Medicare Part D: A First Look at Medicare Drug Plans in 2023

During the Medicare open enrollment period from October 15 to December 7 each year, beneficiaries can enroll in a plan that provides Part D prescription drug coverage, either a stand-alone prescription drug plan (PDP) for people in traditional Medicare, or a Medicare Advantage plan that covers all Medicare benefits, including prescription drugs (MA-PD). Highlights for 2023: For more information regarding Part D Plan Availability and Part D Premiums, click here. Have any questions regarding this notice? Don’t hesitate to contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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What is a Medicare Medical Savings Account (MSA) Plan?

Medicare works with private insurance companies to offer you ways to get your health care coverage. These companies can choose to offer a consumer-directed Medicare Advantage Plan, called a Medicare MSA Plan. These plans are similar to Health Savings Accounts Plans available outside of Medicare. You can choose your health care services and providers (MSA plans usually don’t have a network of doctors, other health care providers, or hospitals). Medicare MSA Plans combine a high-deductible insurance plan with a medical savings account that you can use to pay for your health care costs. High-deductible health plan: The first part is a special type of high-deductible Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C).… Read More

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What are Qualified Medical Expenses?

Qualified Medical Expenses are generally the same types of services and products that otherwise could be deducted as medical expenses on your yearly income tax return. Some Qualified Medical Expenses, like doctors’ visits, lab tests, and hospital stays, are also Medicare-covered services. Services like dental and vision care are Qualified Medical Expenses, but aren’t covered by Medicare. Qualified Medical Expenses could count toward your Medicare MSA Plan deductible only if the expenses are for Medicare-covered Part A and Part B services. Each year, you should get a 1099-SA form from your bank that includes all of the withdrawals from your account. You’ll need to show that you’ve had Qualified Medical… Read More

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Prescription Drug Reporting Reminder

As previously reported, plan sponsors of group health plans must submit information annually about prescription drugs and health care spending to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”). The first deadline is December 27, 2022, for reporting on calendar years 2020 and 2021. Additionally: To learn more, click here to download the document. Have any questions regarding this notice? Please call your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance experts today at (215)355-2121.

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10 Steps to Use a Medicare MSA Plan

Choose and join a high-deductible Medicare MSA Plan. You set up an MSA with a bank the plan selects. Medicare gives the plan an amount of money each year for your health care. The plan deposits some money into your account. You can use the money in your account to pay your health care costs, including health care costs that aren’t covered by Medicare. When you use account money for Medicare-covered Part A and Part B services, it counts towards your plan’s deductible. If you use all of the money in your account and you have additional health care costs, you’ll have to pay for your Medicare-covered services out0of-pocket until… Read More

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Inflation Reduction Act: Eliminates Cost Sharing for Adult Vaccines in Medicare Part D and Improves Access to Adult Vaccines in Medicaid & CHIP

Medicare Part D: Eliminates cost sharing for adult vaccines covered under Medicare Part D that are recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), such as for shingles Medicaid and CHIP: Requires state Medicaid and CHIP programs to cover all approved vaccines recommended by ACIP and vaccine administration, without cost sharing Have any questions regarding this notice? Don’t hesitate to contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Inflation Reduction Act: Expands Eligibility for Full Benefits Under the Medicare Part D Low-Income Subsidy Program

The Part D Low-Income Subsidy (LIS) Program helps beneficiaries with their Part D premiums, deductibles, and cost sharing. Beneficiaries qualify for full or partial benefits depending on their income and resources. Current law: Beneficiaries qualify for full LIS benefits if they have income up to 135% of poverty and lower resources (up to $9,900 individual, $15,600 couple in 2022) Beneficiaries qualify for partial LIS benefits if they have income between 135-150% of poverty and higher resources (up to $15,510 individual, $30,950 couple in 2022) Inflation Reduction Act: Expands eligibility for full LIS benefits to individuals with incomes between 135% and 150% of poverty and higher resources (at or below the… Read More

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Inflation Reduction Act: Limits Monthly Copayments for Insulin in Medicare

Beginning in 2023, limits copayments to $35 per month per prescription for covered insulin products in Medicare Part D plans and for insulin furnished through durable medical equipment under Medicare Part B, with no deductible. For 2026 and beyond, limits monthly Part D copayments for insulin to the lesser of: $35 25% of the maximum fair price (in cases where the insulin product has been selected for negotiation) 25% of the negotiated price in Part D plans Please call your Total Benefit Solutions Medicare health insurance specialists with any questions or concerns at (215)355-2121.

