Today in Medicare

Medicare Part D can modify medicines approved

Covering the bases: Medicare part D plans can modify list of medicines covered

BY AMY RUBINO: Medicare Part D drug plans have formularies. Formularies simply mean a list of medicines that the drug plan will cover. Part D drug plans are required to offer comprehensive formularies. However, Part D drug plans can modify their formularies.

Every year prior to the annual open enrollment period, Part D plans reevaluate their formularies. The period begins Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7. During this time, a person can reevaluate their drug coverage and make a decision to either remain in their current drug plan or switch to a new drug plan. (read more)

CMS announces efforts to help with Hurricane Irma emergency response

BY CMS MEDIA RELATIONS: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma today announced the efforts that are underway to support the states and U.S. territories in the path of Hurricane Irma. Specific actions include temporarily waiving or modifying certain Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) requirements to provide immediate relief to those affected by the hurricane.

“CMS is working to do all we can to support Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the impacted region in the wake of this historic and destructive storm,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. (read more)

Changes ahead for seniors selecting Medigap supplement insurance

BY GAIL MARKS JARVIS / CHICAGO TRIBUNE: A plan to shut the doors on the most popular insurance policies used by retirees on Medicare will soon present difficult decisions for people choosing Medigap supplement insurance.

In 2020, people who are on Medicare and don’t already have what’s known as Plan F or Plan C Medigap insurance won’t be able to buy it because the federal government will close those plans to new participants. That means that when people go onto Medicare at 65, or if they switch Medicare-related insurance during the next couple of years, they are going to have to be diligent about scrutinizing insurance possibilities before some of those doors start to close. (read more)

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