Archive for April, 2006

Snowbirds, sunbirds face own Medicare choices

“Now, at least we know we’re covered,” said Sandy Gibson, 66. “We order our medication over the phone, our insurance plan has a pharmacy in Ohio and if we see our doctor in Florida, we can buy medicine down here.” “This is a new program and people are trying to learn about it, and concerns [...]

Medicare: The ABC’s of Part D

“Back in September, when we did presentations, people were saying, ‘What is this?’ Now it’s a whole different ball game,” she said. “People are asking which company has credible plan. I’m finding people are much more knowledgable about it now.” “We still expect that there are the procrastinators,” Tredennick said, “and we expect the next [...]

Rep. Nancy L. Johnson Announces Hearing on Implementation of the Medicare Drug Benefit

In announcing the hearing, Subcommittee on Health Chairman Nancy Johnson stated, “Today more seniors than ever before have access to affordable prescription drug coverage through the Medicare drug plan, and more seniors are signing up every day. The Medicare drug benefit is the biggest expansion of the program since it was created 40 years ago. [...]

New drug rule protects Medicare beneficiaries

Dr. Mark McClellan, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and medicaid services, summarized the policy this way: “In general, a plan cannot change your coverage for the drugs you are using during the year. The stability of drug formularies is extremely important for many of our beneficiaries.” Karen Ignagni, president of America’s health insurance plans, [...]

Tough choices can be side effects of Medicare plan

“The people who need this the most can fight the least,” says Victoria D’Angelo of Denver, a former legal secretary now living on Social Security disability payments while battling bipolar disorder, asthma, high blood pressure and other ailments. “We don’t have the strength. We don’t have the mental ability.” Before Medicare, 6.4 million of them [...]

1 in 5 pay more in Medicare Rx plan

Medicare‘s new prescription-drug program has increased out-of-pocket costs for about one in five participants, causing some to risk their health by reducing or eliminating medications. ADVERTISEMENT Though most of the more than 30 million beneficiaries enrolled in the program are saving money, two recent surveys suggest a substantial minority of seniors and people with disabilities [...]

Medicare’s drug plan woes healing

In January, Banko got interested in Medicare‘s new drug benefit, which had debuted that month. But the details seemed “totally confusing.” “We still have some hiccups,” said Lisa Federico, a GeorgiaCares coordinator. “But we’re not getting nearly the number of problem calls we once did.” Some with high drug costs have already fallen into the [...]

CMS Announces Efforts To Streamline And Improve The Medicare Enrollment Process

“By standardizing the information that a health care provider or supplier must use in order to bill Medicare, we will be better able to protect the Medicare program and assure providers and suppliers that they will be paid promptly,” said, Timothy B. Hill, Chief Financial Officer and Director, Office of Financial Management at CMS. “The [...]

Medicare Proposes Competitive Acquisition Program For Certain Durable Medical Equipment

“We intend to implement these DME competitive reforms to get savings for beneficiaries and taxpayers, while maintaining and improving quality,” said CMS Administrator Mark B. McClellan, M.D., Ph.D. “This is another way in which Medicare is now using competition to bring lower-cost, up-to-date care to our beneficiaries.” Read more on this topic.

Pharmacists ease seniors’ Medicare D confusion

“There’s a lot of smart people here but we couldn’t read the thing the government sent us,� said Elda Mae Lange, who takes 12 prescription drugs a day. “It made absolutely no sense.� “It is not easy for anybody to understand,� said Barton. “It’s all about saving big business in the United States. Big pharmacy [...]

Many seniors unaware of deadline for Medicare drug plan

“It’s a finding that I think can’t be ignored,” says Mollyann Brodie, Kaiser’s vice president for public opinion and media research. “You really do have to take a look at the group that maybe hasn’t gotten the message yet.” “The key message there is, ‘Act now,’ ” Harrington says. “We believe that there is real [...]

Alleged Medicare Fraud Ring Busted In L.A.

Five members of a Russian-Armenian organized crime ring in Southern California have been indicted for allegedly bilking Medicare out of more than $20 million. Prosecutors said the group ran medical clinics and labs in L.A., Glendale and Pasadena that paid marketers for patient referrals and billed Medicare for tests that were unnecessary or were not [...]

Medicare Q&A – Haven’t received Medicare insurance card

Q: I signed up for a Medicare drug plan in March and still haven’t received my insurance card. I need to fill my prescriptions but am concerned that I’ll be charged the full amount for them without my card. What do I do? A: If you signed up for a plan in March, you should [...]

Winners and Losers in the Medicare Drug Lottery

Only about 25% of Medicare recipients have received coverage they previously lacked, according to Los Angeles Times : “Medicare announced that the prescription program is now helping 30 million beneficiaries. However, it is estimated that only about one-third of those had previously lacked drug coverage. The rest were enrolled in other government programs and in [...]

Experts: Get help with Medicare Part D

Time is running out for millions of Americans to double-check their options and determine whether they want to enroll in Medicare‘s new prescription drug benefit, known as Medicare Part D. An estimated 6 million older and disabled Americans — including as many as 40,000 in the Akron-Canton area — still haven’t signed up for a [...]