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Medicare announces $60M cut to home health care services

Senior and nurse
October 31st, 2014

Medicare-eligible seniors may have fewer long-term care options next year. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a $60 million cut to home health agencies for 2015 in a rule released Thursday. The cut equals 0.3 percent of the Medicare payments the industry receives. Approximately 3.5 million seniors receive home-based medical services. Groups [...]

ACA Medicare payment reforms improve patient experience

Most Americans are very satisfied with their health care services, but they aren't as positive about the system as a whole.
October 30th, 2014

Results from the first year of the Accountable Care Organization programs indicate improved patient satisfaction, a study by the Harvard Medical School Department of Health Care Policy reveals. A key Medicare payment reform component of the ACA, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are a payment model that allows provider groups to share in the savings when [...]

Medicare Advocates Petition for Stronger Network Guarantees

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide the subsidies issue that's currently tying up the Affordable Care Act's implementation.
October 29th, 2014

Medicare advocates argue that patients deserve the protections listed in legislation introduced by Connecticut members of Congress in June, The Hartford Courant reports. On Tuesday, the Center for Medicare Advocacy and Medicare Rights Centers held a phone conference with U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District, and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn to discuss the bill the [...]

Health Insurance Giants Vow To Fight Medicare Advantage Cuts

Many people who aren't insured still aren't aware that there's a law requiring them to buy health coverage, according to a new poll.
October 28th, 2014

During a Washington forum earlier this month, the CEOs of UnitedHealth Group and Humana spoke about the harmful effects of Medicare Advantage program cuts, and promised to fight further reductions in spending. “It has really not been adequately funded for the last four years,” said Stephen Hemsley, CEO of UnitedHealth Group, speaking at the CAPG Colloquium on Physician [...]

How to Improve Medicare Supplement Sales

Medicare_Old Couple
October 27th, 2014

Price is one of the major obstacles agents face when selling Medicare supplement plans. However, closing Medigap leads doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. Yes, Medicare Advantage plans tend to be cheaper, but the Medigap market is still thriving. Why? Because for many seniors it makes more sense to opt-in to traditional Medicare and [...]

More (and better) Medicare Advantage plans available in 2015

Healthcare overhaul could impact agents' earnings if left unaddressed.
October 24th, 2014

According to recent data from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), beneficiaries will have more–and better—Medicare Advantage options in 2015. Availability will also be stronger than ever. Roughly 99 percent of Medicare beneficiaries will have at least one plan offered in their area. As Medicare Advantage becomes more widely available, plan quality improves. A [...]

5 Tips to Help You Serve Medicare Clients This AEP

Tap into the senior demographic through smart marketing techniques that speak to them.
October 23rd, 2014

Enrolling in a Medicare plan can be a frustrating process for both seniors and agents. With all the changes in recent years, beneficiaries are overwhelmed with options and information. Many seniors resist switching plans to avoid the headache of re-evaluating their coverage. However, your job as an agent is to help them determine which plan [...]

Medicare Advantage enrollment to reach all-time high

(Source: MedicareAdvantage.org)
October 22nd, 2014

Good news for agents: the 2014-2015 AEP will be your best year ever for Medicare leads. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) expect Medicare Advantage enrollment to reach a new all-time high for the fifth straight year in a row. Between 2010 and 2015, enrollment is estimated to increase by 42 percent. Premiums [...]

New CMS Risk-Management Program May Receive 9 Billion Claims

Consumers saved $1 billion in premiums last year, thanks to rates being more affordable than first predicted.
October 21st, 2014

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is rolling out a new health record collection and analysis effort: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act risk-adjustment program, LifeHealthPro reports. Designed to shift cash from health insurers with low-risk individual and small-group enrollees to insurers with high-risk individual and small-group enrollees, the program is one [...]

Why You Should Ask About Retirement Income this Medicare AEP

Rising Cost of Healthcare
October 17th, 2014

Your Medicare conversations need to include retirement planning when it comes to enrolling seniors this AEP. Why? Because newly retired Boomers may be shocked by the Medicare costs they incur. A new white paper from HeathView Services, a firm that collects retirement health care data, reveals how Medicare premiums and surcharges are tied to retirees’ [...]