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Medicare Premium Billing Notice

i Jul 12th No Comments by

IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT NEW MEDICARE CARDS
AND PAYING YOUR MEDICARE PREMIUMS

A New Medicare Card with a New Number

You may have heard that Medicare is removing Social Security Numbers from Medicare cards starting in April 2018.

  • You’ll get a new card in the mail with a new Medicare Number that’s unique to you. This change will help keep your information more secure and help protect your identity.
  • Mailing everyone a new card will take some time. Your card might arrive at a different time than your friends or neighbors.
  • Once you get your new card, destroy your old card and start using your new card right away.
  • Make sure your mailing address is up to date. If your address needs to be corrected, contact Social Security at ssa.gov/myaccount or 1-800-772-1213. TTY users can call
    1-800-325-0778.
  • For more information about the new Medicare card, visit medicare.gov/newcard or call us at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048.

Use your New Medicare Number when Paying Your Medicare Premiums
Once you get your new Medicare card, use your new Medicare Number when paying your Medicare premiums, instead of your old number.

  • If you pay your Medicare premiums using Medicare Easy Pay, you don’t need to do anything. Your premium will continue to be automatically deducted from your bank account each month.
  •  If you pay your Medicare premiums using your bank’s Online Bill Pay service, you’ll need to update your account to use your new Medicare Number.
    • Don’t include the dashes when entering your Medicare Number.
    • Make sure the Biller Name says: “CMS Medicare Insurance”.
  • If you pay your Medicare premiums by check or money order, write your new Medicare Number on your check or money order.

Written by ACL

May 2018 Fraud Prevention Fact by Missouri SMP

i May 4th No Comments by

Distribution of the new Medicare cards with unique numbers is starting. However, we probably will not receive any replacement cards in Missouri for several months. Federal officials are being a bit vague about exactly when the cards are coming because of the potential for scammers staking out mailboxes and stealing the cards. Missouri is in the last group of states in the schedule to receive the cards, so you need to be patient. It will be at least June and probably later. However, there are a couple of things you can do to get ready. One is to make sure that your address is up to date with the Social Security Administration so that you receive your card when it’s mailed. If you are an Internet user, you can establish an account on the My Medicare.gov website. If you set up that account, you can monitor the progress of the card distribution state by state. When it’s time for Missouri’s distribution, you can set your Medicare account to alert you when your card is actually mailed.

Here are a few things you do NOT want to do: Do NOT worry if a neighbor, relative or friend gets his card before you do. They are NOT being mailed according to ZIP codes etc. Do NOT give anyone your personal information over the phone. Medicare will NOT call you to request your Medicare number or any other information. Do NOT believe anybody who tells you that they can get your card faster if you pay them a fee. That is NOT going to happen and you will waste your money. Do NOT believe an insurance agent who tells you that she can get your card faster if you do business with her. That agent probably wants to get your ear to try to sell you an Advantage or Medicare supplement plan.

As always, report suspected Medicare fraud to the Missouri SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) at (888) 515-6565.

This project was supported, in part by grant number 90MP0204, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy.

Aging Into Medicare

i Apr 11th No Comments by

“Coffee With CLAIM” is Quality Talk’s fourth Medicare-related episode, highlighting the work CLAIM does as Missouri’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Though CLAIM works in Missouri, the information presented in this episode applies to all SHIP programs and Medicare beneficiaries across the country.

CLAIM staff featured in the conversation with Quality Talk host Jodie Jackson Jr. includes Carol Beahan, CLAIM program director; Tracey Wetzel, lead trainer; Xavier Vaughn, Outreach/MIPPA project coordinator; Cindy Carr, Region 1 regional liaison; Julia Allen, Region 2 regional liaison; Stacey Childs, Region 5 regional liaison; Carolyn Prim, Region 6 regional liaison; and Elizabeth Swanson, Region 7 regional liaison.

Xavier also gives some insight and update on new Medicare cards that are coming. Find out more about new Medicare cards here or in this news-you-can-use blog post from Primarisand this news release.

Previous episodes of Quality Talk that discussed Medicare topics and questions included Episode 10, “New Medicare Cards Are Coming,” and Episode 6, “Medicare Panel Discussion.”Episode 4 featured vital information and tips for the 2017 fall Medicare open enrollment period.

Scammers masquerade as Health & Human Services’ officials in new telephone scam targeting senior citizens.

i Mar 3rd No Comments by

A telephone scam in which crooks alter caller ID to make it seem as if the call is coming from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General’s Hotline 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) to get beneficiaries and members of the public to verify or share personal info which is used to victimize them via financial and other crimes – draining their bank accounts. The Office of the Inspector General wants the public to know that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General will not use the Hotline telephone number to make outgoing calls and individuals should not answer calls from 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477).

The Office of the Inspector General recently confirmed that the Hotline telephone number is being used as part of a telephone spoofing scam targeting individuals throughout the country. These scammers represent themselves as Department of Health & Human Services’ Hotline employees and can alter the appearance of the caller ID to make it seem as if the call is coming from the Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General Hotline. The perpetrator may use various tactics to obtain or verify the victim’s personal information, which can then be used to steal money from an individual’s bank account or for other fraudulent activity. The Office of the Inspector General takes this matter seriously. We are actively investigating this matter and intend to have the perpetrators prosecuted.

