Rogues of Medicare: FBI tracking down fraud fugitives from South Florida

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Gonzalez had played a supporting role in one of the region’s biggest, baddest Medicare rip-offs. She first worked as a cleaning lady, and then as a nurse who paid kickbacks to patients, for the notorious Benitez brothers — three sharks who ran 11 Miami-Dade clinics that swindled a staggering $84 million from the taxpayer-funded program, authorities say.
Source: typepad.com

Video: Medicare con Florida Health Care Plus

In Miami, Medicare Comes With White

Leon will be the only five-star plan in South Florida next year, but it is not the largest player in the region’s Medicare Advantage industry. That distinction belongs to the Kentucky-based health insurance giant, Humana Inc., which sells plans under the Humana Gold and CarePlus brands, and owns and operates 19 CAC-Florida Medical Centers, with the majority in Miami-Dade. CarePlus and Humana plans, both rated at 4½ stars, have the highest enrollment rates in South Florida, according to CMS. Care Plus plans have 13,000 members in Broward and 27,000 in Miami-Dade; Humana plans have 52,000 members in Broward and 39,000 in Miami-Dade.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

introduction united united florida health care medicare supplement

src=”http://geneticshealing.com/kjnjhbd.jpg” width=”267″ height=”189″ /> introduction united united florida health care medicare supplement introduction united united florida health care medicare supplement introduction united united florida health care medicare supplement introduction united united florida health care medicare supplement introduction united united florida health care medicare supplement
Source: geneticshealing.com

FL Medicare Plan Ratings Up

Medicare Advantage plans, which use managed-care networks to deliver a full range of health care to enrollees, receive most of their premium payments from the federal government. Those who choose to remain in traditional fee-for-service Medicare can enroll in a prescription-drug-only plan. Open enrollment season, which began three weeks ago, ends Dec. 7.
Source: usf.edu

Analysis Shows 88% of Florida Seniors Can Expect to Pay Higher 2014 Medicare Part D Drug Plan Premiums

Q1Medicare.com is one of the largest independent online resources for Medicare Part D prescription drug plan and Medicare Advantage plan information. Q1Medicare offers a large selection of Frequently Asked Questions, online tools, and a free Medicare Part D Newsletter all designed to help Medicare beneficiaries, healthcare professionals, advocates, advisers, caregivers, and insurance agents better understand both the Medicare Part D prescription drug and Medicare Advantage programs. Q1Medicare.com is operated by Q1Group LLC (Saint Augustine, Florida).
Source: lensaunders.com

U.S. in Hot Pursuit of South Florida Medicare Fraud Fugitives

Alcides Garcia, wanted for his role in a $10.7 million medical equipment ring, went to a shipping company in the Canary Islands to have personal belongings sent from Miami. Although possessing a Mexican passport, Garcia’s heavy Cuban accent made the shipping company’s owner suspicious, and after searching on Google, found Garcia’s name posted as a wanted fugitive on Medicare fraud charges. The FBI in Miami was given an anonymous tip, and the Spanish National Police arrested him on a provisional federal warrant. Garcia was eventually sentenced to eight years.
Source: aronovitzlaw.com

Miami Herald: FBI tracking down Medicare fraud fugitives from South Florida

(www.miamiherald.com) Though progress has been slow, the FBI is slowly rounding up some 180 South Florida fugitives who fled the country after ripping off Medicare for millions. Read the rest of this post on the original site »
Source: washingtonexaminer.com

Florida Medicare Insurance

This insurance is not limited to the elderly but is also available to people under the age of sixty five with disabilities. The ease of joining can be experienced online or by means of a phone call. Florida is a beautiful city that hosts beach landscapes. It’s about time that someone offered our citizens a chance at a healthy lifestyle. This insurance allows our citizens to benefit from good medical treatment and because you can only use doctors that have been approved by Medicare you know that you are receiving the best care. No insurance company wants to pay out and that is a fact, so the policy implemented at Medicare is for patients to receive the best medical care to ensure that future incidents do not happen. Now, that’s a smart insurance which helps both parties equally.
Source: illinoiscaresrx.com

