Competitive Bidding Program Temporarily Lapses—Expected to Begin Again in 2021

Emily WhicheloeMedicare Answers0 Comments

Photo by Benjamin Parker on Unsplash

On January 1, 2019, the durable medical equipment (DME) competitive bidding program temporarily ended. The competitive bidding program was originally designed to reduce out-of-pocket expenses and help ensure that people with Medicare had access to quality DME, supplies, and services from suppliers they could trust. The program benefited people who had Original Medicare, lived in a competitive bidding area, and needed DME that fell under the competitive bidding program. Read More...

Medicare Announces New Model to Test Changes to Part D Payments

Casey SchwarzMedicare Watch0 Comments


This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) )—the agency that oversees the Medicare program—announced a new model to test changes to prescription drug payments and incentives. The CMS Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) will create a voluntary, five-year model in which Part D Plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans (MAPDs) may apply to participate. According to CMS, the model is intended to test “new incentives for plans, patients, and providers to choose drugs with lower list prices in order to address rising federal reinsurance subsidy costs.” Read More...

CMS Completes Rollout of New Medicare Cards Ahead of Schedule

Julie CarterUncategorized0 Comments


Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)—the agency that oversees the Medicare program—announced that they finished the rollout of new Medicare cards to 61 million people with Medicare ahead of the original deadline of April, 2019. This means that all people with Medicare should now have Medicare cards that include a random Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) instead of a number based on their Social Security number. Read More...

Government Shutdown Threatens Programs for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

Lindsey CopelandMedicare Watch0 Comments

US Capitol Caution Tape
Photo by Andy Feliciotti on Unsplash

As the government shutdown continues, so do its impacts on older adults, people with disabilities, and their families. While Medicare and Medicaid are fully funded for the year, other critical programs—like affordable housing, food assistance, and transportation services—are not. This threatens the health and economic security of millions of Americans. Read More...

New Enrollment Period Now Available for People with Medicare Advantage

Mitchell ClarkMedicare Watch0 Comments


Older adults and people with disabilities who are currently enrolled in a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan have until March 31 to switch to another MA plan or to Original Medicare with or without a stand-alone prescription drug plan (Part D) during the new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period (MA OEP). The MA OEP occurs each year from January 1 through March 31, and it is only available to people who have a Medicare Advantage plan. One change can be made during this period, which will take effect the first of the month following the month you enroll. For example, if you switch to a new Medicare Advantage Plan in February, your new coverage begins March 1. Read More...