It is important to know that the Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General will not use the Hotline telephone number to make outgoing calls and individuals should not answer calls from 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477). We encourage the public to remain vigilant, protect their personal information, and guard against providing personal information during calls that purport to be from the Hotline telephone number. We also remind the public that it is still safe to call into the Hotline to report fraud.  We particularly encourage those who believe they may have been a victim of the telephone spoofing scam to report that information to us through the Hotline, 1-800-HHS-TIPS (1-800-447-8477) or spoof@oig.hhs.gov. Individuals may also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

If you would to learn more, visit: https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/consumer-alerts/alerts/phone-scam.asp

Joplin TV news station shines a spotlight on CLAIM’s efforts

i Feb 10th No Comments by

Joplin TV news station shines a spotlight on CLAIM’s efforts

JOPLIN, Mo. – Now until December seventh is annual open enrollment. If you’re enrolled in Part D, Medicare’s drug coverage, you have the chance to either switch or stick with that insurance.

Karen Wells and her husband visited Mercy Hospital Joplin Friday to speak with CLAIM, the Missouri State Health Insurance Assistance Program about being enrolled in Part D, Medicare’s drug coverage.

“Confused, cause there’s so many plans and I work in the health care field, but still it’s all like Greek to me. So she helped to dispel a little bit of that and told me how they’ll use a computer and input a lot of our data and tell us which plans will probably be best for us,” Wells says.

Experts say from year to year, coverage changes, which means providers may not carry the same prescription drugs or the cost of coverage may increase. And it can get very confusing for the average person.

“We can’t imagine someone that doesn’t deal with this all the time to even understand it and the problem being if they don’t understand it and they don’t make necessary changes now, they’re in it for a year, so they can be out a lot of money simply from one little mistake,” Stacy Childs, Claim Missouri Regional Liaison Trainer for the Southwest District of Missouri.

To read the full story, click here.

Medicare Q&A: Who can I contact to learn more about Medicare enrollment and benefits?

i Oct 1st No Comments by

Call your local SHIP program.  The phone number is listed on your copy of the Medicare and You handbook. In Missouri, call 1-800-390-3330. We refer your call to a trained SHIP counselor in your area who will know the local program(s) you seek. We have 300 counselors statewide to help you.

Medicare Q&A: What do I do if I am enrolled in a non-benchmark Medicare Plan, but found out that I am eligible to enroll into a “Benchmark” plan.

i Oct 1st No Comments by

There are four benchmark plans in 2017 that a beneficiary receiving extra help can enroll.  The premium for the benchmark plan will be zero and there is no deductible.  If a beneficiary, who receives full extra help, enrolls in a non-benchmark plan then the premium will be reduced and the beneficiary will be required to pay that monthly premium.

Also, another important reason to work with a SHIP Counselor, and to have the Counselor enter the current drugs that the Beneficiary takes, is to make certain that all drugs are on the ‘Benchmark’ Plan’s Formulary!  Even though a Beneficiary is eligible and could enroll into a $0 Premium plan, if their drugs are not covered by the Benchmark Plan’s formulary, this could cause a much bigger issue.  The cost of those drugs that are not covered, could end up causing the Beneficiary to pay a great deal of money out of pocket! As a result, a small premium might not be so bad.

Medicare Q&A: What do I do if I am already enrolled in Medicare, but also have employer-sponsored or other third-party insurance plan?

i Oct 1st No Comments by

If a beneficiary, 65 years or older, is enrolled in Medicare while he/she is still working and is also enrolled in their employer sponsored plan, the employer plan will be primary to Medicare, in many cases.  In order for this statement to be true for the employee and/or 65 year old spouse, there has to be 20 or more employees, and the beneficiary must still be actively working.

If the employee (or spouse) is under the age of 65 and is enrolled in Medicare due to a disability, in order for the employer plan to be primary in this situation, there must be 100 or more employees.  If the employer plan IS primary to Medicare, the beneficiary is able to delay Part B, or if already enrolled, could drop Part B, without incurring a penalty.  While the employee is still working, he or she may sign up for Part B at any time.  When the Beneficiary decides to end employment, they will then receive a Special Enrollment Period to enroll (or re-enroll) into Part B.

This Special Enrollment Period will last up to eight months after employment ends, or until the employer insurance ends, whichever comes first.

Medicare Q&A: Who do I contact for information about Long Term Care assistance?

i Oct 1st No Comments by

To obtain the most accurate and helpful information regarding Long Term Care Insurance, start with Missouri Department of Insurance.  The department’s website is http://insurance.mo.gov/consumers/LongTerm.  On this site you will find information such as Frequently Asked Questions, Long Term Care Costs, and a variety of additional links and resources.

Medicare Q&A: What do I do if I enroll in a Medicare plan and later have to make an adjustment because of a major life event?

i Oct 1st No Comments by

Call your local SHIP program.  The phone number is listed on your copy of the Medicare and You handbook.  In Missouri, call 1-800-390-3330. Almost all major life events will have a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). This will let you make the changes you need for Medicare coverage. Call to find out if a Special Enrollment Period can work for you.