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CMS releases two public data sets regarding availability and use of particular services

Posted on 03/14/2016

Medicare recipients, especially those with economic disadvantages, could see better healthcare and lower costs in 2017 as a result of proposed changes by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CMS released its recommendations for the Medicare Advantage and Part D Prescription Drug Programs in February and is nearing the end of a comment period. The deadline to comment

CMS releases new 2017 rates for Medicare health and drug plans

Posted on 03/14/2016

CMS releases new 2017 rates for Medicare health and drug plans The public now has the chance to look at two new government data records focusing on ambulance and home health care agencies providing medical services to those on Medicare and through Medicaid. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released data to inform the public, strengthen those services

Consider preferred pharmacy plans for Medicare Part D drug coverage

Posted on 01/11/2016

The 2016 Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) has recently ended, having run from Oct.15-Dec. 7, 2015. One important option to consider for your PDP, whether for 2016 or beyond, is the selection of a preferred pharmacy for you and your family. According to the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS), in 2016,

Original Medicare in 2016 – What can you expect?

Posted on 01/11/2016

Medicare, the federal government’s healthcare program, is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Since 1965, millions of Americans age 65 and over have relied on it for vital medical services. And, this program is available to younger people with certain disabilities (more on that later). Original Medicare (or Traditional Medicare) — comprised of Part A (hospital insurance) and Part B (medical insurance)

Helpful ways to save on Part D Plan costs

Posted on 01/11/2016

The Open Enrollment Period (OEP) for both Medicare Advantage (private plans) and Part D (prescription drug) Plans began on Oct. 15. Through Dec. 7, more than 39 million PDP enrollees have the opportunity – and responsibility – to purchase prescription drug coverage. And it’s important to carefully research and select the policy that provides the best features and pricing for

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