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CHA News Editor/Writer:
Karen Fletcher
MPH, Publications Consultant

E-Newsletter Archive
What to Do If You Have a Covered CA Plan & Become Eligible for Medicare? (Part 4)
Mar 24, 2016 This is the 4th article in a series that addresses various scenarios regarding people who have a Covered CA plan and become eligible for Medicare. This one discusses options for people transitioning from expanded Medi-Cal (or MAGI Medi-Cal) to Medicare.
What to Do If You Have a Covered CA Plan & Become Eligible for Medicare? (Part 3)
Mar 16, 2016 This is the 3rd article in a series that addresses various scenarios regarding people who have a Covered CA plan and become eligible for Medicare. This one reviews your options if you aren't entitled to premium-free Medicare Part A.
What to Do If You Have a Covered California Plan & Become Eligible for Medicare? (Part 2)
Mar 10, 2016 This is the 2nd article in a series to address various scenarios as more people who have a Covered California plan become eligible for Medicare. This one reviews your costs and whether they increase or decrease when you transition from a Covered California plan to Medicare.
What to Do If You Have a Covered California Plan and Become Eligible for Medicare? (Part 1)
Feb 28, 2016 Learn what steps to take if you have a Covered California plan and become eligible for Medicare. This article is the first in a series and focuses on people who are entitled to premium-free Medicare Part A.
HICAP Saves Clients Millions of Dollars ~ It Helps to Review Your Coverage
Feb 8, 2016 If you want to learn how to reach seniors, make a difference and promote a sense of wellbeing in thousands of Medicare beneficiaries across the state, check out your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP). During the 7 weeks of Medicare's 2015 Open Enrollment, they helped save clients millions of dollars.
New California Law Involves Family Caregivers in Discharge Planning
Jan 12, 2016 A new California law requiring hospitals to involve caregivers in discharge planning became effective January 1, 2016. For Medicare patients and their family caregivers, the new law increases the opportunity to participate in the discharge planning process.
Will Medicare Part B Premium and Deductible Increase in 2016?
Oct 19, 2015 Medicare’s Part B premium and deductible have a projected increase of 52% for some beneficiaries. While 70% of beneficiaries would be protected from such an increase of their Part B premium due to a provision in Medicare law, 30% would be stuck with paying $159.30 per month. Most beneficiaries would pay the increased deductible. Learn about 2 new bills aimed to prevent such a sharp increase and what you can do to keep Medicare Part B’s premium and deductible stable for 2016.
Medicare Open Enrollment – Making Good Choices
Oct 8, 2015 Open enrollment is the time each year where beneficiaries can review their current coverage and plan changes for the coming year and make a change. While there is a lot of good information out there, there is also bad, misleading info and scams to steer clear from. Learn some helpful tips on reviewing your Medicare coverage and making a good choice for 2016.
Medicare Celebrates Its 50th
June 23, 2015 This year marks half a century of health care coverage for our country’s seniors. Learn just what it took, including key players, debates and strategies, to create a successful program that helps prolong lives, increases well-being and peace of mind, and gives access to both acute and preventive care to over 55 million beneficiaries nationwide.
Doc Fix and H.R. 2 ~ It Could Have Been Worse
May 14, 2015 After 17 “doc fix” patches in the past 11 years, Congress finally passed a bill to replace a broken payment system and reform the way Medicare pays its doctors. The new law includes many changes, including making the Qualified Individual program permanent, ending the use of Social Security numbers on Medicare cards and adding increased costs for beneficiaries.
CHA Says No to Shifting Doc Fix Cost onto Beneficiaries’ Shoulders
Mar 13, 2015 House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are looking for ways to pay for the cost of fixing the way that Medicare pays doctors known as the “doc fix,” yet several proposals put much of the cost on beneficiaries' shoulders. Without Congressional action, doctors who treat Medicare beneficiaries are facing a 21% cut in their Medicare payments beginning on April 1st.
Medicare Covers Lung Cancer Screening for Qualified Beneficiaries
Mar 10, 2015 Did you know lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths for both men and women in the U.S.? Only 15% of cases are detected in an early stage, and if the cancer has already spread, the 5-year survival rate is only 4%. Because of its affect on a growing number of beneficiaries and the benefit of early detection, Medicare now covers lung cancer screening for qualified beneficiaries.
Pressure in Poverty: How One HiCAP Saved $1.4 Million for Seniors
Feb 2, 2015 Medicare’s open enrollment is the busiest time of year for our partners, the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program. Learn of some of the successful strategies of one of the HICAP programs that conducted 36 enrollment clinics this fall and helped their clients save over $1.4 million in health care costs for 2015. This story inspires and shows how each HICAP’s team efforts contribute much in service and wellbeing for the entire community.
Windsor, DOMA and Medicare Benefits
Oct 16, 2014 Windsor, a 2013 Supreme Court decision, was a victory for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations and has opened the door for same-sex spouses to apply for more than 1,000 federal spousal benefits, which previously had been denied to them.
Open Enrollment is Here! Do You Know Your Plan Changes for 2014?