South Florida "Rock Doc" Arrested for Medicare Fraud

It’s been a while since Christopher Wayne’s seen the spotlight. In 2010, the Wall Street Journal profiled the Ft. Lauderdale osteopath who’s prone to wearing CBGB shirts and spiking his bleach blonde hair. The write-up noted that he hangs with Paris Hilton and Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler, not to mention a coterie of Playboy bunnies. Wayne’s admirers even gave him a gag-inducing nickname: the “Rock Doc.”
Source: miaminewtimes.com

Florida Healthcare Lawyers

Sadly, this news is all too common.  The Medicare Fraud Strike Force has identified more than 1700 defendants who were charged with falsely billing the Medicare program.  The aggregate total for these fraudulent bills exceeds $5.5 billion.  Home health agencies and all healthcare providers that engage marketers must be fully aware of the law and the serious consequences that ensue.  Qualified health law counsel is essential to be sure that marketing plans are within the law, and offer no temptation to commit fraud.  A legal professional can analyze and assess marketing and recruitment programs and provide critical advice on avoiding the pitfalls that can mean the difference between successful marketing and questionable activity.
Source: flhealthlaw.com

united healthcare 2012 florida medicare advantage plans

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Source: geneticshealing.com

Medicare Advantage 2014 Spotlight: Plan Availability and Premiums

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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While many organizations offer Medicare Advantage plans, a few – particularly Humana, United Healthcare, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) affiliates – have particularly large geographic spread and these organizations historically account for a disproportionate share of enrollment. In 2014, 44 percent of available plans are being offered by one of these three firms or affiliates (Table A4).  Plans offered by these firms are available to most beneficiaries.  Nationwide, 83 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will have access to one or more Humana plans, 73 percent will have access to a BCBS affiliated plan (including BCBS plans offered by Wellpoint), and 68 percent will have access to a United Healthcare plan (Exhibit 5; Table A5).  The general availability of these firms’ products has not noticeably changed from 2013 to 2014.  However, the similarities in BCBS offerings from 2013 to 2014 obscure a decline in availability of BCBS branded Wellpoint plans (declining from 88 plans to 55 plans between 2013 and 2014), which is mostly offset by the growth in plans offered by other BCBS affiliates (growing from 205 plans to 233 plans between 2013 and 2014).
Source: kff.org

Video: Medicare Supplemental Insurance Rates

CMS gives notice of delayed release of the Medicare physician fee schedule

In a notice issued on October 23, 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that the final rule on the 2014 physician fee schedule, originally scheduled to be released in early November, has been delayed due to the recent federal government shutdown.  CMS will release the final rule on or before November 27, with the new fee schedule taking effect on January 1, 2014.  This year’s final rule is of great importance to psychologists since CMS is expected to announce its decision on final payment rates for the new psychotherapy codes.
Source: ncpsychology.com

Nearly 1,500 Hospitals Penalized Under Medicare Program Rating Quality

This program is one of several Medicare has launched to make hospitals and doctors pay more attention to how their treatments compare with other hospitals, and to be more careful with public money. Medicare gives bonuses to the private Medicare Advantage insurance plans that score well on quality metrics. In 2015, the health law calls for the government to begin a quality payment program for physician groups of 100 professionals or more, and that is to be expanded to all doctors by 2017. The goal of all these programs is to replace the current financial incentive in Medicare, in which the only way for a hospital to get paid more is to perform more procedures and take on more patients.
Source: kaiserhealthnews.org

CMS Issues Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule

CMS proposed significant modifications to its regulations governing Medicare coverage of investigational devices and the routine items and services furnished to beneficiaries during the clinical studies or trials conducted under the FDA Investigational Device Exemption (IDE) regulations.  Those proposals included  requiring that the principal purpose of a clinical study be to evaluate whether the item or service can meaningfully improve health outcomes of patients who are represented by the Medicare-enrolled subjects, and creating a centralized review process as opposed to utilizing local Medicare contractors.  Although these proposals were largely adopted, CMS did make multiple minor modifications to its proposal including changes to certain definitions.  CMS provides a list of those modifications on pages 667-670 of the display copy of the final rule.
Source: jdsupra.com

