For the past ten years, SENIORx Patient Advocates (SPA), Terry Bay, has participated in the Annual National Medicare Training Program hosted by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Each year this program provides training sessions on Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and much more. In addition, the program is well attended by individuals from all over the USA. It provides an opportunity for attendees to collaborate, brainstorm ideas and share best practices.
This year, there were several topics that were very informative and beneficial. Terry took special notice of these topics for our clients:
- The Current State and Future of Medicare: Medicare is well funded and the outlook is good. Medicare beneficiaries will get new Medicare ID cards starting next April 2018. Social security numbers and gender will no longer appear on Medicare cards beginning April next year. There will be a significant promotional effort by CMS to roll this endeavor out to nearly 60 million Medicare beneficiaries to educate and ensure that fraudulent events don’t occur.
- Medicare Coverage for Ambulance Services: This is a topic in which we receive a lot of questions. There are special rules that apply for special circumstances, therefore it’s a case by case situation. We recommend individuals contact us should they have specific questions pertaining to this topic.
- Medigap Supplements and Medicare and Employer Group Health Plans: A large amount of our time is spent consulting perspective and existing retirees who need accurate information regarding Medicare and their Employer/Retiree Group Health Insurance. Medicare enrollment timelines are very specific. To avoid late enrollment penalties or miss critical once only enrollment periods, it’s important that clients understand and meet all deadlines. For these cases, it’s best that individuals contact SENIORx Patient Advocates so we can work directly with them to address individual needs and situations. This will help us identify options, costs and benefits so an informed decision can be made. We also offer special education and training programs that can be provided for human resource departments and/or for employees gathering more information about a transition to Medicare with employer health insurance.
- Medicare Fraud and Abuse Update: Medicare trainees learned that CMS is still aggressively cracking down on fraudulent providers and beneficiaries involved in illicit activities across the nation. Contact Medicare if you suspect a provider has billed for services you have not received. Call SENIORx Patient Advocates to set up an on-line account to track your claims.
- Social Security Benefits: There are often questions and concern over funding shortfalls and the future of Social Security. Social Security presenters reassured attendees that there is enough funding to pay retirement benefits to the 57.7 million beneficiaries who currently collect an average Social Security retirement benefit of $1,350/mo. Officials encouraged setting up an on-line Social Security account to gather more specific and individualized information about benefits. The first Social Security benefits were paid 82 years ago.
- Updates on Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage for 2018: Our team at SENIORx Patient Advocates receives special training to provide assistance to Medicare beneficiaries to help them choose a cost-effective plan that will cover their medications at the lowest price. Terry has been providing Part D prescription plan reviews for 11 years, since the first plans were introduced to the market in 2005 for benefits in 2006. We are certain that there is no one with more experience in this area than SENIORx Patient Advocates. SENIORx Patient Advocates is scheduling Part D review appointments NOW for 2018.
Don’t forget the “Open Enrollment” starts October 15 and runs thru December 7th. SENIORx Patient Advocates encourage individuals to call today to set up their appointments. On Average, SENIORx Patient Advocates has helped clients save an average $1200 to $1600 per year! If you have more questions, please call our office at 472-1770 to set your appointment today!