Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Truth about Medicare Excess Charges

Attention Senior Market Insurance agents!! Here is an excellent and accurate write up on how Medicare excess charges work, and helps the agent understand why so few providers choose not to participate in Medicare and/or take assignment. You might have to read through this a couple of times, but if you sell Medigap policies, it is important to understand the facts when it comes to excess charges.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Why your clients need Cancer Insurance coverage

This recent NY Times article speaks loudly:

High Cost of Cancer

Senior market agents should be taking the time to inform and educate their clients that although they have Medicare insurance, a cancer diagnosis can result in treatment costs which create significant out of pocket exposure.

Have questions about what Medicare doesn't cover when it comes to cancer treatment, or what costs fall under Part B vs. Part D?

Need information on the top Cancer insurance solutions available in the market today?

Visit us at: JLS Marketing Concepts LTD - Home of the Top Gun Academy

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Have you asked your Medicare plan clients about STC?

Have you asked your Medicare plan clients about STC? | LifeHealthPro

Every senior market agent should be talking to each of their clients about short term care.  If you aren't, you are indeed doing your clients a disservice.  Many Medicare Advantage agents struggle with sales activity after the AEP; here is a perfect solution to discuss with each of your clients after the AEP.

Don't have a good short term care product?  Contact JLS Marketing Concepts LTD at 800-211-0017 or visit us online at jlsmarketingconceptsltd.com.  We have the top product solutions available in the market today!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Special things people with cancer need to think about

In deciding whether to go with Medicare Part D and, if so, which Part D plan to join, cancer patients have some special things to think about.
As noted before, most prescription drugs are covered through the Medicare Part D benefit. This includes drugs used to treat high blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, depression, and other health conditions. These medicines can be pills or liquids taken by mouth, suppositories, inhaled drugs (like those used to treat asthma), and drugs that are injected by patients (like insulin for people with diabetes). A general rule is that Part D covers medicines prescribed by your doctor that you get at your local pharmacy.

Many cancer drugs will still be covered under Part B, not Part D
Medicare Part B covers doctor visits and outpatient hospital services. Part B also covers the drugs that are infused (given in a vein through an IV) or injected (given as a shot) in a doctor’s office or treatment center. Many chemotherapy drugs and the anti-nausea drugs used along with chemo are given by IV infusion in a doctor’s office or clinic. This means they are still covered under Part B.
The difference in coverage for cancer drugs under Medicare Part B and Medicare Part D is blurred when it comes to chemotherapy drugs given by mouth and anti-nausea drugs given by mouth (these may be called oral drugs). Some of these drugs are covered under Part B, but others are covered under Part D.
Cancer treatment drugs taken by mouth
Some cancer drugs taken by mouth as part of chemotherapy are covered under Part B. For the most part, these drugs are covered under Part B if they are used instead of the same drug that could be given through an IV in your doctor’s office. In other words, if your doctor has a choice between giving you an oral drug or the same drug as an IV, the oral drug is covered under Part B.
In comparison, oral cancer drugs that cannot be given as an IV are covered under Part D, not Part B.
Anti-nausea drugs taken by mouth
Anti-nausea drugs are often used as part of chemotherapy. The rule for anti-nausea drugs taken by mouth is much the same. If your doctor has a choice between giving you an oral anti-nausea drug or the same drug as an IV and the drug is given within 48 hours of chemo, then the oral drug is covered under Part B.
Oral anti-nausea drugs that cannot be given as an IV are covered under Part D, not Part B. (If an anti-nausea drug is prescribed for a patient who is not known to have cancer, then the drug is covered under Part D rather than Part B.)

Sorting out Medicare Part B and Part D
Many people find the rules for the difference between Medicare coverage under Part B and Part D hard to understand. For people with cancer, the rules can be even more confusing because some cancer drugs are already covered under Part B.
As a general rule, drugs that patients can inject on their own without help from a doctor or nurse, or that are not taken as part of chemo are covered under Part D.
If you have more questions, your doctor and his and her office staff should be able to help you sort through the coverage rules. They can help you figure out whether a drug is covered under Medicare Part B or Medicare Part D.
Why do I need to know if a drug is covered under Part B or Part D?
It’s important to understand the difference between drug coverage under Part B and coverage under Part D because your out-of-pocket costs will vary depending on which part covers each drug.
For services covered under Medicare Part B, patients must first pay the yearly deductible that is set by Medicare each year. After that, Medicare pays 80% of all costs. This means that under Part B, patients must pay 20% of the drug’s cost no matter how high their total medical bills run. (Many people with Medicare have supplemental or Medigap insurance — or other ways — to cover their out-of-pocket costs under Part B.)
Part D is different. After you pay a certain deductible for your drugs, you must pay 5% of all ongoing drug costs for the rest of the year unless you reach the donut hole. Again, this deductible amount is set each year. In 2012, the deductible amount for Part D is set at $320. For donut hole information and the 2012 example, see “What is the coverage gap, and what do I pay?” in the section called “What is the Medicare Part D drug benefit?”
You should also know that some cancer drugs are clearly covered under Part B, like those given through an IV in your doctor’s office. Because of this, you might not be able to find all of the drugs that are part of your cancer treatment on a Part D plan’s formulary. (The list of drugs that are covered under a plan is called a formulary; see the section “Formularies and drug coverage” for more on this.) If you are deciding whether to enroll in a drug plan and you don’t see a drug you need on a plan’s formulary, call the plan. You’ll want to ask if they might cover the drug and how you can go about getting it covered.

What about off-label drugs and Part D?
What is off-label drug use?
When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves a new drug, it means the federal government has found the drug to be safe and effective for a certain disease or condition. The label information printed in the official prescribing information and in the package insert explains the use for which the FDA has approved the drug. It describes the approved dose and way the drug should be given (as a pill, injection, infusion, etc.). But in some cases, doctors — based on their knowledge and new information — may prescribe a drug for a use that is not listed in the approved labeling. The use of a drug for a disease the FDA did not approve it for, or in a dose or by a route that is not listed on the label, is called “off-label” use of the drug.
Off-label drug use is legal in the United States and in many other countries. But drugs used off label are only covered under Part D if the use is cited in one of the reference standards for prescription drugs (called a compendium) named in the Medicare law. Part B may cover off-label use of cancer drugs, but Part D drug plans cannot cover any use not listed in one of the approved reference standards.
Why is this important to a cancer patient?
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network estimates that about half of all uses of drugs and biologics in cancer care in the United States are off label. If you would like to learn more about this, please see our document called Off-label Drug Use.

Last Medical Review: 10/14/2011
Last Revised: 10/14/2011

Medicare Supplements

1-Are you concerned about Medicares ability to cover all your medical expenses?
2-Do you understand the need for supplemental insurance, but find the Medicare Supplement options for your needs by helping you understand your options.

3-Contact us today and we can help you better understand the often confusing world of Medicare Supplements.    

A Medigap policy is health insurance sold by private insurance companies to fill the "gaps" in Original Medicare Plan coverage. Medigap policies help pay some of the health care costs that the Original Medicare Plan doesn’t cover. If you are in the Original Medicare Plan and have a Medigap policy, then Medicare and your Medigap policy will pay both their shares of covered health care costs.