On October 27, 2011 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) released notices detailing the Medicare Part A and Part B premiums and Deductibles for calendar year 2012. Hospital Deductible: $1,156 per spell of illness Hospital Coinsurance: Days 0-60: $0 Days 61-90: $289 / day Days 91-150: $578 / day Skilled Nursing Facility Coinsurance … Read more

Monday, October 17, 2011– 2:00 P.M., Eastern Time   Call-in Number: 1(888)206-2266  Pass Code: 1050263#   NOTE: We ask people calling from the same location to gather around one telephone. This frees up lines and holds down costs.   ______________________     Special Topic Presentation:   The Supercommittee and Medicare: What Advocates Need to Know    … Read more

An estimated 50,000[1] Medicare beneficiaries who are currently enrolled in Medicare Advantage "Special Needs Plans" (SNPs) but who do not meet the definition of a special needs individual for purposes of their plan will be disenrolled from those plans effective December 31, 2011. Before the end of September 2011, each such beneficiary will receive a … Read more

The Annual Coordinated Election Period for Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D drug coverage started November 15, 2010 and goes through December 31, 2010. During this period, Medicare beneficiaries who do not have a Part D plan can enroll in one, and those who do have Part D coverage can change plans. Beneficiaries can also … Read more

In 2010, as in previous years, some Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and some prescription drug plans (PDPs) have decided not to renew their contracts with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for the coming year.[1] This Alert will address the notice beneficiaries will receive and the rights they have depending on the circumstances … Read more

On February 2, 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in conjunction with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor (DOL), (collectively referred to as the Departments), released interim final rules[1] implementing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). [2] … Read more

Advocates at the Center for Medicare Advocacy are working on a case involving an individual who was in a hospital bed for four days but was never "formally admitted". Instead, the hospital accorded her "observation status". Although Medicare Part B covered her, she has not only not been unable to obtain a determination of Part … Read more

In recognition of Older Americans' Mental Health Week (May 24-30, 2009), this Weekly Alert reviews the mental health services that are available under the Medicare Program. [1] Advocates seek improved access to mental health services, an expansion in the scope of services covered, and an increase in the types of providers whose services are covered. … Read more

The Medicare statute and regulations authorize payment for skilled nursing facility (SNF) care for a beneficiary who, among other requirements, was a hospital inpatient for at least three days before the admission to the SNF.  The Center for Medicare Advocacy has written before about difficulties in calculating hospital time for purposes of using Medicare's post-acute … Read more

Much of the current talk about the problems of Medicare misses the point. The proposals could end up "fixing" a successful program out of existence. Before supporting any fix, remember: Medicare has been a success Medicare assures the elderly and people with disabilities that neither they nor their families will have to bear the full … Read more