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Additional Guidance on New Prescription Drug Reporting Requirement

As previously reported in 2021, Section 204 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (“CAA”) requires plan sponsors of group health plans to submit information annually about prescription drugs and health care spending to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) on behalf of the Departments of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Labor (“DOL”), and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”). The first deadline is December 27, 2022. CMS recently updated guidance related to this reporting requirements that proves some helpful clarification. Have any questions regarding this notice? Please contact your Total Benefit Solutions health insurance specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Inflation Reduction Act: Capping Medicare Part D Out-of-Pocket Spending and Other Part D Benefit Changes

Changes would lower beneficiary spending, reduce Medicare’s liability for high drug costs, and increase Part D plan and manufacturer liability for high drug costs. Beneficiaries: Eliminates 5% coinsurance for catastrophic coverage in 2024 Caps out-of-pocket drug spending at $2,000 beginning in 2025 Allows spreading out of out-of-pocket costs over the year Limits premium growth to no more than 6% per year for 2024-2030 Medicare: Lowers share of costs above the out-of-pocket spending cap (“reinsurance”) Part D Plans: Increases share of costs above the out-of-pocket spending cap Modifies share of costs below the out-of-pocket spending cap Drug Companies: Requires a price discount on brand-name drugs above the out-of-pocket spending cap Modifies… Read More

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Inflation Reduction Act: Requires Drug Manufacturers to Pay Rebates for Drug Price Increases Above Inflation

Requires drug manufacturers to pay a rebate if drug prices increase faster than the rate of inflation (CPI-U) for: Single-source drugs and biologicals covered under Medicare Part B All covered drugs under Medicare Part D except those where average annual cost is <$100 2021 is the base year for measuring cumulative price changes relative to inflation The rebate amount is based on units sold in Medicare multiplied by the amount that a drug’s price in a give year exceeds the inflation-adjusted price Price changes are measured based on the average sales price (for Part B drugs) or the average manufacturer price (for Part D); these measures include prices charged in… Read More

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Part D Senior Savings Model: Is there a cap on the number of units monthly to get the $35 copay?

Generally, the maximum $35.00 copayment under the Model applies to one month’s supply of insulin. This may be limited by a physician’s prescription or by plan rules on drug dosage to ensure patient safety. Please note that if an enrollee uses multiple types of insulin or has multiple prescriptions for select insulins covered under the Model, each prescription would have a copayment of a maximum $35.00 for a one month’s supply. Have any questions or concerns regarding this notice? Don’t hesitate to call your Total Benefit Solutions Medicare specialists today at (215)355-2121.

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Inflation Reduction Act Requires the Secretary of HHS to Negotiate Medicare Drug Prices

Modifies the current law “non-interference” clause to require the HHS Secretary to negotiate drug price with manufacturers for some drugs covered under Medicare Part B and Part D. Which drugs qualify for negotiation? The Secretary selects drugs to be negotiated from the 50 “negotiation-eligible” drugs with the highest total Medicare Part D spending and the 50 “negotiation-eligible” drugs with the highest total Medicare Part B spending. Which drugs are excluded from negotiation? “Negotiation eligible drugs” include brand-name drugs or biologics and exclude the following drugs: Drugs that have a generic or biosimilar available Drugs less than 9 years (for small-molecule drugs) or 13 years (for biological products) from their FDA-approval… Read More

