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Medicare Updates by HICAP

by David Weil Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman With Medicare, you have special rights and protections. There are resources available to you to make sure your rights are protected, including the Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman. The Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman helps you with Medicare-related complaints, grievances, and information requests. The Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman makes sure information is available about: What you need to know to make health care decisions that are right for you Your Medicare rights and protections How you can get issues resolved The Medicare Beneficiary Ombudsman also shares information with the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Congress, and other organizations about what does and doesn’t work well, to improve the quality of the services and care you get through Medicare. If you’ve contacted 1-800-MEDICARE about a Medicare-related inquiry or complaint but still need help, ask the 1-800-MEDICARE representative to send your inquiry or complaint to the Medicare Ombudsman’s Office. The Medicare Ombudsman’s Office helps make sure that your inquiry or complaint is resolved. Excerpted from the official U.S. Government...

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Medicare Updates by HICAP

By David Weil  Are you interested in making a difference in the lives of Medicare beneficiaries? The Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program is looking for intelligent, communicative, and motivated volunteers willing to train to become Registered Medicare Counselors. During confidential one-on-one counseling sessions, HICAP Counselors empower clients to make informed decisions about their health care by educating Medicare beneficiaries and their families about Medicare benefits, coverage options, low income programs, rights, and protections. We also advocate on behalf of beneficiaries, helping to resolve entitlement errors, service denials, and billing issues, and screening beneficiaries for eligibility into various assistance programs. To become a Counselor, we ask that you make a one-year minimum commitment to HICAP. Upon completion of a rigorous four-week training program, volunteers are certified by the State of California as Medicare Counselors; maintaining certification requires 40 counseling hours and 12 continuing education hours annually. We ask Counselors to see clients by appointment two days per month in addition to attending a monthly In-Service meeting. All volunteer time will take place...

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Medicare ‘Open Enrollment’ Scams

November 5, 2015 by Colleen Tressler Consumer Education Specialist, FTC The 2015 Medicare open enrollment period runs from October 15 to December 7. It’s the time when Medicare recipients can comparison shop and make changes to their plans. It’s also a time when scammers take advantage of older consumers with ruses like these: Someone calls and says you must join their prescription plan or you’ll lose your Medicare coverage. Don’t believe it. The Medicare prescription drug plan (also known asMedicare Part D) is voluntary and does not affect your Medicare coverage. Someone calls or emails claiming they need your Medicare number to update your account, get you a new card, or send you Medicare benefit information. It’s a scam. If you need help with Medicare, call 1-800-MEDICARE or go tomedicare.gov. Someone claiming to be a Medicare plan representative says they need “to confirm” your billing information by phone or online. Stop. It’s a scam. Plan representatives are not allowed to ask you for payment over the phone or online. Dishonest...

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Caring for the Caregiver

SCRC Event CV Library flyer – July 31, 2014 We invite you to attend this FREE informational workshop for family caregivers. Come and learn more about caregiving and communication techniques, obtain helpful resources and get answers to your most pressing questions. Refreshments provided and chance to participate in an opportunity drawing! Where: Chula Vista Public Library Auditorium, Civic Center Branch, 365 F Street, Chula Vista, CA 91910 When: Thursday, July 31, 2014 Time: 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm Fore more information and to RSVP please contact Southern Caregiver Resource Center at 1800-827-1008 or...

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National Senior Citizens Law Center Webinar: The Demise of the Defense Of Marriage Act

The National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) presents a free webinar on issues confronting same sex couples in light of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The presenters will answer the following questions and more during this one-hour long presentation. Who is eligible for Social Security spousal and survivor benefits? Is it OK if I’m in a registered domestic partnership or civil union? Where do I have to live to be eligible? When should I apply for spousal or survivor benefits? How does Windsor affect the Medicare Part B premium and Part D low-income subsidy? What is the impact on Medicaid & SSI financial eligibility? What is the impact on Medicaid spousal impoverishment and estate recovery? Presenters: Gerald McIntyre, NSCLC Directing Attorney Georgia Burke, NSCLC Directing Attorney DATE:   August 20, 2013 Click here for the PowerPoint Presentation and here for the Video...

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The Wall Street Journal: Don’t Confuse Medicare With Obamacare

October is an important medical-insurance sign-up month for millions of Americans, both under and over 65 years old. The annual Medicare open-enrollment period, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7, overlaps this year with the initial registration for the Health Insurance Marketplace, a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). But don’t confuse the two. They serve different populations. If you’re already covered by Medicare, you needn’t give the Marketplace another thought. That’s for people under the age of 65 who don’t have any health insurance. Enrollment starts Oct. 1 and runs through March 31. “We want to reassure Medicare beneficiaries that they are already covered, that their benefits aren’t changing and that the Marketplace doesn’t require them to do anything different,” says Richard Olague, spokesman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. “Specifically, they do not have to change their Medicare coverage or enroll in any Marketplace plan.” The Medicare open-enrollment period is the window for the 50 million covered to review their policies for...

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