DaVita Health Stock Up On Better

“In addition, we get to work with Congress and CMS on trying to mitigate future cuts,” DaVita Vice President LeAnne Zumwalt said in a statement, “and CMS has a number of appropriate reimbursement levers to pull to offset cuts a few years out if it chooses to do so.”
Source: investors.com

Growing Push to Eliminate Annual Medicare Reimbursement Cuts

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee’s Health Care Subcommittee, and Sen. Angus King (I, Maine) proposed a possible solution in a recent press release. In order to replace funds lost from the removal of the SGR formula, they suggest that “The Medicare Drug Savings Act is a sensible way to pay for replacing the SGR. It would return drug pricing for the dual eligibles to the same mechanism that was used prior to the passage of Part D and still for the Medicaid program, a mechanism that would not harm patients, doctors or hospitals in any way.”
Source: physicianspractice.com

Final 2014 Medicare physician fee schedule rule released

Diamond Level Platinum Level Gold Level Biz Technology Solutions, Inc. First Citizens Bank rmsource, Inc. Wells Fargo Insurance Services Silver Level Ball Dermpath McGladrey Medical Protective SunTrust Bank United HealthCare Group Bronze Level Allegacy Business Solutions – JBA Benefits & Cooperative Payroll Allscripts Apex Technology Assured Waste Solutions, LLC Bactes Imaging Solution Bernard Robinson & Company, LLP Call-A-Nurse Capario ChoiceHealth, Inc. Coverys, Inc. DataMax Corp / Interstate Credit Collections The Doctors Company Eastman Kodak Company Fifth Third Bank Ford & Harrison GMK Associates, Inc. Gordon Asset Management, LLC Greenway Medical Henry Schein Medical Humana Konica Minolta LabCorp Marketing Works McNeary, Inc. Medicus Insurance Company Medstaff National Medical Staffing mindShift Technologies, Inc. MSOC Health NCHA Strategic Partners NextGen Healthcare ONLINE Information Services Physician Discoveries Physicians’ Alliance of America Prince Parker & Associates Professional Recovery Consultants SCA Collections, Inc. Solstas Lab Partners SouthData Stanley Benefits Stern & Associates, P.A. Attorney at Law Total Merchant Services Transworld Systems, Inc. TriMed Technologies Corp TriZetto Provider Solution – Gateway EDI
Source: wordpress.com

Medicare to penalize 29 Minnesota hospitals for readmission rate

At least 29 Minnesota hospitals will have to forfeit a small fraction of their Medicare reimbursement funding as part of a federal health care law program to clamp down on Medicare costs. It’s the second year of the Hospital Readmissions Reduction Program.
Source: mprnews.org

CMS Updates Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, Other Part B Policies for CY 2014 : Health Industry Washington Watch

CMS did not finalize a controversial proposal under its potentially misvalued code initiative to reduce PFS rates for more than 200 codes if Medicare physician office payment exceeds the payment under the hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS) or ambulatory surgical center (ASC) prospective payment system (PPS). CMS expects to develop a revised proposal for using OPPS and ASC rates in establishing physician practice expense relative value units, which CMS will propose through future notice and comment rulemaking. CMS is continuing its efforts to identify and adjust payment for potentially misvalued codes, however, including by adopting on an interim basis work relative value units for approximately 200 additional codes. These interim values are subject for public comment until January 27, 2014.
Source: healthindustrywashingtonwatch.com

Kusserow’s Corner: Medicare Nursing Home Resident Hospitalization Rates Merit Additional Monitoring

The OIG used administrative and billing data both for nursing homes and hospitals to identify all Medicare residents in Medicare or Medicaid certified nursing homes that experienced transfers to hospitals for inpatient stays. They included all Medicare-paid skilled nursing and rehabilitative (SNF) stays and those in nursing home stays not paid for by Medicare, which include long-term care (LTC) stays. They calculated the percentage of Medicare nursing home residents that each nursing home hospitalized. They identified the diagnoses associated with these hospitalizations, calculated Medicare reimbursements for the hospital stays, and calculated the rates and costs of hospitalizations of nursing home residents. They also examined the extent to which annual rates of resident hospitalizations varied among individual nursing homes.
Source: wolterskluwerlb.com

List of currently scheduled Illinois Medicare Advantage information meetings.

