Today’s Hot Topics in Medicare

Medicare Enrollment Fraud

BY FOX SAN ANTONIO: Open enrollment for Medicare is going on now through December 7th, giving scam artists another opportunity to steal personal information from unsuspecting recipients.

Medical identity theft is different than other types of identity theft in that someone can use your personal information to obtain medical care, buy prescription drugs or submit fake billings in your name. (read more)

Getting the most from Medicare

BY TAYLOR TEPPER : America’s seniors, beware. Not because Halloween is coming, but because Medicare open enrollment is already here.

Millions of retirees will need to wade again into confusing waters to fish for the health insurance that best matches their needs. Finding the most affordable option can be tricky.

How do you choose Parts A (hospitalization), B (medical insurance) and D (prescription drugs)? Should you go with Medicare Advantage (Part C)? (read more)

Social Security: 7 guideline changes coming in 2018

BY SEAN WILLIAMS: Though debatable, Social Security can be called the most important social program in the United States.

As of August, 61.5 million people were receiving benefits and more than 42 million of those folks were retired workers. Many of these retired workers — 62% to be exact — count on their monthly stipend from the Social Security Administration (SSA) for at least half of their income. (read more)

Medicare quality payment program under fire

BY LYMAN SORNBERGER: On Sept. 27, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would not update its overall hospital quality star ratings in October 2017, as planned. This was primarily based on the public’s feedback, but the star ratings released last December will remain on the Hospital Compare website until the next update. The American Hospital Association (AHA) has been very vocal in suggesting that the current proposed Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP) that began Jan. 1, 2017 is misleading. That program required that physicians who are eligible participate in either the Merit-Based Incentive Program (MIPS) or the Alternative Payment Model (APM). Those eligible that did not elect to join either program will receive a 4 percent penalty in their 2019 Medicare reimbursement. (read more)

Medicare open enrollment: How safe is your Medicare Advantage plan?

BY NATION NOW: Medicare Advantage plans have become increasingly popular over the years as older Americans look for ways to cut back on their out-of-pocket healthcare costs.

By combining the coverage of traditional Medicare, a Medicare prescription drug plan, and a Medicare supplemental insurance policy into one package, Medicare Advantage plans have the advantage of simplicity and can also bring cost savings.

Yet it’s also important to understand the potential risks of Medicare Advantage plans so you can evaluate whether it makes sense to choose one over traditional Medicare. (read more)

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