on this computer for up to 2 weeks or until you sign out. This means that a cookie will stay on your computer even when you exit or close your browser which may reduce your levels of privacy and security. You should never select this option if you’re using a publicly accessible computer, or if you’re sharing a computer with others. Even if you select this option there are some features of our site that still require you to log in for privacy reasons.
Source: webmd.com

More than 9,200 in Iowa facing nonrenewal of Medicare Advantage plans

Gross said anyone choosing to return to original Medicare has a guaranteed right to buy a Medicare supplement policy to help pay health care costs that Medicare does not cover. That means the insurance company must sell them a policy, must cover pre-existing conditions and cannot charge more because of past or present health problems.
Source: thegazette.com

UnitedHealthcare Cuts Doctors From Medicare Advantage Network

UnitedHealthcare is one of a number of insurers that offer Medicare Advantage plans in Connecticut and across the nation. Medicare Advantage plans are a type of federal-government-funded health-care plan offered by private insurers to people age 65 and older. Insurers contract with the federal government to provide Medicare Parts A and B, which is hospital and medical coverage, respectively. A Medicare Advantage plan may also provide additional coverage, such as prescription drug benefits.
Source: courant.com

Firm Relies On Medicare Experience As It Prepares To Open Federal Health Exchange Calls Centers

Shortly after the Medicare prescription drug benefit was introduced in 2006, the HHS inspector general found that 44 percent of callers reported problems accessing information — despite a similar 2004 inspector general’s finding — and 21 percent of callers waited so long for responses that they hung up. When Medicare introduced a new prescription drug discount card in 2004, the Government Accountability Office reported that 29 percent of the call-center answers were inaccurate and 10 percent of the calls were disconnected.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Obamacare: Medicare (mostly) not affected

You will not need to go to the health insurance exchange. The plans sold there are not for Medicare members.  They are for people who do not get health insurance through their employer, and for employers with fewer than 50 workers.  Your Medicare supplement plan will not go through the exchanges; it will be the same as you have it now.
Source: bangordailynews.com

Carilion Clinic Medicare Health Plan Announces they are not Renewing their Plans for 2014

Carilion Clinic Medicare Health Plan announced today they will not be renewing their current Medicare Advantage plan offerings in Virginia for 2014. Current members will have the option to switch to another Medicare Advantage plan available in their area or return to Original Medicare.  They will also be able to move to a Medicare Supplement plan without going through underwriting. Coverage for current members will be ending December 31, 2013.
Source: agentpipeline.com

Medicare Advantage: The canary in the coal mine

The goal is obvious: destroy the incentive for patients to enroll in Medicare Advantage and push patients back to traditional Medicare. This effect is antagonistic to the stated objectives and selling points Democrats use to vehemently defend the controversial law. While progressives stump for the law and brag about its so-called market-based approach, their prized legislation quietly eliminates healthcare freedom for the more than 14 million current Medicare Advantage enrollees, gradually using market forces to push them all into the Medicare fee-for-service system. In effect, the phase-out from Medicare Advantage to fee-for-service is nothing more than a move from markets to a government monopoly.
Source: dailycaller.com

SCAN Health Plan to expand into Marin

“For more than 35 years, SCAN has been committed to providing services that enhance seniors’ ability to manage their health and to continue to control where and how they live,” Karen Sugano, SCAN’s general manager in Northern California, said in a statement. “As a result, we believe we bring a unique mission and an unmatched perspective to the more than 50,000 Medicare-eligible individuals in Marin County.”
Source: northbaybusinessjournal.com

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October 13, 2013

Pennsylvania to take Medicaid funds, with a catch

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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The federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services said it was “encouraged” by signs of movement toward expansion in Pennsylvania and emphasized a willingness to show “flexibility” to states that offer alternative versions. But as of Monday afternoon, the agency hadn’t received a formal proposal from Corbett, and it’s unclear if the plan would meet federal muster. The agency has emphasized that private-sector Medicaid plans must provide the same level of benefits and cover as much of the cost of coverage as the traditional program.
Source: politico.com

Video: Medicaid, the Pennsylvania PACE program for Medicare prescription drugs

New Medicare Regulations for Durable Medical Equipment

Starting October 1, new Medicare regulations will require nurse practitioners to obtain a physician’s documentation on the patient’s medical record that a face-to-face encounter with that patient has taken place within the six months prior to the order of certain durable medical equipment (DME).  The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) not only objects to this burdensome documentation requirement but also warns that the list of items impacted by the regulation are routinely ordered items such as home glucose monitors, oxygen, respiratory equipment such as nebulizers, bed padding, and basic wheelchairs. Click here to review a full list of the items.
Source: drnpa.org

PathWays PA Policy Blog: Philadelphia Workshop on Medicare, Medicaid, and the Insurance Marketplace

PHAN is proud to be presenting at this workshop put together by our friends at the Philadelphia Unemployment Project. Join: Thursday, September 26th at 10:00 AM at the Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO office, 22 South 22nd Street, Philadelphia. Looking forward to seeing you there! (For more information call the Philadelphia Unemployment Project at 215-557-0822)
Source: pathwayspapolicyblog.com

Medicare and Means Testing : Pennsylvania Law Monitor

What is “Means Testing” in terms of Medicare?  “Means Testing” is the method used by Medicare to determine what you pay for your Medicare, Part B and Part D coverage.  Medicare, Part B covers doctor fees, outpatient care, physical therapy and some home health care.  Medicare, Part D covers prescription drugs. The thresholds are the same for both Parts B and D.  If you file your federal income tax as “married/joint,” and your yearly income is $170,000 or higher, you will pay a higher premium than those couples whose joint income is less than $170,000 per year.  If you file your federal income tax as a single person, the threshold for the higher premium is $85,000 per year.  For those taxpayers over age 65, with income greater than the threshold amount, the amount you pay for your Part B and Part D coverage will increase depending upon your income up to the upper limit of $428,000 in income for married/joint filers and $214,000 in income for single filers.  Threshold levels are currently frozen through 2019.
Source: stark-stark.com