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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Oak Terrace Resort 100 Beyers Lake Road Pana, IL (Sponsored by Retired Teachers of Christian County, Decatur Area Retired Teachers Association, Montgomery County Retired Teachers and Shelby County Retired Teachers)
Source: wordpress.com

Video: Introducing the Illinois Medicare-Medicaid Alignment Initiative

Seniors Rally Against Social Security Cuts, Tell Congress Not To Balance The Budget On Their Backs (VIDEO)

A congressional conference committee, lead by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R, WI) and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D, WA), has until December 13 to agree on spending levels before the House likely adjourns for the year. More forced spending cuts are scheduled to take effect in January and, in an effort to give some federal agencies — particularly the Department of Defense — relief from sequestration and offset staggering budget cuts, GOP leaders have proposed slashing budgets for entitlement programs, like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. “Is there anyone out there who doesn’t want their Social Security,” asked Lewkowitz, who also serves as executive director for Oakton Place, a senior housing development in Des Plaines. “If you’re a fat cat it’s not a big deal, but if you’re making $14,000 a year it is a big deal. That’s many people’s sole source of income and a lot of times they have to choose between food and medicine.” The protesters delivered more than 5,000 petitions to the office of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D, IL), calling on the senator to keep “Social Security off the negotiation table as (Congress) moves toward the next debt agreement.” “Already, seniors are struggling to afford out-of-pocket Medicare expenses,” the petitions read. “The chained CPI will make this troubling situation worse by cutting the COLA for both current and future retirees and denying them potentially thousands of dollars in earned benefits over time.” Here’s more from Thursday’s protest:
Source: progressillinois.com

News Article/Update on State Medicare Advantage Plans

The complete program information is now available on the CMS website for both the College Insurance Program (CIP) and the State Employees’ Group Health Program. The TRAIL Decision Guide includes an explanation of plan options, plan comparison chart, rate chart, coverage map, and contact information for the four plan administrators. The site also offers a comprehensive FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) sheet for CIP and State Employees.
Source: surs.com

Medicare fraud rate is 8 to 10 percent, says Roskam of Illinois

Roskam said the Medicare fraud rate is 8 to 10 percent. His office pointed us to various documents that analyzed the problem of improper payments, an issue that mixes fraud together with nominally legal activities such as referring patients for more tests than are necessary. This suggested Roskam was using an inflated estimate of fraud. However, a recent study tends, in the worst-case analysis, to support Roskam’s figures.
Source: politifact.com

Chicago Hospice Services: Who Pays For Hospice Care In Illinois?

Medicare—If a person is terminally ill and is a Medicare beneficiary using a Medicare-certified hospice provider, 100 percent of hospice services are covered. In 2011, 84.1 percent of hospice patients were covered by the Medicare hospice benefit. Hospice payments are separate from Medicare payments for other illnesses, diseases or care the patient may be receiving.
Source: cbslocal.com

Michigan and Illinois Get Two Medicaid Systems for the Price of One

Under federal law, every state must operate technology to support backend administrative functions of their Medicaid programs. Around the country, states are racing to modernize their legacy systems as they prepare for the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. The feds are offering to fund 90 percent of MMIS upgrades and, according to a survey by the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, 78 percent of state CIOs said they expect to modernize their MMIS by 2014.
Source: governing.com

