Archive for October, 2006

Study: health insurance costs vary around Wisconsin

What’s driving the disparity. Kraig says consolidation of health systems is a major contributor to health insurance costs. “Areas of the state that have the least competition between the major hospital systems . seem to have the highest costs,” said Kraig. Madison, with it’s large buying pool of state employees, has the state’s lowest health [...]

Less Than Half of Boomers-Seniors Think Medicare Drug Program is Good for Older Americans, says AARP Poll

Still, even adding in the more positive responses by the baby boomers the survey found less than half thinking the Medicare Part D is a good thing for these Americans “having difficulty paying for prescription drugs.” The spin put on the results in the news release from AARP’s latest “Election Watch” poll, said, “?almost twice [...]

Care Improvement Plus Launches Texas’ First Health Plan for Chronically Ill Medicare Beneficiaries

“This is the first time a plan like this has been offered to Texas‘ chronically ill seniors,” said Care Improvement Plus’ Regional Vice President Lee Spruiell. “While disease management-focused health plans are a new concept, our focus on providing tools to help manage chronic conditions makes sense for this population. Not only can our services [...]

HealthSpring Implements and Eases Medicare Part D Compliance Process

Sonya Edwards, Clinical Pharmacist for HealthSpring, says, “The Zynchros formulary application is very user friendly. formulary updates that used to take hours, now take only a few minutes. keeps track of your formulary so you won’t have to,” she says. “Your complete formulary information is right at your fingertips, along with CMS model formulary [...]

Seniors fret over changes in Medicare drug program

“My older brother’s a physicist, my younger brother’s a pharmacist, and I’m an engineer, and we’ve all found it to be very, very complicated,” Musch says. “I feel sorry for the mass of elderly people out there. It’s got to be very confusing for them.” “People seem a lot more OK with it this year,” [...]

Local senior citizens agency seeks assistance for the elderly

The Ark-Tex Council of Government (ATCOG) Area Agency on Aging (AAA) was established in 1974 (to comply with the federal Older Americans Act of 1965) to plan and develop programs specifically for citizens 60 years of age and older and their spouses. Judy Mattson, manager of the programs said, �The Area Agency on Aging serves [...]

Proposal would make Oregon first with universal health care –

“This is the first step on a very, very long journey.” Sen. Ben Westlund, committee co-chairman and an Independent from Bend, said there is feeling in the health care community that “we are heading toward the wall at 80 miles per hour. If we do nothing, we hit the wall.” Read more on this topic.

Choosing a Medicare plan can overwhelm

Though he’s more than 65 years old “I’m old,” is as specific as he gets. Bollinger isn’t on Part D because he has a Department of Veterans Affairs health insurance plan that includes prescription coverage. But in helping his wife, he formed some strong opinions about the Medicare prescription plan. “They’re out to make it [...]

Medicare Part D open enrollment for 2007

“A lot of people are not aware that plans will change in 2007 and that they once again need to pick a plan that meets their needs,” said Deanne Beebe, spokesperson for the Medicare Rights Center, a counseling and advocacy group. “And if they’re happy with their plan now, they need to figure out if [...]

It???s time to choose Medicare drug plan

Charlotte S. Yeh, regional administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare & medicaid services, said, “If you’re happy with what you have, you don’t have to make any changes at all.” •It appears that you are enrolled in an enhanced plan from Humana. For this year, you’re probably paying a monthly premium of about $13.92. [...]

Higher-income beneficiaries will pay a higher Medicare premium

Some beneficiaries will have to pay a sharply higher monthly premium next year because they have what the government describes as “higher incomes.” (Your AGI is a figure on the front of your federal income-tax return. The government will use that figure, with certain adjustments. By the way: I couldn’t find a provision in the [...]

Medicare provides little help for seniors with mental health needs

“It would open up a whole lot more providers,” said Bob DeLozier, licensed professional counselor at St. John Medical Center. “Quite frankly, I don’t think there are enough (mental health care) outpatient providers for Medicare recipients.” “As we move toward 2010 and our population expands greatly, we are going to see people with these mental [...]

Medicare Part D is to reopen Nov. 15

“So you have the coverage by Jan. 1, because that’s when it would go into effect,â€? said Dorothy Zwick of Columbus, a volunteer with the Nebraska senior health insurance Information Program. “If people are happy with their current Part D provider, they do not have to re-enroll.â€? “This is unauthorized so don’t call his office,â€? [...]

Sen. Grassley seeks funding extension for hospitals to ensure Medicare reimbursements reflect local wages

According to Grassley spokesperson Jill Kozeny, the extension would allow Congress to consider revisions to the Medicare wage index proposed by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. She added that the extension would cost less than $100 million. Grassley said that he would seek the extension as part of a Medicare package that Congress might consider [...]

New Medicare enrollment begins Nov. 15

“This training will explain how to provide enrollment assistance,” said Peele. “In addition, participants will be exposed to the general benefit regulations will be exposed to the general benefit regulations and learn about the companies offering this program.” Read more on this topic.