Pa. Gov. Corbett Expected To Announce Medicaid Expansion Plan Today; Issue Also Contentious In Va. Governor’s Race

The Washington Post: If Elected, McAuliffe Faces Showdown With Va. House Republicans Over Obamacare Terry McAuliffe has made Medicaid expansion central to his bid for governor, saying it would provide health insurance to 400,000 needy Virginians, create thousands of jobs and provide the state with a $2 billion a year windfall. Some Republicans say his push to expand the health-care program could lead to something less appealing: a government shutdown. “I will not sign a budget in Virginia unless it includes the Medicaid expansion,” McAuliffe said this summer in an interview with AARP. … Given overwhelming opposition to expansion in the GOP-dominated House of Delegates, that campaign promise amounts to a threat to hold the state budget hostage to McAuliffe’s Medicaid goal, some Republicans say (Vozzella, 9/14).
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

Feds Force Pennsylvania To Shift Thousands Of Kids From CHIP To Medicaid

The Corbett Administration says the refusal to grant an exemption means more than a fourth of the nearly 190,000 children enrolled in Pennsylvania’s CHIP program will have to move to Medicaid, but advocates like Richard Weishaupt of Community Legal Services in Philadelphia say that’s a good thing.
Source: cbslocal.com

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October 13, 2013

Medicare and Myeloma FAQ | Myeloma Action Team

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

. Medicare Advantage plans are private health insurance plans that replace traditional Medicare coverage.  There are many types of plans, which cover hospital and doctor services; most offer drug coverage as well.  Under Medicare Advantage plans, the health plan pays health care providers, not the federal government.  Some people pick Medicare Advantage plans because they offer benefits like vision or dental not covered under traditional Medicare.  Others may pick a Medicare Advantage plan so they can stick with a particular plan network (for example, if they had a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan before retirement, and want to keep the same sort of plan afterwards).  
Source: myeloma.org

Video: Rep. Marchant speech on Medicare ID Theft Prevention Act

CMS Proposes to Significantly Increase Reward for Reporting Medicare Fraud

CMS noted that it expects its proposed enhancement to the IRP reward to encourage more people to come forward with information, leading to an increase in the recuperation of health care fraud funds. This expectation is based on the success of an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) program that pays individuals for reporting IRS tax code violations. The IRS reward program—which pays whistleblowers 15–30% of the amount collected by the IRS for all claims filed after July 1, 2010 and pays 15% of the amount collected for claims under $2 million filed before July 2010—has both paid out more rewards and collected more money than the IRP. Since its inception in 1998, the IRP has paid out only 18 rewards, totaling $16,000 in reward payments and less than $3.5 million in collected funds. The IRS program, on the other hand, paid out approximately $193 million in rewards and collected almost $1.6 billion from 2007–2012. CMS did not comment on whether it believes there is a comparable level of Medicare and tax code fraud.
Source: upenn.edu

Obamacare vs. Medicare Part D

The federal exchange system, meanwhile, was taken offline for repairs twice over the weekend, and again last night. The users who have already created accounts are also being told they have to reset their passwords. And even today, administration officials are still refusing to provide an estimate about when the system might be glitch-free. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius claims she doesn’t even know how many people have signed up in the federal exchange system—even though California, Washington state, Maryland, New York, and Kentucky have all released application data. It’s not clear exactly what’s wrong with the federal exchange system, but it’s hard to trust the administration’s assurances that it has the problem under control. 
Source: reason.com

Medicare phone scam targeting local elderly

Connell was very suspicious at this point as his bank information has nothing to do with his Medicare. The man then put another person on the line that repeated the same script, asking Connell to read the numbers on the bottom of his check. The numbers on the bottom of checks contain the account number for the check as well as the bank routing number and check number.
Source: tacticalminc.com

To Switch or Not to Switch: Are Medicare Beneficiaries Switching Drug Plans To Save Money?

Our findings have implications beyond Part D, as policymakers debate options for broader Medicare restructuring, including options that would increase the role of private plans in Medicare.  The evidence to date from Part D suggests that most beneficiaries, once enrolled, tend to stick with the plans they have chosen, even when they are faced with relatively large premium increases.  While this tendency likely reflects a mix of both satisfaction with the status quo and some reluctance to examine alternatives or make a change, it also points to a disconnect between theory and reality in this and potentially other choice-based systems for Medicare.  In the face of evidence suggesting that plans will retain most of their enrollees regardless of premium increases or modifications to other plan features, plan sponsors may have less incentive to keep costs down.  The result could be higher costs for both beneficiaries and the federal government, because under the structure of Part D, where both the government’s share of the premium and the beneficiary’s premium amount are derived from the average of plan bids, these costs go up as plan bids increase.  Results of our study raise questions about the degree to which beneficiaries are willing or able to let cost be their ultimate guide in choosing a plan.  As a result, the competitive signal is not sent to plan sponsors, and beneficiaries could miss out on an opportunity to achieve savings.
Source: kff.org

Early Retirement: Medicare Care ID Number

Can anyone explain Medicare’s ID number system to me? Started Medicare a year ago and id number was a combination of my SS number and an alpha on the suffix This month will hit full retirement age and start drawing spousal benefit on the wife’s record and delaying my own claim. Just got a new Medicare card today with a NEW ID number using her SS number and a different alpha suffix. Since I was already enrolled why did I get a new card and start using her SS number as part of my ID? Thanks Nwsteve
Source: blogspot.com

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