Thursday, October 21, 2010

New ACA Regulations Prompt Medicare Policy Changes.

Performed mostly in an effort to update the industry on new ACA regulations, CMS has released a large amount of information on new policies. These changes to regulations are primarily related to the benefits that Medicare will offer in 2011.

Beginning January 1st, Medicare beneficiaries can expect to receive:
  • One annual physical examination at no cost.
  • Free Wellness visits.
  • New free health screenings.
  • A 50% discount on covered brand-name drugs and a 7% discount on covered generic drugs.
  • Protection from excessive cost increase, through aggressive bids.
  • Consolidation of low enrollment and duplicate plans.
  • Set limits on out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Coverage of preventative services with no cost sharing.
  • Limits on cost sharing for skilled nursing care, chemotherapy, and renal dialysis.
CMS’s other major release this week described a renewed attention to inform seniors about the fraud, waste, and abuse that have been associated with Medicare in the past. The initiative has already launched, and is centered on two hotlines set up by the federal government. Interested parties can find information either of these hotlines, or 1-800-MEDICARE, for information on spotting fraud, waste, and abuse of Medicare. Merrill Corp will continue to post information about further ACA-related changes over the coming weeks.

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