Medicare Brochure Stirs Controversy

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Top House Democrats on Wednesday said they support a taxpayer-funded brochure outlining the changes in Medicare under the health care overhaul, amid growing Republican cries of propaganda.

This week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services mailed the four-page brochure to over 40 million Americans who use Medicare to explain how the program will change under the reform law. Critics say the mailing is overtly partisan and contains inaccuracies about what the overhaul will do.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0510/37828.html


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Medicare Fraud: It Hurts Everyone

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On Mar. 23rd, mcbr0094 from the University of Minnesota wrote a great piece on their blog, entitled:

Winning the Lottery an Every Day Occurrence: Medicare Fraud

I would like to share a personal anecdote that I witnessed first hand that shows how Medicare fraud affects not only our pocket books, but more importantly, elderly citizens (and particularly those who are poor.

When I first began working in the area of Medicare related insurance, I was helping folks in the Dallas area with Medicare Advantage plans that were specifically designed for folks who were designated as “dual eligible” (they had both Medicare and Medicaid).

The benefits that were offered by this Advantage plan far exceeded the benefits beneficiaries received from Medicare and Medicaid. Beneficiaries could receive services, such as no cost health club membership, no cost eye ware, no cost hearing aids, rides to the their doctor, and so on.

It baffled me then, when I began to run into folks who were not even interested in this plan (or similar plans). What I began to discover was that some of the “Home Health Care” agencies that were taking care of these folks were committing all kinds of billing fraud. In some cases, they might be double billing Medicare and Medicaid for the same services, or simply lying about the amount of hours they were providing care.

None of these “under the radar” services were approved vendors by any of the big plans and as I began to discover, they ONLY served clients who were dual eligible.

These fraudulent practices were so profitable that they would actually pay the client an incentive (usually about $100 per month) to keep their services (and not switch to a plan that wouldn’t pay them).

For many of these clients, $100 a month was like hitting it big! Many of these folks were very poor and enjoyed no discretionary income whatsoever.

It was a very sad scene indeed. People were actually turning away far superior health benefits that could help them remain healthy. The value of these benefits far exceeded $100 per month. Nevertheless, I understand why they kept the cash. For many of them in abject poverty, it was like a drug. Those who committed the fraud, like drug pushers.

Those who perpetrated this crime may have “won the lottery,” but in the end, everyone else pays the price. The “least of these,” our aged and poor are those who suffer the most.


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Immediate Effects on Medicare

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Kaiser Health News:

One of the immediate effects of the new health care legislation, as it effects Medicare and reported by Kaiser Health News is as follows:

Discounts and free care in Medicare: The approximately 4 million Medicare beneficiaries who hit the so-called “doughnut hole” in the program’s drug plan will get a $250 rebate this year. Next year, their cost of drugs in the coverage gap will go down by 50 percent. Preventive care, such as some types of cancer screening, will be free of co-payments or deductibles starting in 2010.

Go to Medicare National to get your Medicare Supplement Quote.

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Yahoo! News Search Results for medicare supplement quote

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WPS Health Insurance today announced WPS Bridge65, a new individual health plan for people ages 60 to 64 who want the security of a fixed monthly premium. The WPS Bridge65 monthly rate can be “locked” for up to five years, offering peace of mind to anyone concerned about rising health insurance costs.
WPS Health Insurance Announces Fixed-Rate Individual Health Insurance Plan for Wisconsinites Ages 60-64 (PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance)


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Yahoo! News Search Results for supplemental ins

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Published: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. Last Modified: Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at 8:17 a.m. Children can receive free homework help from 3 to 4 p.m. every Tuesday at the Bayou Blue Library, 198 Mazerac St. For information, call the library at 580-0634.
Community calendar (The Daily Comet)

Yahoo! News Search Results for in medicare supplement

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Starting on June 1, 2010 new medicare supplement (Medigap) plans M %26 N will take effect. The latter will offer senior citizens low premiums never before seen with medicare supplements. Precision Senior Marketing, a national medicare FMO, announced today that it is providing information and rates for the new medicare supplement Plan N.
medicare supplement Plan N information and Rates Now Available Through Precision Senior Marketing (PRWeb via Yahoo! News)

Brings “Sign and Buy at Home” Convenience for medicare supplement insurance
insurance Administrative Solutions L.L.C. Implements eSignSystems’ Electronic Signature Solution for New Online … (Marketwire)


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Yahoo! News Search Results for medicare supplement quote

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WPS Health Insurance today announced WPS Bridge65, a new individual health plan for people ages 60 to 64 who want the security of a fixed monthly premium. The WPS Bridge65 monthly rate can be “locked” for up to five years, offering peace of mind to anyone concerned about rising health insurance costs.
WPS Health Insurance Announces Fixed-Rate Individual Health Insurance Plan for Wisconsinites Ages 60-64 (PR Newswire via Yahoo! Finance)


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Yahoo! News Search Results for blue shield medicare supplement

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The good news in today’s announcement is that, unlike in past years, the coverage gap in the medicare drug benefit-the so-called doughnut hole when consumers must pay full price for their medicine-is not expected to grow in 2011. For technical reasons related to how the drug benefit parameters are calculated, the coverage gap will actually shrink by $10. That is not a lot, however, compared to a …
Statement By medicare Rights Center President Joe Baker On Release Of Preliminary 2011 Payment Rates For Private … (Medical News Today)

Virginia is among states that already have authority to approve or reject premium rate increases for individual policies
Burden of paying for health insurance growing (Culpeper Star-Exponent)


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Yahoo! News Search Results for medicare supplemental insurance

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March 15, 2010 If you have Original medicare and do not have supplemental insurance from a former employer, you may be able to buy a supplemental coverage policy called a %26ldquo;Medigap.%26rdquo; Medigaps fill gaps in Original medicare by covering deductibles, coinsurances and some additional benefits.
‘Medigap’ supplemental insurance for medicare: When You Have the Right to Buy It (Senior Journal)

Brings “Sign and Buy at Home” Convenience for medicare Supplement insurance
insurance Administrative Solutions L.L.C. Implements eSignSystems’ Electronic Signature Solution for New Online … (Marketwire)


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Yahoo! News Search Results for mutual of omaha medicare supplement

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Starting on June 1, 2010 new medicare supplement (Medigap) plans M %26 N will take effect. The latter will offer senior citizens low premiums never before seen with medicare supplements. Precision Senior Marketing, a national medicare FMO, announced today that it is providing information and rates for the new medicare supplement Plan N.
medicare supplement Plan N Information and Rates Now Available Through Precision Senior Marketing (PRWeb via Yahoo! News)


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