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Changes to Medicare Advantage – What Can You Expect in 2019?

Posted on 12/12/2018

In early April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its 2019 Medicare Advantage and Part D Rate Announcement and Call Letter, announcing changes to Medicare Advantage and Part D for 2019. Some of the guidelines, such as policy changes concerning supplemental benefits, tightening of regulations concerning opioids and support for longer duration of physical therapy, will affect

I Hate My Medicare Plan

Posted on 11/20/2018

What to Do When You Hate Your Medicare Plan The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services projected earlier this fall that Medicare Advantage enrollment would jump to 22.6 million people in 2019, representing nearly 37 percent of the Medicare population (and an 11.5 percent bump from this year). A growing number of people are choosing the private option over traditional

Lower Premiums for Medicare Advantage in 2019

Posted on 10/18/2018

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced that many Medicare Advantage recipients can expect lower premiums in 2019. Not only that, but they’ll have more options available to them when shopping for plans. Premium Decreases for Medicare Advantage 2019 CMS outlined details about 2019 Medicare Advantage premiums in a September 2018 announcement. Premiums will be at their lowest

2016 Medicare Drug Plans: 2 Million Seniors At Risk

Posted on 11/24/2015

High Costs of Specialty Drugs Driving Some Insurers Out of The Marketplace It goes without saying that the seniors who receive federal taxpayer funded subsidies for low income Medicare recipients are on a fixed budget, that often has no or little wiggle room for any extra expenses. Typically the subsidies cover the full cost of monthly drug plan premiums, but

Medicare Enrollment 2016 & Prescription Drug Plan Costs

Posted on 11/24/2015

As time is winding down for seniors to change their health insurance plans during the open enrollment period, which ends December 7th, many are discovering for the first time that their costs are going up and if they want to switch plans they have fewer to choose from. It’s Not Too Late For Seniors to Find a Better Priced Health

Would increasing the Medicare age help or hurt the system?

Posted on 09/25/2015

With the Social Security retirement age changing to 67 in 2017, various politicians have called for increasing Medicare’s qualifying age, in an effort to help the U.S. economy. But as a recent study shows, rather than saving money, this would actually have little, if any benefit. The reason for this is the ever-present balancing act that the federal government has

Will Medicare’s chronic care management program cut healthcare costs?

Posted on 09/25/2015

On January 1, 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled a payment program, known as chronic care management (CCM). This program is designed to be a comprehensive care plan for all health issues. It provides primary care physicians with larger financial reimbursements. These physicians are reimbursed about $40 monthly for a variety of services, such as medication

What is the MA Value-Based Insurance Model?

Posted on 09/25/2015

In its efforts to improve the nation’s healthcare system, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has introduced its Health Plan Innovation Initiatives. These programs are designed to test changes in health plan design. The Medicare Advantage (MA) Value-Based Insurance Design (MA-VBID) Model focuses on methods to encourage enrollees to consume high-value clinical services. The MA-VBID Model utilizes cost-sharing

Medicare’s triple triumph: Deaths, hospitalizations and costs fall

Posted on 09/25/2015

The Medicare program has scored three remarkable achievements, concerning dramatic drops in the rates of deaths, hospitalizations and costs. Specifically, 1999 and 2013, the rate of deaths among Medicare patients dropped by 16 percent. In terms of hospitalizations, during the same time period, rates for Medicare patients fell by 24 percent. Finally, the costs for these hospitalized patients fell by 15

Medicare hold harmless clause and COLA

Posted on 09/25/2015

While the Obama Administration has yet released its 2016 Medicare Part B costs. But due to a Social Security provision, known as the hold harmless rule, about 30 percent of Part B enrollees may face premium increases. Typically, those who have claimed Social Security benefits and receive Medicare must, by law, have their Part B premiums withheld from their Social