The California Department of Insurance is alerting seniors and their advocates to be on their guard against improper sales practices during the annual open enrollment period for Medicare Advantage plans (Part C) and the Medicare Prescription Drug (Part D) Program.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have released the 2017 Medicare Advantage Star Ratings in an effort to help guide Medicare beneficiaries in their selection of a MA-PD or Prescription Drug Plans during open enrollment.
There are errors on the Medicare Plan Finder website, Medicare.gov, and within the “2017 Medicare & You Handbook” regarding some Anthem Blue Cross Medicare Advantage plans. The errors are limited to the state of California (CA) and include the counties of Santa Clara, Kings, Tulare, Madera, Stanislaus, San Bernardino, Riverside and Fresno. The benefit information for Fresno MediBlue Plus (HMO) Plan is incorrect, and the service area information for Santa Clara, Kings, Tulare, Madera, Stanislaus, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties is also incorrect.
People who turn 65 and may have been receiving a hefty subsidy through Covered California to reduce their health insurance premium can be shocked at the costs of enrolling in Medicare. However, there are a variety of resources to assist Medicare beneficiaries to lower their health insurance and health care costs. Assistance from both Social Security and Medi-Cal may be an option for some Medicare beneficiaries depending on their household income.
We are notifying the members in the following closed plans that their prescription drug coverage will be considered non-creditable in 2017, which is a change from 2016, when their prescription drug coverage was considered creditable. This means that the coverage offered by their plan is not expected to pay out as much as standard Medicare prescription drug coverage pays.
Beginning in August, 2016, Covered California will send a notice to those consumers approaching or are over their 65th birthday who may be eligible for Medicare. The notice advises them that they may no longer be eligible for Advanced Premium Tax Credit or Covered California coverage. If the consumer receives the notice, it will be displayed in the online application (CalHEERS).
Today, we [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid] are updating the star ratings on the Hospital Compare website to help millions of patients and their families learn about the quality of hospitals, compare facilities in their area side-by-side, and ask important questions about care quality when visiting a hospital or other health care provider. Today’s update comes after substantive discussions with hospitals and other stakeholders to review the Overall Hospital Quality Star Rating’s methodology.
Some people qualify for big savings on their Medicare prescription drug costs and don’t even realize it! In fact, if you receive Medicare, you may be eligible for the Extra Help, which could save you about $4,000 per year on your monthly premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription co-payments.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an Informational Bulletin updating the poverty guidelines that are applied to eligibility criteria for programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Included with this informational bulletin is the 2016 Dual Eligible Standards chart that displays the new standards for the Medicare Savings Program categories.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) introduced the first patient experience of care star ratings on Home Health Compare. Known as Home Health Care Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HHCAHPS) Survey star ratings, these measures evaluate patients’ experiences with home health agencies.