New Insurance Exchanges Confuse Illinois Elders / Public News Service

CHICAGO – October will be an important month for health care in Illinois and around the nation. Beginning October 1, people without health insurance will be able to sign up for coverage through new online health exchanges. However, according to associate state director Courtney Hedderman of AARP Illinois, all the publicity about the exchanges is confusing people who need Medicare. “People are seeing those messages, like, ‘Wait, do I need to do something?’ And they don’t,” she said. “That has nothing to do with Medicare.” The problem is that on October 1 the online exchanges open, and then on October 15 the Medicare open-enrollment period begins. That’s why Medicare is sending out thousands of brochures and training counselors to advise elders in Illinois and around the nation to ignore the online health exchanges. Instead, if they want to make changes or sign up for Medicare, they should contact the Department on Aging, their local Social Security office, or go to Medicare.gov to find a counselor who can advise them. Hedderman said con artists already have started trying to take advantage of the confusion by doing things like calling on the phone and pretending to be from Medicare or Social Security. “People were calling, and they’re saying, ‘This is Medicare calling, and we need your Social Security number.’ No, they already have your Social Security number,” the AARP official said. “You don’t need to be giving that.” During the open-enrollment period that starts October 15, Medicare recipients can review or change their supplemental coverage through the many counselors who are not trying to sell anything. “If someone lives in the city, for example, they can call 311 and they will be connected to the Department on Aging. That’s a trusted entity that has counselors that can help navigate all of this.” Hedderman said to remember that SHIP counselors are trained to help elders figure out Medicare. The acronym SHIP stands for the State Health Insurance Program, which offers free counseling for Medicare recipients and their caregivers through the Illinois Department on Aging. Illinoisans who are about to turn 65 should contact their local Social Security office to sign up for Medicare. They need to do that three months before their birthday because if they sign up later than that, unless they have other coverage, they may be charged higher premiums. More information is at Medicare.gov and at state.il.us.
Source: publicnewsservice.org

Why the Silence from the sponsors of Medicare for All?

All the co-sponsors, including Reps George Miller (D-CA), Gwen Moore (D-WI) Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Richard Nolan (D-MN), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Bobby Rush (D-IL), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) and Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) know that most of their Democratic colleagues favor single-payer, but have not signed on due to their reluctance to embarrass President Obama (who used to favor single-payer) or their avoidance of lobbying hassles from their contributors for a bill they believe has no chance of passing. How’s that for leadership?
Source: pdaillinois.org

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December 11, 2013

Aligning with Medicare to reduce data collection burden

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

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The 2013 Federal Budget Reconciliation Act allows Medicare to recognize providers who participate in clinical data registries that are able to generate quality measures for Medicare. This change has opened the door for providers to meet the requirements of federal programs by participating in reporting processes such as MNCM’s. In February 2013, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Request for Information to solicit responses from the public about how clinical registries  could be used for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Meaningful Use (the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program). These registries could include those operated by specialty boards or societies, regional health improvement collaboratives (or RHICs) such as MNCM, or other non-federal reporting programs.
Source: mncm.org

Video: Accounting in Woodbury, MN-What Is The Medicare Surtax?

The Cost of Minnesota’s Average Medigap Plan

By pressing “Click Here And Get Your Quote ” above, (1) I consent to receive phone calls from TZ Insurance Solutions LLC or its affiliates, or one of its third-party partners, or their service provider partners on their behalf, regarding their products and services, at the phone number provided above, including my wireless number, if provided, and (2) I agree to this website’s privacy policy and terms and conditions. I understand that these calls may be generated using an automated technology. Partners may include SelectQuote, Allied Insurance, United Medicare, Insphere, eHealth and Coventry. You are not required to grant consent as a condition of purchasing any property, goods or services.
Source: medicaresupplement.com

Just like Medicare expansion, bipartisan efforts needed to fix Obamacare, says former Bush official

So what’s Larry’s solution to this problem? How does he intend to get Republicans on board to architect a fix rather than simply throw a hissy fit? So far their only “solution” is to repeal the entire act and send us back to the situation we had before. Needless to say, that’s a non-starter. The reason we’re implementing new programs in the first place is because the old one doesn’t work.
Source: minnpost.com

July 15: MN Cigarette Tax, Debt Ceiling, Medicare

Toni Townes-Whitley, a senior vice president at CGI, and Obama graduated from Princeton University in 1985. However, company and government officials say the contract was awarded through a competitive bidding process.
Source: factcheck.org

Flash of Genius: Medical Matters: Do you send Medicare Part B in MN, WI, or IL?

