Medicare Independent Payment Advisory Board

In the list of provisions included in the health care reform bills, it looks like the most important element is the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which will have the ability to set policy for Medicare. I was just reading on the Health [...]

Health Care Reform Law and Part D

March 2010: All the delays in passing the health care reform bill will also delay positive changes to Part D coverage. Seniors were supposed to get relief this year, but it appears that people who fall into the doughnut hole in 2010 will only [...]

Medicare Advantage Plan Change: March 31 Deadline

After March 31st, seniors enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan will be “locked into” their plan for the rest of the year.  Enrollees can still change their Advantage plan until March 31st. They can also go back to using their [...]

Health Care Reform Law and Medicare

Impact on Medicare Final Health Reform Law (Senate Bill and Reconciliation) * Prescription Drugs Requires 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs in the doughnut hole, starting in 2011.Phases out the doughnut hole completely by 2020, [...]

The Health Care Reform Law and Medicare

Here is a concise summary of what the Health Care Reform Law means for Medicare and Medicare Advantage.  A change I haven’t mentioned previously concerns the time period for changing Medicare Advantage plans, which is currently allowed [...]

Big Cuts to Medicare Advantage Won’t Come in an Election Year.

Medicare Advantage plans will not face big payment cuts until 2012.  Under the health care reform bill, Advantage plans will get the same payments in 2011 as they receive in 2010. So November 2010 should not see big changes to Medicare Advantage [...]

The Bill and Part D

All the delays in passing the health care reform bill will also delay positive changes to Part D coverage. Seniors were supposed to get relief this year, but it appears that people who fall into the donut hole in 2010 will only get a $250 [...]

Health Care Bill: What happens next?

The Democratic Caucus provided a list of provisions in the health care bill that will take effect immediately. The legislation would: *Prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions for children in all new insurance plans; *Provide immediate access [...]

The Most Important Medicare Change?

In the list of provisions included in the health care bill that will be passed this evening (March 21), it looks like the most important element is the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which will have the ability to set policy for Medicare. I [...]

What’s in the Health Care Bill for Medicare: Part 2

A tax increase and lower payments to Medicare Advantage plans are expected to cut the Medicare budget by $400 billion over ten years.   I found a summary of provisions on the Kaiser Family Foundation website.  The Senate bill, which the House [...]

Pre-existing Conditions: Gone in Six Months?

I was just reading in the New York Times that, within six months after passage of the health care bill, insurance companies will not be able to refuse people coverage because of pre-existing conditions.  I thought this was one of the things [...]

What’s In the Health Care Bill for Medicare?

What’s in the Obama-Care bill as it relates to Medicare?   The savings from various provisions in the bill are supposed to save Medicare about $400 billion dollars over ten years.  I found a summary of provisions on the Kaiser Family [...]

Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Program in Arizona

I just heard that  an Arizona resident who purchases a qualified long-term care policy can now get protection for assets equal to the amount of the long term care policy. This policy took effect January 1, but I don’t recall seeing any [...]

AARP Medicare Supplements: Lower Premiums Announced

AARP/UnitedHealthcare has released  rates in Arizona for its “Modernized Medicare Supplements” which take effect after June 1, 2010.   All  post-June AARP Medicare Supplement rates will be about 7 percent lower than current rates. [...]

Medicare Cancels Part D Contract with Fox Insurance

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) terminated its contract with Fox Insurance Company.  After an onsite review of the plan and its services, CMS determined that the plan’s significant deficiencies – not meeting Medicare’s [...]

Is Social Security in Trouble?

With payroll taxes down, I’ve read that Social Security will likely pay out more money than it takes in over the next two years.  Here is some interesting information I’ve found on Social Security: According to government figures, [...]

$1.2 Trillion wasted on Health Care Each Year

According to a recent CNN report, for every dollar the nation spends on health care, 50 cents is wasted. Wasteful spending may account for as much as $1.2 trillion of the $2.2 trillion spent on health care in the United States each year. The [...]

Last Chance to Change Medicare Coverage for 2010

March 31st is the deadline for making a change to your Medicare coverage for the year.  After April 1st most people are “locked in” with their coverage until January 2011.  The only exceptions are for people who move to another [...]