There are only six days remaining in the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period, meaning that Medicare beneficiaries have just a few days left to make changes to their health and drug coverage for 2014.
The Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP), also known as the Annual Enrollment Period, occurs from October 15 to December 7 of each year and it gives beneficiaries the chance to shop around for a new Medicare plan. This includes making changes to their Medicare Advantage (MA) and/or Medicare Part D coverage for the following year. With only a few days left in this enrollment window, it is important for beneficiaries to make sure that they are enrolled in the right Medicare plan(s) for their needs for the following year, for the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period may be one of the only times they can make changes to their health and drug coverage.
The Medicare Annual Election Period for 2014 plans ended this past Saturday, December 7. Learn about what you can do if you missed the AEP in this post.
During the Medicare Annual Election Period, also known as the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period or the Open Enrollment Period, beneficiaries could enroll in or switch their Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D plan. This two-month period is one of the only times that beneficiaries may change their coverage during the year. However, beneficiaries may have other options during the year to either change their coverage or help lower their plan costs while they wait for the next Annual Election Period.
The majority of Medicare beneficiaries will not be falling into the Medicare Part D coverage gap, also known as the Medicare donut hole, in 2013, according to a recent analysis.
For beneficiaries who are enrolled in Medicare Part D plans, there is the chance each year that they may fall into the coverage gap, also known as the Medicare “donut hole.” Within this gap, they must pay for all costs of their prescription drug usage out of their own pocket, with the help of some government subsidies and manufacturer discounts on generic and brand-name medications. A recent eHealth study has found that the majority of beneficiaries will not reach the Medicare donut hole in 2013.
Medicare covers some diabetic services and supplies that are considered medically necessary.
Medicare Part B generally covers diabetic test supplies, screenings, and education for beneficiaries with diabetes or who are at risk for diabetes. In addition, Medicare Part D, which provides coverage of certain prescription drugs, may also cover the costs of certain supplies used for injecting or inhaling insulin. Coverage for test strips and other supplies considered Durable Medical Equipment (DME) may vary for each beneficiary.
This post will explore the different situations in which Medicare will cover diabetic supplies and services.
Saturday, November 30 is Small Business Saturday. Aspiring entrepreneurs might be surprised to discover that some businesses from “the good old days” are still relevant today.
To kick off this year’s Small Business Saturday weekend celebration, here are some small businesses from the past that are seeing a rise in popularity now. If you’re inspired by these old-fashioned comebacks and wish to start a small business yourself, check out our resources for small business owners.
The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program is a health care system for civilian governmental employees in which the government contributes approximately 72% of the weighted average premium of all plans.
Some beneficiaries eligible for both FEHB and Medicare may wonder if they should enroll in Medicare Part B if they already have FEHB coverage. The short answer is no, it is not required for a Medicare beneficiary to enroll in Part B if they do not wish to have this coverage. However, there could be advantages to keeping your FEHB plan while also enrolling in Medicare Part B. Having both could reduce your out-of-pocket costs by ensuring that you are covered for all doctor’s services and preventive care that you could need. Because the FEHB program offers a variety of different plans, it is recommended that you check with the FEHB office to see if Part B coverage is right for your plan.
Most beneficiaries who take specific prescription medications are not in the Medicare Part D plan with the lowest total out-of-pocket costs to them and could save by comparing Medicare drug plans.
Prescription drug coverage is one type of coverage that is not offered by Original Medicare; hence, many beneficiaries, particularly those with illnesses and frequent medication needs, opt to enroll in a Medicare Part D plan if they don’t already have another type of creditable prescription drug coverage. A recent study conducted by eHealth focused on these Medicare beneficiaries, particularly those who take medications for one of these four major types of illnesses: diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD). The study found that most of these beneficiaries were not in the plan with the lowest out-of-pocket cost to them. These individuals could save an average of $716 on medication costs in 2014 by switching to the Part D plan with the lowest out-of-pocket costs for their medications.
The Medicare program changes each year. See how 2014 Medicare changes will affect you.
Medicare is a federally-run program that is subject to annual changes. This includes the costs that beneficiaries must pay in order to get coverage. It can also involve the private health and drug insurance offerings for Medicare beneficiaries that are provided by insurance companies approved by the government. The availability, costs, and coverage of these private insurance plans, including Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D plans, can also change each year. Understanding 2014 Medicare changes will help beneficiaries see how much they will pay for their health and medication costs in the coming year, and what type of coverage and/or private insurance plan(s) will work best for their health care needs in 2014.
The theme for the 2013 National Caregivers Month is “Family Caregivers – Now More Than Ever!” This theme serves to recognize the 90 million family caregivers in the United States today.
At the beginning of November, President Barack Obama made a proclamation regarding National Caregivers Month. He stated, “Across our country, many Americans take up the selfless and unheralded work of delivering care to seniors or people with disabilities or illnesses. The role [caregivers] play in our health care system is one we must recognize and support.” Hence, National Caregivers Month is a month to acknowledge the pivotal role that family and friends play in caring for their sick, elderly, and/or disabled family members or friends.
As we celebrate Veterans Day in November, we remember and honor the great sacrifices made by our nation’s veterans, including celebrity veterans.
You may know them best for their performances on the big screen or in the studio, but these celebrities have something else interesting on their resumes: military service. These veteran celebrity profiles are a reminder that vets are all around us. Please thank the veterans in your life this month and every month!
We’d also like to remind you that veterans over 65 years old may be eligible for both Medicare and Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, which includes celebrity veterans. While Medicare and VA benefits do not work together, you are allowed to have both types of coverage. Visit our site to learn more about the Medicare program.