Attention electronic and paper submitters for MN, WI, and IL: Do you currently send Medicare Part B paper and/or electronic claims for the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, or Illinois? Changes to the claims address and payer ID will need to be made effective September 7, 2013.  All claim files or claim status inquiry files submitted after 4:00 p.m. CT on September 6, 2013 with the any of the WPS legacy payer IDs listed above will be rejected with the X12 999 transaction with the IK403 value of I12 (Implementation Pattern Match Failure). These files will need to be corrected and resubmitted to National Government services with the correct J6 payer ID. The final WPS legacy ERAs will have a paid late of September 6, 2013 and will be available on Monday, September 9, 2013. All subsequent ERAs will show the J6 payer ID as the Medicare payer identifier. If you did not receive the letter we mailed out to you – and you need help making these changes in your system, please call support at 586.751.9080
Source: blogspot.com

DealCurry.com : Isis Medicare To Raise PE Funding

The Indian health care industry, comprising of hospitals, medical infrastructure, medical equipment, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine and health insurance, is expected to reach 160 billion dollar by 2017. The Indian health care industry, which was valued at $79 billion in 2012, is growing at around 15-17% every year.
Source: dealcurry.com

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December 11, 2013

Medicare FAQ: Does Medicare Offer Wheelchair Coverage?

Posted by:  :  Category: Medicare

Beyond a doctor’s prescription, you simply must be enrolled in Original Medicare in order to be eligible to receive DME coverage. If you require the use of a wheelchair, you will pay 20% of the Medicare-approved amount. Depending on the type of wheelchair that’s needed, the Medicare program will cover it in a number of different ways. It can be rented or purchased, or in some instances, you may rent or purchase the equipment yourself. This varies based on the required equipment, and may also depend on your coverage. It may be different if you are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan; you should always check with your plan for details.
Source: planprescriber.com

Video: Medicare Eligibility And Enrollment

U.S. Reps. Davis, Roskam Discuss The Future Of Medicare (VIDEO)

Attempting to address what challenges the Medicare program faces and potential solutions for those challenges, Matheis was joined for the panel discussion by U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam (R, IL-6) and Danny K. Davis (D, IL-7), and Richard Baehr, chief political correspondent of the daily conservative online magazine, American Thinker. The Union League Club of Chicago, at which the panel was held, and WLS 890 AM, a broadcast radio station in Chicago, sponsored the event.
Source: progressillinois.com

CBO Updates Estimate of the Budgetary Effects of Increasing the Medicare Eligibility Age to 67

On October 24, 2013, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its report, Raising the Age of Eligibility for Medicare to 67: An Updated Estimate of the Budgetary Effects.  The report updates the CBO’s earlier estimate of the potential impact of changing Medicare’s eligibility age from 65 to 67.  In the report, the CBO analyzes the policy option of raising the Medicare eligibility age by two months every year, starting with individuals born in 1951 (who turn 65 in 2016) and continuing until the eligibility age reaches 67 for individuals born in 1962 (who turn 67 in 2029).  The new estimate of the net budgetary savings related to increasing Medicare’s eligibility age is significantly lower than its earlier estimates.
Source: gabrielroeder.com

CBO: Medicare Eligibility Age To 67 Saves Little

“For most of those workers, employment-based health insurance is the primary source of coverage, and Medicare is a secondary payer — meaning that Medicare’s payments are limited to the cost-sharing obligations that beneficiaries face under their employment-based health insurance policies,” the CBO wrote in its analysis. 
Source: businessinsider.com

Daily Kos: Raising the Medicare eligibility age an even worse idea than we already knew

There’s new proof of just how bad an idea raising the eligibility age for Medicare to 67 is. The Congressional Budget Office has revised its estimate for how much the policy shift would save, and found that it’s next to nothing. Implementing this option would reduce federal budget deficits by $19 billion between 2016 and 2023, accord to new estimates by CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (see Table 1). That figure represents the net effect of a $23 billion decrease in outlays and a $4 billion decrease in revenues over that period. The decrease in outlays includes a reduction in federal spending for Medicare as well as a slight reduction in outlays for Social Security retirement benefits. However, those savings would be substantially offset by increases in federal spending for Medicaid and for subsidies to purchase health insurance through the new insurance exchanges and by the decrease in revenues. It would save less than $3 billion a year. That’s practically nothing. It would force more people onto Medicaid and into the health insurance exchanges, where most would require subsidies. It would probably force a chunk of people into Social Security Disability, as well. It will keep people working longer, and that means it will cost their employers—and everyone with private insurance—more in insurance premiums to cover this older, sicker population. The thing is, people still need health care when they’re 65. There isn’t a magic two years between 65 and 67 when everyone is healthy and doesn’t need to go to the doctor. If they can’t get that access through Medicare, they’ll have to get it elsewhere. Or go without and cost even more because of deferred health issues when they do reach Medicare age. If they live that long.
Source: dailykos.com

