St. Petersburg Times Series Examines Medicare
The St. Petersburg Times on Tuesday published a series on Medicare and the prescription drug benefit. Headlines and summaries appear below.
- "TheA, B, Ds of Medicare ... and HMOs and PPOs. The Good News: Most of YouHave Until Dec. 31 To Pick a Plan. The Bad News: There's a Lot ofHomework To Be Done": The article explains how to "sort throughMedicare's dizzying array of options." The article includes detailedinformation on the different parts of Medicare and the plans availableunder the prescription drug benefit (Nohlgren , St. Petersburg Times, 10/30).
- "AMixed Bag for Those With Lower Incomes: Medicare Has Special Rules forPeople on Medicaid and Other People With Low Income. Pay Attention":The article explains how dual-eligibles -- beneficiaries eligible forboth Medicare and Medicaid -- must "aggressively work the system" toenroll in appropriate prescription drug plans. According to the Times,Medicare automatically enrolls duel-eligibles who do not enroll inprescription drug plans by Dec. 31 in plans with the lowest monthlypremiums, and those plans "cost you hundreds of dollars if they don'tcover your prescriptions." In addition, lower-income Medicarebeneficiaries should determine whether they qualify for subsidies underthe prescription drug benefit (Nohlgren , St. Petersburg Times, 10/30).
- "Finda Wealth of Information on Medicare's Web Site: The Much-Improved SiteShows You the Ins and Outs of the Plans. Just Pick and Click": The article includes a detailed guide on navigation of the Medicare Web site. According to the Times,in the past years, "Medicare's Web site was difficult to navigate. Butthis year, the site is much improved. It still requires effort, but itdelivers more useful information in a better package" (Nohlgren , St. Petersburg Times, 10/30).
- "Private Medicare Plans Cost Us $15B More, Study Shows": The article examines a recent Congressional Budget Officereport that found higher reimbursements for Medicare Advantage planscompared with the fee-for service program will cost the federalgovernment $15 billion over five years (Hundley, St. Petersburg Times, 10/30).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. Youcan view the entire Kaiser DailyHealth Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email deliveryat kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HealthPolicy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The HenryJ. Kaiser Family Foundation.