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Monday, October 14, 2019

Medicare Open Enrollment Period is Here


The all-important Medicare Open Enrollment Period for 2020 starts this Tuesday, Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7. For those on Medicare, this is the time of the year when you can change your Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage for the following year to better meet your needs.

Even if you are happy with your current coverage, plans can change from year to year.
Read more . . .


Monday, May 20, 2019

DNA/Genetic Testing Scam


We recently wrote here about a series of scams plaguing our senior community. But it didn’t take long for an even newer scam to come to the forefront.

The Florida Department of Elder Affairs issued a release last week warning our seniors and their caregivers about a recent rise in DNA/genetic testing schemes.

The release cautioned older adults to be aware of companies offering free genetic testing, cancer screening or DNA testing. Often occurring at health fairs or other events, people are asked to swab their cheeks in order to get DNA samples.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Halfway Through Medicare Open Enrollment Period


We’re about at the midpoint of the Medicare Open Enrollment period which started Oct. 15 and runs until Dec. 7. If you are eligible for Medicare, and you have not acted yet, the time to take action is now. This is the annual period when you can make adjustments to your Medicare health and drug plans.
Read more . . .


Monday, October 22, 2018

Small Increases Expected in Medicare Part B Premiums for Most People

For the vast majority of recipients, there’s good news when it comes to Medicare Part B premiums for 2019.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced recently that Medicare Part B premiums will see a modest increase only, with the base premium for the majority of individuals going up from $134 to $135.50 a month. But even with no change, millions of Social Security recipients will pay sharply higher Part B premiums that will eat up all or most of next year’s two-percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security that was announced a day earlier by the Social Security Administration.


Read more . . .


Monday, October 15, 2018

Medicare Open Enrollment Period Starts Today


 

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services reminds us that the annual Medicare Open Enrollment Period starts today (Oct. 15) and runs through Dec. 7.

Medicare health and drug plans can make changes each year – things like cost, coverage and what providers and pharmacies are in their networks. Oct.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Medicare Advantage Program Changes


The Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMS) recently issued a special report summarizing a number of changes made to Medicare law, regulations and guidance during the first half of this year. For the most part, these changes loosen some of the rules regarding Medicare Advantage.

As a result of these changes, Medicare Advantage plans now have more ability to tailor their supplemental benefits to the unique needs of their patients.

One example of the change is that the law requires that Medicare Advantage plans provide uniform benefits at a uniform premium to all enrollees in a specific plan. Previously, CMS interpreted the law to include uniform cost-sharing.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Get a Head Start on 2019's Medicare Open Enrollment


This article comes from The Motley Fool and serves as a great reminder for all of us.

Most Americans turn to Medicare after their 65th birthdays to give them the assistance they need to cover their healthcare expenses. With estimates of total lifetime medical costs for retired couples soaring toward the $300,000 mark, you can't afford not to make the most of the Medicare benefits to which you're entitled.

Every year, Medicare gives its participants the chance to make key changes to their coverage during the annual open enrollment period. With a start date of Oct.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, September 12, 2018

New Medicare Cards


New Medicare cards started going out recently. Some of you may have already received yours.

A safety feature of the new cards is that they will not have your Social Security number. Instead, you will now have a unique Medicare Beneficiary Number.

While the new cards were developed in part to deter identity theft and fraud, the scammers are out there trying to take advantage of the change.
Read more . . .


Monday, April 23, 2018

Medicare Advantage Plans to Expand


A recent announcement from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently announced broader definitions of what it describes as “primary health-related benefits” related to Medicare Advantage policies, and that may be good news for seniors.

As a result of these broader definitions insurers would likely start to include these additional benefits beginning in 2019. And with 20 million of the nation’s 61 million people enrolled in Medicare, this change could have significant impact.

A number of Medicare Advantage programs already offer coverage for eyeglasses, hearing aids, dental care and even gym memberships.  The new broader definition will enable the programs to include care and equipment that prevent or treat illness or injuries, compensate for physical impairments, address the psychological effects of illness or injuries, or reduce emergency medical care.
Read more . . .


Monday, March 12, 2018

Budget Adopted in February Increases Funding for Most Health Programs


A two-year budget deal agreed upon last month by Congress, and later signed by the President, increased federal spending for defense, as expected. What came as a bit of a surprise though was the increased funding for a number of health-related programs including those that help seniors and those with special needs.

Included in the increased funding was $6 million in treatment of mental health issues and opioid addiction, a $2 billion addition to the National Institutes of Health and a four-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). That is over and above the six years approved by Congress earlier.

Seniors fared well, too, with an acceleration of the closing of the doughnut hole in Medicare drug coverage.
Read more . . .


Monday, January 29, 2018

No Medicare Cuts in 2018


 

As the new tax law was being considered in Congress late last year, there were legitimate concerns about the impact the legislation could have on Medicare.

In fact, the legislation that was passed had the potential to include a $25 billion cut to Medicare. But that changed when the House and Senate recently voted to waive the required cuts as part of the temporary spending bill approved a few weeks ago.

That means Medicare will continue to cover the approximately 56.8 million people it has been covering, including 47.
Read more . . .


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