ASU researchers: Medicare reform should begin by raising eligibility age

“In the nearly 50 years since Medicare was created, we’ve seen major breakthroughs in health care," they state. "Young leukemia victims now have the opportunity to live out their lives. A heart attack is no longer certain death. Ongoing medical innovation insures longer, healthier lives. Now policymakers need to dissect the Medicare program and give it a sustainable life.”  
Source: asu.edu

Ask The Experts: Retirement

A. Generally, you are eligible for Medicare at age 65 if your spouse worked for at least 10 years in Medicare-covered employment, which he must have because he’s already covered by Part A. To be sure that you qualify, call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 and talk to one of their benefits specialists.
Source: federaltimes.com

Kaiser Family Foundation and the Center for Children and Families: New Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment Policies Resource

Getting into Gear for 2014: Shifting New Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment Policies into Drive provides an overview of key state Medicaid eligibility and enrollment policies slated to go into effect based on data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  It reviews the new Medicaid eligibility levels for adults and children as of January 2014, both in states that are expanding the program under the ACA and those that are not, and provides an overview of how individuals will enroll through state Medicaid agencies and catalogues which strategies states have adopted as they work to implement more streamlined, consumer-friendly Medicaid enrollment processes established by the law.
Source: healthreformbeyondthebasics.org

Medicare and Obamacare: Changes, misconceptions, and differences

Christina Crain, program director for the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging (SWCAA) spoke to about 20 people at the Weston Public Library on Saturday, Nov. 23, at a forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Weston. A second speaker, Kathy Null with AARP Connecticut, was unable at the last minute to attend, but Linda Yannone, a trained and certified assister through the federally funded Navigator and Assister Outreach Program, was on hand to answer questions and offer information.
Source: thewestonforum.com

Getting into Gear for 2014: Shifting New Medicaid Eligibility and Enrollment Policies into Drive

The ability to electronically transfer individual accounts between state Medicaid/CHIP agencies and Marketplaces to coordinate enrollment is in various stages of development. Among the 17 states with State-based Marketplaces (SBMs), all but two (2) have an integrated or linked technology system that determines eligibility for all insurance affordability options and facilitates the next steps for enrollment. However, in states using the Federally-Facilitated Marketplace (FFM), electronic transfers of individual accounts between the FFM and Medicaid/CHIP agencies are essential for coordinating enrollment. Due to ongoing technological challenges with the FFM, these transfers have been delayed and alternative strategies have been put into place. For example, until the FFM can begin transferring electronic accounts to state Medicaid and CHIP agencies, it is sending batches of basic data on individuals the FFM has determined or assessed as potentially eligible for Medicaid/CHIP. Similarly, if a state Medicaid/CHIP agency is unable to transfer an account to the FFM, it can direct individuals to apply directly through the FFM. Moving forward, implementing electronic account transfers will be key to minimizing burdens on consumers and ensuring they are successfully enrolled in the coverage for which they are eligible regardless of where they apply, providing “no wrong door” access to coverage envisioned by the ACA.
Source: kff.org

Progressives to Obama: Don't even think about raising the Medicare eligibility age

“Raising the age of eligibility, the legal retirement age, sounds like a good idea if what you do for a living is talk and write, mostly while sitting in comfortable chairs in climate-controlled buildings,” Nichols observed. “But if what you do for a living is pick up and move heavy things, or spend eight to ten hours a day on your feet without interruption bringing food and clearing tables, or waiting on retail customers, or doing one physical thing over and over on an assembly line, then being required to do that for two or five or 10 more years before you can join Medicare is fairly cruel.”
Source: msnbc.com

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