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Monthly Archives: October 2018

New Medicare Advantage and Part D Plan Landscape Reveals Challenges Ahead

In late September, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)—the federal agency that oversees the Medicare program—released an overview of the upcoming year in Medicare Advantage (MA) and the Part D prescription drug program. Among the notable inclusions, CMS expects more people to join MA plans than ever before, shows a sharp increase in the number of plans available, and reveals the number of plans that will offer expanded supplemental benefits.

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CMS Extends Important Relief Opportunity, Creates Permanent Fix for those Affected

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced a year-long extension, through September 30, 2019, of a critical relief pathway for current and former Marketplace enrollees who mistakenly delayed Medicare enrollment. The agency also agreed to develop a more permanent solution for people who are affected.

Under this policy, people who are eligible for Medicare and have Marketplace coverage can apply to enroll in Medicare Part B without penalty. Those who have already transitioned to Medicare can request that any Part B late enrollment penalties they may have received be reduced or eliminated.

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Responding to Advocates, CMS Makes Needed Changes to the 2019 Medicare & You Handbook

This summer, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees the Medicare program, released a draft version of the annual “Medicare & You” Handbook that contained several glaring inaccuracies that alarmed advocates, including Medicare Rights. The agency recently released the final 2019 Handbook, which addresses many of our concerns.

The handbook is an official government publication that is designed to provide people with Medicare with information about the Medicare program, their choices for obtaining coverage, and the benefits they can expect. Distributed to millions of homes each year, it is one of CMS’s most widely accessed resources among people with Medicare.

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