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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

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

Good news abounds for Medicare Part C and Part D

Posted on 09/24/2015

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has revealed a wealth of good news for Medicare Part C (also known as Medicare Advantage, or MA) and Medicare Part D (Prescription Drug Plans, or PDPs). First, the agency expects premiums for both MA Plans and PDPs to remain stable in 2016. A larger number of enrollees should also have access