Seniors Flock to Four-Star Medicare Drug Plans

Medicare enrollees are flocking to Medicare Part D prescription drug plans with ratings of four or higher, according to a new report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The report found that the percentage of Medicare enrollees in four-star Part D plans for 2020 will grow to 27.6%, compared with just 3.5% in 2019. Likewise, the percentage of Medicare enrollees in four-star or greater Medicare Advantage Part C plans with prescription drug coverage will grow to 81.1% in 2020, from the current 75.3 % (the figure was just 69% in 2017). The average rating of Part D…

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Medicare Set-asides: The Next Major Workers’ Comp Cost Driver

As America's workforce gets older, it will have a significant impact on the cost structure of the workers' comp system due to requirements that insurers set aside large sums for medical outlays covered by Medicare. That's because the costs of claims involving injured workers who are near or older than retirement age tend to skyrocket. This issue could be the next major cost driver in workers' comp as more baby boomers, nearing retirement age, opt to stay in the workforce. Federal law requires that Medicare approve claims settlements of $25,000 or more for injured workers who are Medicare beneficiaries, who…

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Executive Order to Pave Way for Medicare Changes in 2020

Medicare changes in 2020 may be coming as President Trump recently announced an executive order that gives Medicare recipients more access to innovative and affordable plan options, as well make it easier to find physicians that take new Medicare patients. The order directs the Department of Health and Human Services to write new regulations and take administrative actions that would encourage Medicare Advantage insurers to offer plan designs with innovative new options like telemedicine services and supplemental benefits that plans do not currently offer. Under the executive order, HHS has a year to introduce new regulations and guidance and take…

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Changes Ahead for Medicare Plans for 2020

As open enrollment for Medicare is just around the corner, changes are coming for 2020 that all enrollees and those who are enrolling for the first time should be aware of. Some of the changes are routine, but there are a few regarding the availability of certain plans as well as significant changes to Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans. Below is a rundown of the changes coming for the 2020 policy year. Medicare Part B The monthly premium is projected to rise to $144.30 a month, up from $135.50 in 2019. Medicare supplements Two plans will disappear for new enrollees,…

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Reminder: Open Enrollment Begins Oct. 15!

You've probably read our earlier article reminding you about Medicare Open Enrollment, beginning Oct. 15. You can read the full story here. However, due to its importance, we just wanted to send a quick reminder that it begins October 15 and runs through December 7. That's not much time to get your plans together. So here's another reminder: We can help make this as easy and painless as possible. Premier Insurance Services began decades ago as a Medicare insurance provider. We have a deep knowledge of and experience in the Medicare system — meaning, you'll get every benefit possible and…

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Beware: Medicare Doesn’t Cover Everything

Many retirees get an unpleasant surprise after turning 65 and signing up for Medicare: It doesn't provide complete coverage of health care costs. In fact, there are some very large gaps that can be financially devastating to ordinary Americans. A recent study from Fidelity estimated that the average 65-year-old married couple would need about $280,000 in savings to cover out-of-pocket costs, including Medicare deductibles, copays, prescription drugs, Medicare premiums, dental and vision care. Deductibles and copays Part A Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) still exposes you to the following deductibles, as of 2019: Inpatient hospital deductible: $1,364Daily out-of-pocket hospital costs…

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Don’t Miss Medicare Open Enrollment!

Don't miss the Medicare Open Enrollment Period, which, for those of you who are already enrolled, begins October 15th and runs until December 7th. That's the only time a Medicare beneficiary can ordinarily make changes to his or her existing plan, or enroll in Medicare Advantage (Part C) or the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan (Part D). However, your open enrollment period can vary depending on your specific circumstances. Turning 65 this year? If you are turning 65 this year and you are not already eligible because of a specific medical issue that may qualify you at an earlier age, then…

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Medicare Offers Weight Loss Program for Eligible Participants

As Americans age, it is important for them to stay as healthy as possible. Diet choices and exercise routines are easy to ignore after retirement. People often eat less or eat fewer nutrient-packed foods after they retire. But it's not always easy, particularly if someone is not as active as they were when they were working. Because of expanding wastelines health insurance companies and health organizations across the country are promoting the importance of healthy weight loss for people who are retired or nearing retirement. Medicare has also joined in the fight against obesity and its related diseases by offering…

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