Oct 17, 2013 Open Enrollment, referred to as the Annual Election Period, runs from October 15 through December 7. It is one of the few times you can change, enroll into or disenroll from a Medicare Advantage or Part D plan. Review your options and learn about 2014 Medicare Part C and D changes.
Medicare Celebrates 48 Years ~ Let’s Keep this Important Program for Future Generations
Jul 25, 2013 July 30th marks Medicare’s 48th birthday. Let's celebrate this important program that currently covers 1 in 6 Americans, including 42 million people age 65 or older and 8.5 million who are younger than 65 with a disability.
Round 2 of DMEPOS Competitive Bidding Program Starts July 1st
Jun 26, 2013 Round 2 of Medicare's Durable Medical Equipment, Prosthetics, Orthotics and Supplies competitive bidding program starts July 1, 2013, and expands to beneficiaries in 91 additional major metropolitan areas across the country as well as adds new product categories and a mail-order competition for diabetic testing supplies.
Have You Gone Electronic?
APR 11, 2013 If you're still receiving Social Security checks in the mail, you may be out of compliance with the law. March 1, 2013 was the deadline for people to sign up to receive their Social Security benefits electronically.
Social Security Provides New Personalized Online Services
Jan 18, 2013 Social Security is offering new, personalized online services. People can sign up for a free account on “my Social Security” and get access to their records and information while still working—and when they start receiving benefits.
Open Enrollment Ends on Dec 7 But Some Beneficiaries Have More Time
Dec 6, 2011 Even though Open Enrollment ends Wednesday Dec 7, beneficiaries who are in non-renewing Medicare Advantage or Part D plans have until Feb 29, 2012 to join another plan.
Understanding Medicare's Annual Wellness Visit: Frequently Asked Questions
Nov 3, 2011 As of January of this year, Medicare began offering an Annual Wellness Visit (AWV), a benefit covered once every 12 months after the first year of Medicare coverage that has no deductibles, coinsurance or copayments. Under this benefit, beneficiaries to develop a plan with their doctors to keep them healthy, vital and independent.
Website Highlight: — The Roadmap to Your Future
May 6, 2011 A new website launched by our Ventura County Health Insurance Counseling & Advocacy Program (HICAP) makes learning about Medicare and navigating one's health insurance options a fun roadtrip adventure.
Top 7 Medicare Changes in 2011
Jan. 12, 2011 Learn about 7 significant changes to Medicare this year, most of which are a result of health care reform.
CMS Clarifies When ESRD Beneficiaries Can Enroll in Other Medicare Advantage Plans
Jan. 11, 2011 Learn about new options people with kidney failure have for switching Medicare Advantage plans.
Creative Interventions Reduce Hospital Readmissions for Medicare Beneficiaries
Oct. 7, 2010 According to a recent study of close to 12 million fee-for-service Medicare beneficiaries, nearly 20% of them who had been discharged from a hospital were re-hospitalized within 30 days, 34% were re-hospitalized within 90 days, and 54.1% within a year. And at least 3/4 of these readmissions were preventable.
What Does Health Reform Mean for Medicare Beneficiaries? Summary of Key Provisions
June 22, 2010 After being a topic of debate for over a decade, health care reform became law this March through 2 bills. Learn some of the major changes affecting Medicare and its beneficiaries.
Review Medicare Changes for 2010
Nov. 16, 2009
How Does Health Reform Help Medicare? A Close Look at HR 3962
Nov. 16, 2009
Recovery Act Provides Important Health Care & Benefit Provisions
April 29, 2009
Tool Provides Simple Answers and Action Steps for People New to Medicare
April 17, 2009
New Medicare Beneficiaries Have More Time to Get the "Welcome to Medicare" Physical Exam
Jan. 9, 2009
New Online Tools! 2009 Part D Plan Charts, Fact Sheets, Medicare Marketing Regulations Powerpoint and More
Nov. 12, 2008
New Fact Sheet Explains Medicare Coverage for People with End Stage Renal Disease
OCt. 24, 2008
Veto Override on Medicare Bill Marks Important Victory for Beneficiaries & Advocates
JULY 30, 2008
23 New Medicare Administrative Contractors Replace Medicare's Current Contracts
UNE 16, 2008
No More Telephone Access to Medicare Carriers and Intermediaries? Share Your Experience with 1-800 Medicare
MARCH 5, 2008
Senator Smith Reports Incorrect and Misleading Answers with 1-800 Medicare
DEC. 2007
Will 10% Fee Cut Scheduled for Medicare Physicians January 2008 Be Stopped?
DEC. 2007
Medicare Acronym Rap – Fo’ Shizzle
APRIL 2007
CHA Reviews Legislation Affecting Medicare Beneficiaries
OCT. 2006
Physicians Oppose Upcoming Cuts in Medicare Payment for Services
The Justice for Medicare Beneficiaries Act of 2005 Needs Your Support!
JUNE 2006
Join Us in Supporting “The Medicare Informed Choice Act” H.R. 3861
APRIL 2006
The California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) (Website Highlight)
JUNE 2005

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