Monday, November 19, 2012

Medicare Part B To Increase In Cost In 2013

Taken from California Healthline, under Medicare, 
as reported via AP/New York Times, 11/16

Monthly Premiums for Medicare Part B Set To Increase Slightly in 2013

Medicare Part B premiums will increase by $5 per month next year, CMS announced Friday, the AP/New York Times reports (AP/New York Times, 11/16).

According to a notice published in the Federal Register, the monthly premium for Medicare Part B -- which covers physician visits, outpatient care and medical supplies -- will be $104.90, up by 5% from $99.90 in 2012. Annual deductibles for Part B also will rise, from $140 to $147.

Meanwhile, premiums for Medicare Part A -- which pays for inpatient hospitals, skilled-nursing facilities and some home health care services -- will decline by $10 to $441 in 2013. Part A deductibles will increase by $28, from $1,156 last year to $1,184 in 2013 (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 11/16).

Medicare actuaries had estimated that Part B monthly premiums would increase by $9, based on early estimated cost growth for the program (Radnofsky, Wall Street Journal, 11/16).

CMS Acting Administrator Marilyn Tavenner noted that while the premium increase is less than anticipated, it is still enough to account for about one-quarter of a typical retiree's cost-of-living raise in Social Security payments next year (AP/New York Times, 11/16).

Please let anyone you know who is paying for medicare.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Medicare & Medigap Plan A Basics!

Plan A is basic to all medicare coverage.  It is an individual option as well as a part of all enhanced optional coverage. Here is an outline that includes what Medicare Plan A covers and how a Medigap Plan A may be utilized with it.  As always . your questions are welcomed!  Call me, Kathy Hope, at 800-792-9114.

Plan A Coverage 
Is Included In All 10 Plans
Medicare Part A pays for hospitalizations for the 1st 60 days but only pays a portion of the daily costs from the 61st day through the 150th day.  You must pay the coinsurance amounts for those days.  
Medigap Plan A pays the coinsurance amount for those days and provides an additional 365 lifetime days.  
Medicare pays for all blood that is medically necessary except for the first three pints in each calendar year.
Medigap Plan A pays for the first three pints of blood not paid for by Medicare. 
Medical Expenses:
Generally Medicare Part B pays for 80% of a predetermined amount (called the "Medicare approved" amount) for each procedure, supply, or service billed by your doctor or other provider that is not a hospital. 
Medigap Plan A pays the coinsurance (generally 20% of the "Medicare approved" amount) under Medicare Part B.
Note the definitions of deductible & co-insurance
Deductible - must be paid before medicare activates.
Co-insurance - After deductible and paid in addition to medicare covera

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

How Healthy "IS" Living In California?

How healthy is living in California?  A little bit more healthy than in 2010! 
Here is a recent study as published at 

California climbed two spots from its #26 ranking in 2010, and is now ranked as the 24th healthiest state to live in, according to the 2011 America's Health Rankings® by the United Health Foundation.

The good news:
Smoking has been on the decline in California, falling by 20 percent over the past decade (though nearly 3.4 million adults still smoke).

The bad news:

  • The number of obese Californians has risen by 2 million over the past decade. More than 6.9 million California adults are now obese.
  • Diabetes among adults has also risen over the past decade, from 6.8 percent to 8.6 percent of adults.
  • The percentage of children in poverty has increased from 18.5 percent to 23 percent over the past five years.
California's best and worst category rankings:

Smoking – 2nd
Early Prenatal Care – 3rd
Occupational Fatalities – 4th
Infant Mortality – 5th
Lack of Health Insurance – 45th
Air Pollution – 50th


Thursday, November 1, 2012

"Covered Califonia" - New Name For CA Health Ins. Coverage

We finally have a new name for our California Health Insurance ... are you ready?
It is ......  Covered California 

Here are all the details as written today by David Gorn in the Capital Desk Column of California Healthline.  Here you go:

"Exchange Picks New Name: Covered Californiaby David Gorn
The California Health Benefit Exchange board voted Tuesday to adopt a new name for the health insurance coverage it will offer starting January 2014 -- Covered California.

The decision comes after months of work. In August, the long list of potential names was winnowed to about a dozen possible names -- including CaliHealth, CalAccess, Wellquest, PACcess and Covered California. The list alos included unusual trademark names such as Ursa, Healthifornia, Eureka, Beneficia, Cal-Vida and Condor, as well as the crowd favorite, Avocado.

After designing logos, holding focus group meetings and running trademark searches, that list was cut down to four finalists in September: Ursa, Eureka, CaliHealth and Covered California. Trademark concerns emerged around Ursa and CaliHealth, and those names were dropped, said Chris Kelly, who made the final name presentation to the exchange board.

Kelly presented final logo designs to the board for Covered California (tagline: "Your destination for affordable healthcare"), a related-but-separate design for Covered, CA and Eureka ("Where California discovers affordable healthcare"). After gauging the final set of focus group opinions, Kelly said the recommendation to the board was to go with Covered California.

Eureka was seen by focus groups as more of a private insurance program, Kelly said. Covered California was particularly well-liked by the Latino population in the focus groups, and by almost two-thirds of respondents overall.

"We're looking for a brand consumers can relate to, and inspire them to enroll in health care in the exchange," said Oscar Hidalgo, director of communication and public affairs at the exchange. "This is a real pivot point for us, using that brand and tagline and logo for future campaigns to help consumers relate to our mission. We're still working on a few other things to complement that, and that should be done by the next exchange board meeting."
The next steps, Kelly said, are to secure the final trademark and finalize the logo and tagline, which should be done by Nov. 12. Those final designs should be ready for the next exchange board meeting, he said, on Nov. 14."

California Health Insurance