Medicare & Other Health Insurance

  • Are Medical Costs Taking a Toll?

    By on March 8, 2016

    Yes, and a big one. Over 26% of people in a recent poll said that health care costs posed a significant financial burden on them and/or their family. Forty-two percent of the people said they have paid all or nearly all of their savings on medical costs, and 27% said they were unable to...

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  • Can I Keep My Medigap Plan C or F?

    By on October 19, 2015

    You not only can keep a Medigap Plan C or F if you have one, there is no legitimate reason for you to replace it. Rumors have been flying around about Medigap Plans C and F and whether people can keep them or have to give them up. The rumors are a result of...

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  • Time for CalPERS Members to Review Their Medicare Coverage Options for 2016

    By on September 21, 2015

    While Medicare’s fall open enrollment will begin in a few weeks on Oct 15, CalPERS (California Public Employee Retirement System) fall open enrollment has already begun. Their Medicare and non-Medicare members have from Sept 14 – Oct 9 to review and change their coverage, which is then effective January 1, 2016. For their members...

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  • Doc Fix and H.R. 2 ~ It Could Have Been Worse

    By on May 18, 2015

    After 17 “doc fix” patches in the past 11 years, Congress finally passed a bill to replace a broken payment system and reform the way Medicare pays its doctors. In the past, these “doc fixes” were required to prevent steep annual cuts resulting from the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula used for doctors’ payment...

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  • Budget Proposals Look to Medicare for Savings & Shift Costs to Beneficiaries

    By on March 16, 2015

    Both the House and Senate released their budget proposals for fiscal year 2016 in mid March. Both proposals aim to balance the budget within 10 years, repeal the Affordable Care Act, support major cuts to domestic programs including Medicare and turn certain entitlement programs such as Medicaid and food stamps into state-run block grants....

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  • Do You Have Skin in the Medicare Game? ~ a commentary by Bonnie Burns

    By on February 26, 2015

    The term “skin in the game” was used frequently in Congressional Medicare hearings last year and continues again this year.  It means that Medicare beneficiaries should pay more of their own medical expenses.  It was used again during a recent hearing on changing the way doctors are paid by Medicare and how to pay...

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  • Secretary Sebelius Accepts NAIC Recommendations Against Increased Cost-Sharing for Medigap Plans C & F

    By on May 31, 2013

    As you may remember, the passage of the Accountable Care Act required to National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) to consider adding cost-sharing to Medigap Plans C and F. Bonnie Burns, our Training and Policy Specialist, was on the subgroup addressing this issue for almost 2 years. All their research continually showed that beneficiaries...

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  • Health Disparities Are Still “Alive & Well” in America

    By on March 21, 2013

    As a nation, Americans get sick more often than other industrialized countries. Since the mid 1990s Americans with at least 3 chronic illnesses has nearly doubled, and America’s ranking in infant mortality and lifespan has also plunged. This decline in overall health in our population is seen across the board, yet the numbers are...

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  • Learn the Facts on Medigap

    By on February 25, 2013

    Cutting health care costs is high on the Congressional radar as a way to reduce the federal deficit. One of the many proposals being considered is restricting the benefits a Medigap plan can pay, as many plans pay Medicare’s deductibles and unlimited copayments. Another proposal is taxing people who have this coverage. Yet, shifting costs to...

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  • Elaine Speaks of Medicare & California-Specific Issues, Common Misconceptions, & Current Hot Topics

    By on February 19, 2013

    Last month an editor at Caring.com contacted Elaine Wong Eakin, our Executive Director with a host of questions about CHA, what we do, California-specific Medicare issues, common mistakes or misconceptions beneficiaries have about Medicare, current advocacy issues to know about, thoughts on health care reform and info on health care fraud. Well Elaine could...

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