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More Good News for Medicare


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#1 LTnewsDawg

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Posted 01 December 2011 - 04:50 PM

Earlier this week, I highlighted a new story from the Associated Press indicating that seniors who hit the prescription drug coverage gap known as the donut hole will save an average of $600 this year alone.

Today, we got more good news for people with Medicare. Released today, a new report from the Government Accountability Office requested by Senators Baucus and Harkin finds that more seniors are enrolling in Medicare Advantage and that premiums are going down. The report examined changes in the Medicare Advantage program between 2010 and 2011. Here are a few of the highlights:

Access to Medicare Advantage Remains Strong, with more people enrolled in Medicare Advantage this year:

“Enrollment in the MA plans GAO analyzed increased by about 6 percent--from 7.9 million to 8.4 million beneficiaries--from April 2010 through April 2011.”

Medicare Advantage premiums are going down:

“The average monthly premium for beneficiaries in MA plans decreased from $28 in 2010 to $24 in 2011, about a 14 percent reduction.”

President Obama is committed to making Medicare stronger and today’s report is another sign that the Affordable Care Act is working for America’s seniors. In addition to lower premiums, seniors can get free preventive services like mammograms and other cancer screenings and a free annual wellness visit. And in the years ahead, the prescription drug coverage gap known as the donut hole will be eliminated.

You can learn more about Medicare and the Affordable Care Act at www.healthcare.gov. And click here to read the full report from the GAO, entitled MEDICARE ADVANTAGE: Enrollment Increased from 2010 to 2011 While Premiums Decreased and Benefit Packages Were Stable.

Nancy-Ann DeParle is the Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff





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#2 skeptic2

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 08:43 AM

This happening despite cutting government payments to insurance carriers.
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#3 daisy-dog

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 08:54 AM

This happening despite cutting government payments to insurance carriers.


If government payments continue to be cut I believe many doctors and hospitals will stop treating medicare patients.

#4 Dr. Harl Delos

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 06:36 PM

If government payments continue to be cut I believe many doctors and hospitals will stop treating medicare patients.


Suppose you have more patients than you can handle. Some of them, Medicare, pay you $100, pay promptly and reliably Some of them, are insurance companies for which you are a "preferred provider" and you get $125, but they are slow-pay and sometimes refuse to pay. Some of them are self-pay, and you get $200 except that you end up writing off a lot of bad debts.

Medicare cuts payments to $80. Some doctors will stop taking Medicare patients. That makes it easy to get in to those doctors, and you lose patients to them who want to be seen right away instead of waiting four weeks. Other doctors, including you, have more Medicare patients, fewer insurance patients, fewer self-pay patients.

At this point, the insurance company starts giving $100 instead of $125 to preferred providers.

If you demand payment on the barrel-head, and you don't sign up as a preferred provider, and you refuse to accept Medicare, you can still get $200 - but if you only have enough of them to stay busy 10 hours a week, you might not be able to pay for your malpractice insurance. If you've built a reputation as the best brain surgeon in seven states, you will still have more patients than you can handle.

It's a constantly changing dynamic. Supply depends on what other doctors do. If you have three insurance clerks, and your practice becomes 100% Medicare patients, you can cut back to one insurance clerk. If you are getting established, and you can handle more patients, you probably aren't going to turn away anyone. If you're highly in demand, you play hardball in the negotiations with insurance companies over preferred provider status.

And while some doctors will decline new Medicare patients, the number of patients and the number of doctors won't change a lot. It'll remain equally easy/hard to get an appointment.
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#5 prettylight

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Posted 11 July 2017 - 02:57 PM

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Goliath doesn't always win. Sometimes David wins.  --paraphrasing Bill Moyers

 


#6 prettylight

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Posted 28 July 2017 - 12:04 AM

John DingellVerified account @JohnDingell

 
 
 
 

7/27/65 52 years ago TODAY, I presided over House passage of Medicare--a promise we made to care for those in the twilight of their lives.

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8:10 PM - 27 Jul 2017
 

Goliath doesn't always win. Sometimes David wins.  --paraphrasing Bill Moyers

 


#7 prettylight

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Posted 29 July 2017 - 04:02 PM

In presence of Harry Truman, LBJ signed bill creating Medicare and Medicaid, Truman Library, Independence, Mo., tomorrow 1965: #LBJL

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12:03 PM - 29 Jul 2017
 

Goliath doesn't always win. Sometimes David wins.  --paraphrasing Bill Moyers

 





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