In another sign that Medicare Advantage is falling by the wayside, yesterday CIGNA announced it will not offer CIGNA Medicare Access (PFFS), its individual private fee-for-service medical plan, in 2011. Customers of these plans will experience no change for this year. CIGNA will continue to serve its clients, brokers, health care professionals, and contractors into 2011 for 2010 claims. Now that CIGNA PFFS customers will need to choose a new medical coverage option for 2011, this presents a great opportunity to promote Medicare supplements to them, especially Medicare Supplement Plan N.
Medicare Checks Sent Out to Seniors
As posted on our Twitter feed earlier this week, the Obama administration started sending out $250 checks to seniors who fall into the Medicare prescription drug doughnut hole. With elections looming on the horizon, Democrats are touting the checks as the first of many benefits to come from health care reform legislation signed into law earlier this year (PP&AC Act). In some states, Democrats are buying air time to broadcast a 60-second television ad stating how Republicans promised to repeal the healthcare reform bill. Democrats also sent boxes of “GOP Doughnut Holes” to various media outlets as a sign that the doughnut hole rebate benefit would not exist under GOP leadership. Of course, as you may already know, in most cases, the $250 is only about 1/14 of the total $3,610 hole.
Infection Control a Major Issue at Medicare ASCs
Earlier this week, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), that found 2/3 of ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) in three states experienced infection control lapses. CMS defines ACSs as facilities that operate exclusively to provide surgical services to patients who do not require hospitalization or stays in a surgical facility longer than 24 hours. Roughly 70 ASCs that experienced the infection control lapses serve Medicare patients. The lapses were typically found in process including hand washing, injection and medication safety, and equipment reprocessing. To view a video overview of the report click here.
AMA Unleashes its Wrath on Congress for Neglecting Medicare
Due to a glitch with our e-mail system last week, many of you missed last week’s article. To view that article, click here.
Reminder: Modernized Plan Approvals Info
We just wanted to provide you with a friendly reminder that we offer three methods for checking out the latest modernized plan approvals. First, we post updates immediately to our Twitter feed, second we post the update to our approval chart, and third if a carrier’s plan is new to the state, we’ll add it to our product availability map. When it comes to modernized plan info, at PSM we’ve got you covered.
Sources: Reuters, Politico, CNN, JAMA, NPR