Medicare

Articles about Medicare that may be useful to Massachusetts retirees

GIC Rates Again Beat Trends

3.5% Increase Below State National Averages

MAY 2013 VOICE: Once again the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) has been able to hold the line on insurance premium rate increases, beating both the state and national averages for an average increase of 3.5% across its offering of health plans.

A budget primer for White House budget week

By Josh Hicks
Washington Post
April 8, 2013

Talk of Medicare Changes Could Open Way to Budget Pact

New York Times

By JACKIE CALMES and ROBERT PEAR
Published: March 28, 2013

WASHINGTON — As they explore possible fiscal deals, President Obama and Congressional Republicans have quietly raised the idea of broad systemic changes to Medicare that could produce significant savings and end the polarizing debate over Republican plans to privatize the insurance program for older Americans.

Repairs to Medicare

By Editorial Board, Sunday, January 6, 6:54 PM

MEDICARE ANNOUNCES $5 PART B INCREASE

NOVEMBER 19, 2012: Medicare has announced that the standard Medicare Part B premium will increase by $5 or approximately 5% in 2013.  The increase sets the new monthly Part B premium at $104.90.

This represents a smaller increase than had been projected by health care economists, who believed the increase would register at close to $9 a month. In 2012, Medicare Part B enrollees paid $99.90 a month.

With Social Security benefits set to increase by 1.7% in 2013, the $5 Medicare increase represents nearly 25% of the average COLA.

Medicare Premiums to Rise by $5 a Month

Medicare premiums will rise by $5 a month next year, the government said Friday. That is less than expected, but enough to consume about a fourth of a typical retiree’s cost-of-living raise in Social Security payments next year. Marilyn Tavenner, the acting administrator of Medicare, said the new “Part B” premium for outpatient care would be $104.90 a month. In most cases, it is deducted from a beneficiary’s monthly Social Security payment. The government had projected a premium increase of as much as $9 a month for 2013, but health care inflation has remained modest.

How Insurers Can Help

How Insurers Can Help

New York Times Editorial

October 1, 2012: Private insurance companies should be leading the way in the struggle to control health care costs. They know about every contact a patient has with the health care system and can see how much is wasteful or redundant. By altering the way they pay doctors and hospitals, they can potentially push providers to reduce costs, improve quality and even transform the whole culture of American medicine.

HEALTH INSURANCE INCREASE LOWER IN FY13

State's 1.43% Bucks Trend

MAY 2012 VOICE: With national health costs struggling to stay below 100% increases and our state’s public sector critics crying “budget busters”, the Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission’s (GIC) FY13 rate increase of just 1.43% has to be headline news.

GIC STATE RETIREES & SURVIVORS UNDER MEDICARE

OME Rates Clarified

APRIL 18, 2012: For the overwhelming majority of Medicare eligible retirees insured through the state’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC), the insurance plan of choice has long been the Optional Medicare Extension (OME) Plan run by UniCare. Typically, most OME subscribers also include CIC coverage with their basic plan.

Annual Insurance Hearing Draws Retirees

Annual Insurance Hearing Draws Retirees

FEBRUARY 1, 2012: Over 100 employees and retirees attended today’s annual public hearing of the Commonwealth’s Group Insurance Commission (GIC) held in Minihan Hall at the Lindemann Center.

Dolores Mitchell, Executive Director of the GIC, presented an extensive update of all commission activities and an estimated projection of future needs and costs.

Mitchell started by pointing out that the Commonwealth could be under some pressure from the added costs of Federal health care reform.