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Inflation Reduction Act: Establishing the Negotiated “Maximum Fair Price” for Medicare

The upper limit for the negotiated price of a drug (the “maximum fair price”) is equal to the lower of: The drug’s enrollment-weighted negotiated price (net of all price concessions) for a Part D drug; The average sales price for a Part B drug; or A percentage of the non-federal average manufacturer price (i.e., the average price wholesalers pay manufactures for drugs distributed to non-federal purchasers), depending on FDA approval date: 75% for small-molecule drugs more than 9 years but less than 12 years beyond FDA approval; 65% for drugs between 12 and 16 years beyond FDA approval; and 40% for drugs more than 16 years beyond FDA approval Financial… Read More

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How Medicare Works Part A

How Medicare Works Medicare is a federal insurance program that provides health insurance for people 65 and older and individuals younger than 65 who may qualify due to certain disabilities. There are four different parts to Medicare — Part A, B, C, and D. Click the icons below to learn more about each part! Medicare Part A Medicare Part A can be thought of as your hospital insurance. It helps to pay for your stay at a health care facility, whether that be a hospital, skilled nursing facility, or nursing home, among others. If you’re admitted as an inpatient, Medicare Part A covers many services like meals, a semi-private room,… Read More

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Four Stages of Medicare Part D

  It’s easy to see why Many people are confused by the Medicare part D plan coverage deductibles, limits and the donut hole. We have provided this graphic for you, our clients and friends to make it a little easier to see in a pie chart. Click the link below to download this graphic bulletin. 2018 Four Stages Of Medicare Part D   Want to compare part D plans in your area quickly? Click here   Have more questions? Call us today at (215)355-2121.

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Can I Work and Have Medicare?

Some individuals, maybe even you, will still be actively employed upon becoming eligible for Medicare. Can you enroll in Medicare while you’re still in the work force, and if not, will you get a penalty? If the employer has fewer than 20 employees, you’ll probably want to enroll in Parts A, B, and D upon becoming eligible for them. In this situation, Medicare usually becomes your primary coverage. If the employer has 20 employees or more, you may want to delay Parts A, B, and/or D if you have sufficient group coverage and know you won’t incur late enrollment penalties. Medicare usually pays second to group coverage from larger employers.… Read More

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Original Medicare: Did You Know?

Many Medicare beneficiaries are unaware that original Medicare coverage has significant deductibles and co-pays. Part A helps cover medically necessary inpatient care in hospitals. In 2016, for each benefit period (typically 60 days as defined by Medicare) in a year, beneficiaries pay: $1,288 deductible and no coinsurance for a stay of up to 60 days $322 coinsurance per day for days 61-90 of a hospital stay $644 coinsurance per “lifetime reserve day” after day 90 each benefit period (up to 60 days over your lifetime) All costs for each inpatient day beyond 150 days   At Total Benefit Solutions, Inc we specialize in Medigap programs that are affordable and cover most or… Read More

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Download: Medicare Made Clear

Download Medicare Made Clear: From our partners at United Healthcare and Medicare Made Clear, download the 2016 version of the Show Me Guide for an impartial overview of Medicare plans as well as eligibility, glossary, frequently asked questions and more. A virtual Medicare training in one handy workbook! Download Show Me Guide 2016 As always, if you have any questions about Medicare health plans, eligibility and more, contact you Total Benefit Solutions account manager at (215)355-2121.      

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Medicare Exclusions-Who Pays First?

Medicare primary payer rules are complicated. Especially when it comes to different employer sizes and special circumstances like End Stage Renal Disease and disabilities.  Coverage issues can be significantly complex when mixing Medicare and employer coverage, or individual coverage for those who are early Medicare enrollees. Chances are, if you are already enrolled on Medicare, AND you are getting bills from providers, you are already experiencing these problems, or you are encountering a coordination of benefits issue. It’s always best to speak to a professional when encountering these problems, most especially a health insurance professional. If at all possible, before getting enrolled on Medicare. The documents below may help provide… Read More

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